The community class on the third Sunday of the month at Everybody’s Yoga is, ironically, not to be recommended for anybody. Though I practice a moderate daily yoga routine, I felt unsettled and in pain after an hour in the class.
The class began well, with a strong breathing practice that allowed everyone to center themselves before beginning the physical practice. This is not always included in yoga classes, and I was impressed when it was included here.
However, the class took a turn for the worse after that. The teacher had a “theme of the month” that she was supposed to talk about, but she didn’t seem to understand it completely, so she said some inspirational nonsense and then moved on to the physical practice. The postures practiced had a serious lack of one of the most important aspects of yoga: balance. The teacher led us through one sun salutation on the right hand side, and then seemed to get distracted and moved on to other postures, so we never repeated the sun salutation on the left hand side. This is a basic point in yoga: if a pose is practiced on one side, it must be practiced on the other. Not only does this teach a spiritual lesson on equanimity, it’s just bad for the body to only work on one side. The rest of the postures were disappointing, devoid of any sense of rhythm and usually awkwardly placed. Though I was familiar with all the poses practiced, I felt unable to work myself into them properly.
I was also surprised by the lack of involvement from the teacher of this class. She modelled the postures well enough, but her spoken instructions were unclear and given in a rather breathless, dreamy diction. She scarcely mentioned alignment at all, and ventured into the sea of mats no more than three or four times. Meanwhile, as I looked around, I saw people in misaligned postures that will lead to injuries in the future. A woman in front of me had her spine so curved in a Virabhdrasana II, or Warrior Two posture, that I could have poured water into it if she was lying down. A simple touch at the base of the spine would have enabled her to self-correct a problem that will eventually lead to back pain, but the teacher simply wandered by, murmuring “beautiful” and “wonderful”.
To her credit, the teacher did come by to each student during the relaxation period at the end, providing neck pillows and a short head, neck, and lower leg massage that helped to release some of the tension I accumulated during the class. It still didn’t make up for the rest of the class, and a day later I still felt pretty unsettled.
What really shocked me about this class was the complete lack of attention to new members. An older woman who was attempting yoga for the first time in her life walked into the class with me. She told me that she had neck problems and was interested in this class because she had heard it was appropriate for people with injuries and other issues. I assured her that she would be fine, which I later regretted doing. The teacher launched into a series of increasingly advanced postures, such as halasana, or plough posture, which entails lying on the ground and swinging your legs up and over, eventually touching the toes to the ground at the crown of the head. This is a pose that I am comfortable with, but was not ready for, not having adequately stretched out my back. Meanwhile, across the room, the older beginner woman watched everyone else and struggled to get her feet over head, something a beginner and an older person should never try for the first time without guidance. The teacher didn’t seem to notice, nor did she mention an easier modification for the posture. Needless to say, the woman left feeling as if yoga was too hard for her, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she will not be trying it again. I tried to track her down afterward to recommend other studios that would be more appropriate for her, but she seemed to be discouraged by that point. The teacher also spoke to the older woman about other classes that would be better for her at the studio, but in my opinion it was too late for that. A teacher’s responsibility is to pay attention to her students during the class, not after.
Some of the other students mentioned that the other classes offered by Everybody’s Yoga are better. I certainly would not recommend the 1pm Sunday community class, unless you are a yogi with perfect alignment and balance, in which case you should probably teach the class. If not, there are many yoga studios in the Hudson Valley that are much better.
2419 New York 82
Lagrangeville, NY 12540-5139