"Yoga makes you feel healthy, strong, and limber which will immediately boost your self-image and self-confidence." (Pure Yoga)
Not quite the case after my Hatha1 (beginners' level) this morning. Having practised for close to two years I'd decided to take a "basic" class (@ 9am!) by this yogi/teacher famous/infamous for his disciplined/strict approach to yoga practice/teaching. I was convinced I'd benefit from it... after all, a very good teacher once told us that it is always good to practise the basic poses because they form the very foundation upon which you build your future practice, you have to make sure the alignment is correct and remind yourself why you go on the mat in the first place.
Hips higher, back straighter, heels touch the ground!!
Anyway, the class began and we did our first down dog. However, instead of proceeding onto the next pose, we stayed in down dog shape for quite an extensive period of time. Which was fine until I heard:
miGOD, did someone just had their thigh smacked/slapped?! Then ...
Oh yes, said teacher was going AROUND THE STUDIO checking EVERYONE'S POSE and if you don't get it right?
An acute sense of FEAR began to swell in my down dog chest ... and I could almost hear the JAWS theme in my head as the corner of my eyes followed Smacker's shadow, moving closer, Closer and CLOSER ...
I was ready to go up dog and beg for mercy by the time he reached my mat and was standing behind me. Then he simply pulled my hips up and back to allow my heels to down the ground. My pose was closer to perfection. Then he moved on.
Phew! But later on, he returned (to correct another of the only FOUR basic poses we practised) and I was, like, NOOOOOO ... the class became mentally as well as physically tortuous. Though he didn't smack me, when he told off the woman next to me (and she was REALLY GOOD): "Why do you keep moving up and down your mat????" SMACK! I thought, this is it, never again!
Yes, I think it was probably the second or third class over the past two years when I actually counted the minutes to asvasana (dead body pose). I felt healthy, strong and limber after the practice perhaps; but self confidence went down the bog (down bog ~ haha) very fast after the sound of the first thigh slap ...
Despite his physical superiority and arrogance, which can be pretty intimidating at times, The Perfect Human Specimen is not bad after all. However, he will be spending more time in another studio so I will only take his Core class during the week, which means I now have MORE time to take OTHER classes ... who knows, maybe I will return to Smacker and get addicted to having my thighs, err, smacked?!?