Does sadism have a place in yoga class?

That’s a rhetorical question. Last night I took in a yoga 2 class at Flow Yoga and it was sheer torture for most of the session. Angela, the normal instructor, was out for the week, and her place was taken by Jennifer Rene, another Flow teacher who also leads Pilates classes as well as yoga. Her cheery disposition lured us into the easy flow of the practice and then she ambushed us with a hellish combinations of high lunges into Warrior III into splits and then poses that I’ve forgotten the names of because I was lost in a cloud of trembling muscles, panting breath, and even dizziness. The most aching vinyasas came in repetitions of four on each side, but who was counting. I sobbed quietly as I folded over in half pigeon. The episode was like a big billboard alongside of the highway to self-realization and enlightenment: “You are not there yet.”

And at the end, in all the numbness that comes over the body and the mind, there is the satisfaction of having endured, having persevered and found comfort in savasana.

And I keep telling myself that I don’t want to go back to yoga 1 classes because they can be potentially so unfulfilling physically.