Was that really yoga?

Over the years, I've been to many different yoga classes. Some have been great, some have been good, and others were just OK

Today I had an interesting experience. I went to the worst yoga class I've ever been to

I'm not saying where for obvious reasons, but I'd like to explain why I felt the experience was so bad

It's pretty clear that the class was quite unique to the studio and the teacher. Many of the poses were totally new to me: I've not seen or practiced them ever before

In theory that's OK. I'm up for learning new postures. But that was the problem - learning them! The teacher was largely inaudible (and I was at the front of the class!). This was compounded by the fact the teacher also spoke fast, and didn't use any of the usual terminology (in either English or Sanskrit) for the poses

The teacher walked around the room, but there was no individual correction or adjustment. I felt like a complete novice as I was reduced to watching other people - regulars I assumed - but many of them didn't seem to be getting it right either

To call this a yoga class is a bit like trying to play football with a rugby ball

What was of more concern was that many of the poses today could have resulted in injury. As a teacher myself, I'm obviously aware of the right way to move in and out of yoga poses. However, in the class I went to today, there was virtually no formal instruction. Just a basic demonstration for some of the poses. This was an open class, yet a less experienced yogi could have really hurt themselves

Yoga, to me, is many things, but largely about the breath and relaxing the mind. There are times when I really enjoy a dynamic, physical class - (Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga etc) - providing it's done in a controlled, correct and safe way. The class I attended today was about as far removed from relaxing the mind as an argument

The class ended in a series of standing poses. That was it. No Savasana. No relaxation. Goodbye!

Sadly, I came away questioning whether the teacher was actually qualified to teach. Needless to say, I won't be going back

It's a shame. I was looking forward to the class, and learning something new. On the other hand, no opportunity is wasted. It reinforced to me (once again) how thorough and professional my yoga teacher training was. In summary, there are many different syles of yoga. It's all a matter of personal preference and choice. Irregardless of the style however, it is important that yoga is taught properly, and that the classes are safe and enjoyable.