Namaste

10 Aug

My dad has a pet-peeve, and it’s people who are late.  For most of my life, I found his pet-peeve annoying because I could never make it anywhere on time.  And although my punctuality has not improved greatly, I am now slowly starting to understand where he is coming from.  Pardon the pun! Ha!

Except, in this particular instance, I’m not annoyed by the beginning but, rather, by the end.

I have been taking yoga at a local studio for over a year now.  Because of my busy schedule (and, really, whose schedule is NOT busy?) I can only fit in an early morning class;  namely, 6:30 am – 7:45 am.  As my husband must be at work by 9:00 am and my daughter must be at school at the same time, it is pretty important that I get home by 8:00 am at the latest.

Well, for as long as I’ve taken this class, it has NEVER finished on time.  And this is even more annoying considering that the last posture in yoga is often said to be the most important one.  Savasana, or Corpse Pose, closes every yoga practice that I have ever heard or read about.  It is the pose that helps you “absorb” the practice and allows your mind to calm. It is often said to be the most difficult pose because although it appears you are doing “nothing”, you are really trying to be in the present moment.  This is very difficult for most of us to achieve.

Well, time and again, the class is winding down and I look at the clock only to see that it’s already almost 7:45 am.  At this point, I quietly roll up my mat and leave.  And I’m not the only one.  A fair number of other students file out as the teacher puts on the final, “meditative” song. I find this entire situation disrespectful to the students and to the practice itself.  The teachers are quite enthusiastic in trying all kinds of acrobatic movements and devoting much time to various asanas, but yet this final pose is treated as an after-thought.

To my dismay, other classes I attended at this studio (even on the weekends and at later times of day) also ended late.  This studio is the closest to my home and the only one that offers classes during the time I need.  And I actually really like my teachers.  I am excited to attend each class.  However, I can’t help but feel the elitist overtones that Yoga in the West has taken on.  Of course, there are the obvious signs: classes that cost $20 a pop and are filled with middle to upper class white women wearing the latest Lululemon gear (yes, I’m one of them).  I feel that this habit, of forcing the students to stay late to complete their practice, is a reflection of this as well.  It suggests that there is nowhere else that any of us really need to be, and most importantly, it implies that Savasana is not a necessary part of daily practice.  I can almost guarantee that no self-respecting Yogi would agree with this.  But then again, s/he probably wouldn’t be practicing to Buddha Bar in a pair of hot shorts either.

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3 Responses to “Namaste”

  1. michelle yee 11Aug10 at 12:23 #

    Wow — you read my mind! I have been thinking the exact same thing about my own yoga studio. Of course, I’m self-employed so I can afford a few minutes here and there.

    But I totally agree with you. Those last few minutes of savasana are so incredibly precious to me that I would be very upset if I wasn’t able to get the posture’s full benefit because I had to leave at a specific time (aka on time!) and the class ran late.

    Will you be letting the studio know your thoughts on the matter?

    • Snigs 12Aug10 at 08:53 #

      I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who feels this way! I’m NOT happy to hear that your studio does this too. (And self-employed or not, your time is just as precious.)

      As for your question – I’m too chicken!! It’s bogging down my brain, though. I was thinking about writing an anonymous letter, but that seems so cowardly, and probably won’t be taken as seriously. I don’t want to piss off my teachers, though. lol
      Shoot. But I think I really must say something, huh?

      • michelle yee 12Aug10 at 10:09 #

        Well, I think so. But I don’t think it has to be confrontational or in any way negative.

        It can be phrased more like a respectful request.

        You are a mother and a wife with a life that requires active scheduling. And while you love your teachers and the studio and everything else — you would just like to politely / lovingly request that the classes are more punctual so that you can enjoy and indulge in your final savasana like everyone else, while also keeping the husband and family happy.

        To me, it’s perfectly reasonable, it gives them room to be imperfect (after all, it’s just a request) but also respects your needs from your practice.

        Then again, I suppose I could do the same at my studio but I’m too chicken. Plus I’m almost always the last person to leave so it’s pretty obvious that I’m not on a tight schedule.

        But, if I were in your position, I would definitely consider it.

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