Last month, my favorite yoga instructor, Shohreh, informed me that she would not continue to teach the Saturday morning class after the start of the New Year. I have taken yoga from many different instructors and have witnessed many different styles over the years. Some great, some bearable, and some …… let’s just say they didn’t get a second chance. I empathize with anyone stepping into that class and trying to fill her shoes because Shohreh is just that awesome.
So I ventured out the first Saturday of the New Year to give the newbie a try and boy was I surprised!
First of all, I have to point out that it was the first of the year when everyone with a New Years Resolution to lose weight or get in shape has joined the gym. The classes that I normally take are packed with new people trying to get acclimated to the gym. So the yoga room was literally packed. Yoga mats were lined up really close to each other without a lot of room to spare.
The new instructor introduced herself at the front of the room and the first thing that got my attention was that she had a really strong voice. Most of the instructors use a little microphone headset but she had the type of voice that carried and didn’t need tech help to be heard. Ok, that’s not a big deal, right?
She started us out lying on our mat and telling us to relax and let go of all tension and stress. Just leave it behind…… she had us place a hand on our belly and a hand on our chest to feel our breath go in and out. “Feel the rise and fall of your belly and chest with each breath and scan the body for tension and let it gooooooo.” Ok, I’m thinking, this is fine. I can tell she is using her soothing, soft voice. It’s not so bad. She says take a deep inhale and let it out with a sigh. Demonstrating, we hear her breath go innnnnnnnn and then AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (unfortunately, I cannot in print alone, emphasize just how loud she sighed) All I can say is that I literally jumped off of my mat about 3 inches and levitated. Trust me, I wasn’t the only one. It was so weird! Of course then I got the giggles and giggles are NOT appropriate in a quiet yoga room. My friend who was on the mat next to me started to giggle too. Oh no! I could feel myself very near that edge where you fall into an endless fit of out loud laughter. Sooooo not appropriate! It was a struggle but I did manage to get myself together and continue with the class.
I really wanted to like her. I really tried to go in with an open mind. Instead of me breaking her in, I think she broke me. The ommmmm’s and the shanti, shanti, shanti at the end kinda sealed the deal though. This is the YMCA! We don’t really chant. I may have to find another Saturday morning class. Thank goodness Shohreh still teaches yoga classes during the week that fit into my schedule.