Due to my over traumatizing my Fiancé by bringing him to a ton of intense vinyasa flow classes (I guess being a Vata/Pitta kinda makes me a little wonkers that way lol) I conceded to a slower, intro flow class. We got at the studio 25 minutes early and there was already a line- studio people at the top of the stairs greeted us and directed us firmly to line up against the right wall to wait. It got extremely noisy in that hallway- and I really started to feel bad for those yoginis/yogis in the rooms trying to relax in savasana.
Anyhoo, we were surrounded by newbies to yoga and those more experienced, but the energy of this crowd and was markedly different than the other studios I've attended. All around us were discussions on what level Ashtanga class each person could achieve and how hard they pushed their bodies ("Oh ya, well I went to a class where the next day I couldn't even lift my ARMS"). It was so competitive and super weird.
Once in the class we were squished- but then it was a free class so I was cool with that. When we started the class- the lovely instructor was extremely kind, but it always surprises me when instructors don't modify postures to accomodate space issues (i.e. arms forward during forward bend as opposed to swan diving). I have to say, the most interesting part of the class were a few key individuals- a long haired guy without his shirt in front of me and a mousy woman behind me. I really have no idea how no-shirt was allowed to practice sans-shirt... that was a first for me in a studio class. This guy was totally in the moment and at one point he was swaying peacefully to the music.
The woman behind me on the other hand was definitely not in the moment of the class, but doing her own "moment" thing. If the class was seated- she was standing and swaying slightly. Casually taking downward dog at any point and generally doing her own poses. I seriously didn't see her do one pose that was suggested by the instructor. It kind of made me wonder why she had come to the class at all.
In any rate, my previous traumatizing experience with the owner of the studio, the loud noises from the street outside, the atmosphere of non-zen and the disrespect of the employees talking loudly in the lobby while we were trying to meditate in savasana have made my decision. I'll stick with Breathing Space. Funny how we have particular ideas about what studio/atmosphere/environment we prefer to practice yoga! Has any other yoginis/yogis come to this self-realization as well?
As I end this blog- I do feel open hearted. Despite my decision, the instructor was wonderful in her guidance and the postures were filled with chakra meditions and exploration- loved it! Now if only she would start teaching at Breathing Space Yoga Studio...