As a trainer, one thing I always try to keep in mind is that I’m a teacher first. I’m trying to provide knowledge to a person who will need to use it in the future. For this reason, YogaWorks is right up my alley. I decided to take two classes on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 and both were quite unique experiences. I had taken both classes before. At the Westside location, I took Jodie Rufty’s 10:45am Yoga Works level 1 & 2 class. As much as I learned in this class on Monday, even more postures were explained this time (including a standing “downward dog” I’d hadn’t quite seen before). I left that class and hurried to the Eastside location where I attended Timothy Bish’s 1:30pm Vinyasa Flow class, a similar one to the first class I’d taken on Saturday. But this class was very different. The lunch time start made for a five-person class, and even though small classes aren’t my favorite, this one was different. Mr. Bish took the smaller class as an opportunity to help each of us individually, showing us modifications and ways to improve different postures in our practice.
Although it costs decent money to practice at YogaWorks, I think that this approach to teaching yoga is invaluable, and all of their instructors seem to use it. If a person is doing something wrong, or with an ineffective effort, or their mind is elsewhere, they are told, and corrected, and helped without hostility. All mistakes seem to be opportunities to teach. Every class, every posture, every movement is scrutinized if they aren’t executed to the person’s full potential. Ms. Rufty’s class had two student observers from the YogaWorks 300-hour teacher training. Their notepads were full by the end of class. Mr. Bish broke the flow of his vinyasa class to take the small class to the wall to find new ways to practice headstands.
In my short time practicing there, YogaWorks has not once given me that “you’re a straight guy doing yoga and we hate you” vibe that other men seem to feel. Since my first day, they’ve seemed committed to teaching me more about practicing yoga regularly. I’ve heard more phrases like “If you already have a … practice… do …” than I ever have. It’s helped me look at “practice” as a word that should be used far more often. The YogaWorks website stresses the importance of “practicing” yoga over “doing” yoga. I think that on a broader level, that’s because individuals looking to develop things like strength, discipline, controlled relaxation, or anything without a tangible monetary value, need to practice. It’s helped me bring further dedication to the things I practice, like say, push-ups or sit-ups, and why these things are different from my formal workouts. I can take rest days, make adjustments with workouts, but the things I practice, they must happen daily, and I must explore my full potential in them daily. It’s the only way to learn about my abilities.