I discovered yoga a few years ago when my friend (then coworker) A.T. introduced me to her local studio. Her studio became my studio, and I’ve been practicing there ever since.
I really love my studio, and my teachers. I stuck to it mostly because it’s a place that doesn’t perpetuate the stereotypes people tend to have of yoga – that all yogis all look, think, and dress a certain way, and that yoga is all about breathing, stretching and levitating with your eyes closed in Lotus Pose, never breaking a sweat.
There IS, of course, a very spiritual component to yoga that I fully admit to not having really explored. But there’s also a very physical aspect to it that a lot of people don’t know about. And depending on what kind of yoga you practice (there are MANY), you can get a hell of a workout.
My studio is very much about the athletic, strength-building facet of yoga. It’s a small, practical place. The teachers don’t take themselves too seriously. My favorite teacher is as sarcastic as I am, and she’s as good at providing entertainment as she is at providing instruction. In other words, this place fits me.
But by now, it offers up no surprises. It’s really comfortable.
Today, I decided to try a new studio. I’ve gone to other studios before, especially when I travel, but in my area I usually stick to my regular place. Occasionally, though, I get curious, and even though it’s a little awkward, I’ll pop into a new place.
I’m not going to lie, it sucked a little. There were a lot of regulars, and they must not get a ton of newcomers because it felt like everyone checked me out a little when I walked in. I also seemed to be the only person in the room wearing anything colorful. Now, I have to admit, I kind of overdid it today with the pink top, blue leggings and orange sports bra, but holy crap I REALLY stood out among the sea of black on black on dark gray.
A funny thing happens during these yoga classes, though, that I think most people don’t realize. It might feel a little weird when you first walk in, but once you start practicing everyone is so preoccupied with their own awkwardness that they stop paying attention to other people. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the front of the room, the middle, or the back, in the middle of your practice you’re usually way too focused on keeping your balance and straightening out your legs to take the time to judge your neighbor.
The verdict? I’m glad I tried something new, but I think I’ll go back to my own studio for now. Not enough sarcasm at this place to get me to switch.