I had a new student today. I asked if he had done yoga at any time.......he was hesitant, and then he said yes, but to be honest it was not a good experience. I was brave, I asked what had happened......and he told me. The teacher was young, limber as a slippery snake and unkind........I took a deep breath.....and apologized for his bad experience. I hear the story too often.....teachers who have taken this incredible mind body science and turned it into some sort of competitive sport for the young, thin and limber......no wonder people are afraid of yoga.
I explained to him the structure of my class, I promised him he would never find judgement in my class room, that he would do only what his body allowed........we went through class. After class when he walked out the door his views on yoga were changed. He left happy, knowing there was much more to yoga than what he had experienced before.
So often when I tell someone I meet that I am a yoga teacher......I see the fear or even contempt in their eyes.....I hear the words, I'm not limber, I'm too fat, I'm too old, I am sick. Yoga can be experienced by anyone, even someone who is bed-ridden. Much like so many things in our society, the media has made it such a one dimension "trend" ( which by the way is several thousand years old)......that sadly
many do not see its real value. To be honest, I have had a few students through the years who only wanted yoga for an exercise program, a quick fix, easy weight loss regime.......they didn't take many classes from me.....and that's ok.......they will find their way, or maybe not.
If you have had a bad experience in a yoga class, I am sorry......please try again, try a different teacher, a different place. Be honest about your limitations, your ability and what you want. Understand that yoga is a practice, a life time path with great rewards.......it is something that you can do when you are young and continue your whole life in some shape or form. It is worth the pursuit.