A yoga class is kind of like a cab ride. You need to tell the driver where you want to go. If it is a basic, gentle class and you get a substitute teacher, you need to let her know what you expect. If she is working you too hard you may end up hating the class and the teacher. You don’t need that kind of energy at any exercise class, but especially a yoga class.
There is something amazing about yoga. It improves you physically and emotionally and mentally. It is about acceptance of your body as it is and about working on it to get better. It teaches physical and mental balance. There is something about twisting your body that unwinds your mind.
People who do yoga often become vegetarians. They are often interested in organic food and recycling. The exercise is like an adjustment for your soul. It becomes a way of life that you take off the mat and into the world. You want to make everything more natural and healthier.
Yoga teaches that you need to claim your class, and your life. If it is too much, either ease off or ask the teacher for a modification. The teacher doesn’t know that it is too much for you, or that you’ve broken your arm twice, or that you are pregnant. You have to speak up or the problem will continue.
It is amazing when I’ve spoken up about a problem in yoga class, or at work, or at school, and other people will chime in that they agree. Only then can the issue be addressed. Otherwise we would all continue to quietly suffer and become resentful.
The other people weren’t brave or confident enough to mention that there was a problem. Think of all the pain they could have saved themselves and others just by speaking up earlier. Perhaps they weren’t quite awake yet – they were suffering but didn’t know what the cause was. Perhaps they were just used to taking it, used to feeling bad. Perhaps they were taught by teachers or parents that their voice didn’t matter and they stayed silently enduring.
What are you being silent about? What is broken, or doesn’t work, or is a problem, that you’ve just decided to accept? Are you waiting for someone else to speak up? What if everybody else is doing the same?