Since early August, I’ve been taking been taking classes at different times, days and types, doing more at Thrive Yoga in Rockville than at Flow Yoga in DC. At one point during my forced vacation/downtime, I went to classes seven days in a row, as taking an afternoon workshop. Even when I went back to work, I stepped up my frequency of going to class.
I used to be really finicky about selecting my teacher and, consequently, the class that I took. In part, I liked the teaching style of Andrea Franchini, but since she was troubled this year by some health problems and is now abandoning Washington for Peru and eventually the West Coast, I’ve had to loosen my loyalties.
Another issue with teachers was that I wanted to feel comfortable with them, especially since I feared that my depression might somehow manifest itself in class. Aside from some tears during savasana, that never came out. But being at ease was definitely a prerequisite since my loose connection to my stiff, middle-aged body kept me from doing a lot of poses. I felt like I stuck out in class — in most cases, I was the oldest (or only) guy in the group.
But now I don’t care who the teacher is, or whether it’s a Level I or II, or whether it’s Anusara or Ashtanga or vinyasa. Because I trust both center managements, I’m sure that I will get a qualified teacher who challenges, but also nurtures. I am more attuned to my inner teacher. I know where my practice is weak and try to focus on improving those areas. I find the Level I classes just as demanding physically as the intermediate classes because I tend to take the poses deeper. I probably feel a lot more comfortable with myself so I feel less self-conscious about the teacher’s watching eye.