I still occasionally get emails, despite this website, its calendar, description and information pages. Emails from strangers that are full full full of specific questions like 1) When are the classes? 2) How much are they? 3) What type of yoga is it ? Where do you meet? And so on. WTF? All of this information can easily be found under the calendar tab, complete with a link to Google maps for directions. Nonetheless I do answer my emails. I answer them personally. An interesting phenomenon occurs. The more questions I answer, the more emails ensue. The more specific items we discuss – the less likely the person ever shows up at one of our meetups. Hmmm. Why are they trying to stump me?
Maybe my answers are scary.
Maybe they don’t want to know that I teach various places in numerous styles at all different times. I carefully analyze the pattern. Here’s what emerges: there are people who ask questions, and people who want to do yoga. Never the twain shall meet. The people who want to do yoga SHOW UP FOR A CLASS. The people who prefer to ask questions? They don’t. Yup, I know it seems arcane and mystical and all that – but the truth is actually kinda simple. if you want to do yoga, whether it’s to lose weight, get flexible, build strength or meet friends – you have to get to class. People who like to do yoga show up for classes. People who are curious about yoga show up for classes.
People who pepper the instructor for minute details? Not so much.
If it makes you feel any better, I DO it. I show up for classes. I may have a very strong self directed practice, but I still have teachers of my own. I continue to learn new things. I love having guidance and feedback. Besides, where else am I going to meet people who share my interests? It’s not every mountain dweller that likes to go hiking, jogging or bike riding. My former husband’s old crowd far preferred cigarette smoking. I like to write poetry. In my yogic travels I have met both poets who started doing yoga, and yogis who started writing poetry. It’s fun! Generally speaking if you’re vegan or vegetarian you are in the minority. Although not ALL yogis eat this way, you’re more likely to find a kindred soul in a yoga class than at the bar.
Going to yoga to socialize is not a bad idea.
I have a theory about these question popping no-shows. I suspect they don’t want to do yoga for themselves, but that some nosy doctor, therapist, family member or friend is encouraging them to do it in an effort to ease anxiety, mild depression or regenerate body tissue after an injury. Yoga has landed on their personal “should” list. Anything on your personal “should” list is something that you will never do if you can possibly get out of it. Trust me on that one or check it out against your own should list. I should drive the speed limit, but honestly I’m usually five miles above. I should sleep more, eat less and keep my mouth shut sometimes. But Alas. I don’t.
Here I am spouting off about people who ask too many questions.
I don’t mean to scare ya if you like asking questions in class. Those of you who attend regularly know that questions are always welcome. I like getting to the root of issues. Questions as inquiry are directionally correct. If I suffer from depression or anxiety I didn’t get there from nowhere – there are origins to my suffering: life choices, genetics, and circumstances. If I keep doing what I’ve been doingI’ll keep getting what I’ve been getting. That ain’t smart. After awhile I’m inured to my mild discomfort. Sure, it s*cks to be me, but it’s ME dammit. Perhaps by now I define myself by my limitations, my diagnosis. Lord knows if I start yoga as recommended by family, friends and physician I might feel better, loosing my established sense of self.
So I act interested instead. I ask questions that can not be answered Questions like “My Doctor suggested I take some yoga. What do you think?”
To which I normally reply: I think you could come and try it, being mindful of your limitations. Stop, if something bothers you or aggravates the condition. I’m tempted to reply, I think you should give me a million dollars. I think you should listen to your doctor. I think you should think for yourself. Cause I never see them. What’s so wrong with my stock answer? These people act as if they heard me say, “don’t come.” Seriously folks, generally speaking the yoga teacher or fitness instructor encourages you to GET a doctor’s ok. If your Doctor is telling you to try yoga, what do you want me to say ?? Sure, come down and try it. Or pay for a private lesson and we’ll hash out a personal routine –
but before you decide that yoga can’t help you – you actually need to try it
I’ve had successful students with hip replacements, knee replacements, arthritis, fibromyalgia – you name it! Even some pregnant students. If you want to do yoga you’ll find a way to adjust and modify and keep coming. Allow yourself a year of regular practice to learn some basic poses. Stop rushing!
One of the more common marketing approaches is “yoga for weight loss.” Once upon a time I weighed close to 200 pounds. I had a very public job and well meaning people would ask me, “When’s your baby due?” Ouch. Ok, I was fat – and I lost close to 75 pounds altogether. I lost 70 doing yoga and the last 5 comes and goes depending on if I’m in training or just teaching.
People hear that and they’re like “Sign me up!” I am living proof that yoga can make you lose weight AND maintain weight loss. It’s been over five years now for my weight loss. AND I still do yoga. That’s the catch. It isn’t like a diet I can do for a week and then return to my old wicked ways. Yoga is a full lifestyle overhaul, starting with self acceptance. Stop worrying about your weight, (I did) and focus on your yoga practice. IF you enjoy it, (I did) not only will the weight start to fall off, but eating better/fueling more efficiently will become interesting to you. I quit smoking, made different friends, changed my belief system. Eventually my whole world view restructured.
I went from being a very passive player in my life to someone who made plans and did things. You can too! Start by coming to a class!
Now y’all play nice!