Post # 1
So I’ve been trying to get in to better shape this year by taking classes at my gym, because it’s easier for me to motivate myself by having a regularly scheduled class rather than just working out on my own. I’m taking 2 cardio classes that I absolutely love and look forward to (zumba and african dance–both are so much fun!), but today I just decided to admit that I hate my yoga class and it’s just not worth going to–I’m trying to make working out a positive experience, and it just is not working for me!
I’m not sure if I just don’t like yoga in general, or if it’s this particular class: I can’t stand the instructor’s teaching style. I don’t always understand her instructions, and then she basically yells at you until you get it “right.” it’s like rather than getting that some of us are beginners and need more help understanding what she means (stretch the arches of my feet? how the f** do I do that?!?), she assumes we just are lazy and are not trying. which isn’t true–I’m busting my ass but it’s hard and I don’t understand. I’ve tried to speak up when I don’t undertstand, but it’s still frustrating. And it’s a beginner class, though some of the other students have taken the class with her before (and some of them are almost cult-like–umm, sorry I don’t know how to fold my blankets “right”). I think that approach could work well with some personalities, but it’s a bad fit for mine–I get defensive and frustrated.
I know people who love yoga and I really, really wanted to like it, but it’s just making me stress out more. And part of my reason for taking it was to relieve stress–I have a chronic tension problem in my neck/shoulders. Also I grew up taking ballet, from ages 4-13, and it sounds like a lame excuse but it’s really hard for me to make my body move in parallel–my legs naturally turn out. Maybe I should just do pilates instead…
Anyone have similar experiences with yoga just not working out for you, or any yoga-lovers want to try to convince me to give it another shot? it’s an iyengar yoga class, really focused on precision–maybe I should have tried hatha yoga instead? or vinyasa is also offered at my gym…or maybe this teacher and I just don’t click?
Post # 3
I don’t do yoga because of the religious aspect of the “excercise”.
Post # 4
I think it’s a combo of that particular instructor and your personality. I’ve had both good and “useless” instructors that don’t really guide beginners… and I still don’t like yoga. It’s boring to me. I’m much happier when I get to move around.
Post # 5
Everyone has different things that they like. This woman sounds like the wrong kind of instructor for you, and I wouldn’t like her either. I’ve started taking hatha yoga recently and really like it. It gives me a good stretch and can be modified to make it easier or harder if you want. Maybe try another class but if you don’t like it, it’s okay. I wouldn’t like Zumba or dance because I’m super uncoordinated.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2013 - Old Stone House in Brookyn
It sounds like you just have a really bad class. In fact, I’ve had almost the opposite experience with (hatha) yoga – because you are supposed to focus on your breathing and concentrate on your intent, you don’t even notice the people around you. Forcing people to do it “right” is totally counter to the spiritual side of yoga.
Post # 7
Bummer! It’s definitely your instructor. I’m a certified fitness instructor, although not in yoga (which I adore) I would NEVER yell at or criticize a student, that’s completely wrong. IMO, you should report her to whomever she works for, unless she’s independent. The entire premise of yoga is about calmness of body and mind. And an instructor’s job is just that – to instruct and guide, not make someone feel bad. Please don’t let this one negative instructor turn you off, yoga can be very relaxing and a beautiful experience. It’s not that you are doing anything wrong, and it’s not your fault! All new fitness things take a little time to learn. Maybe try hatha yoga or maybe yoga just isn’t for you, it’s not for everyone. But your instructor is causing you to have a bad experience and that’s wrong on her part.
Post # 8
I have not encountered the instructor pushing a “religious experience” on me during class as RoxanneV mentioned.
I personally love yoga and have noticed great changes in my shape since starting. I only go once weekly but look forward to the break from the more traditional cardio and strength classes I go too. Finding a good instructor can make or break any group fitness experience. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I would recommend yoga in a heartbeat.
Post # 9
I take a yoga class because I needed a half credit to graduate, so yoga it is!
I definitely think that there are different styles of yoga teachers. My teacher says the class is meant to improve flexibility and to teach us how to calm and relax ourselves. She always says that yoga is “non competitive and non-judgmental”, so we aren’t supposed to force ourselves into a place where we are uncomfortable. My yoga class isn’t religious at all either, it’s more spiritual in that we learn to calm our minds and bodies and stay in the moment.
I’m sorry you don’t like your yoga class! Are there other instructors you could try?
Post # 10
@happyface: huh? Can you explain a bit more? I know that there are hindu beliefs there, but I’ve never had a yoga instructor bring that part of it to my class.
First and foremost, I think the key to exercising consistently is to only do something that makes you feel good afterwards. Keep going to the cardio class!
I LOVE yoga and it’s changed my life and my body, but in my 3.5 years of doing it, I’ve had plenty of instructors that I couldn’t stand- I’d give them two classes worth of my time and then move on if I still didn’t like it. If the style or the instructor is not making you feel peaceful and powerful, switch classes or styles. If you do this and still don’t like yoga, that’s ok. I spent 3 months in Jazzercise classes once and wanted to go all office space on my step-block- it’s just not for me 🙂
ETA: If you like cardio classes, maybe look for a hatha flow or power flow class. There’s always movement in those and it seems to keep my mind occupied on the task at hand more than something more gentle and slow-going.
Post # 11
Sounds like a bad instructor to me! I’ve never done yoga, but I can’t imagine being happy with any class where the instructor yells at you and calls you lazy.
Post # 12
I’m not a big fan of yoga either. I like the poses where you are just relaxing and stretching, but ones like down dog where your body is inverted give me a killer headache. However, even the relax-y, stretch-y poses would be stressful to me if I had someone yelling at me for doing it wrong. Sounds like you have a bad instructor there. Is there another instructor that offers class at a different time that you could go to instead?
Side story: I took yoga during college as a 1-credit-hour class. The instructor had one of those peace-inducing, calming voices – unless someone dared show up late to class or to talk during class. Then she’d flip some sort of switch and turn her voice into a snarl while she criticized them. Then she’d go right back to her calm, peaceful voice. It made me feel like she was full of crap and kind of scary, which is not at all what you want for yoga!
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@happyface: I’ve never been to a yoga class with a “religious” aspect. Ever.
To the OP, sounds like a bad yoga instructor to me. An yoga instructor should help you along your journey to flexibility and centeredness. He/she should not force anything and should not expect anything of you other than honest effort. I’d find another class. Also, there are so many different styles, so you might want to explore other types of yoga, too. I get bored easily in slow classes, so I prefer more active flow yoga and even classes that incorporate yoga into a program a little more diverse (I have Bodyflow/Bodybalance in mind, particularly, but there are other such classes).
Post # 14
Maybe you should try a home video to see if you like that better. That way, you can avoid the scary, mean teacher and get a better idea of how you feel about the actual exercise. Yoga is an important component to overall fitness, so it’d be such a shame if you have to miss out because of a terrible instructor.
And religious aspect? What, what?
Post # 15
Your instructor sounds scary!
I cant do yoga because I have no coordination! I prefer running or aerobic exercise, I dont feel like I have had a work out unless I am out of breath!
Post # 16
@Bubu82: That’s so freaky, the voice changing thing.
With my students I always remember what it was like to be on the other side – to be the student. Because to become a certified instructor you have to take a ton of classes. So I never forget what it feels like to be the one just starting out. I was so lucky to have wonderful and compassionate instructors, I think it makes all the difference. These instructors being described sound scary and unpleasant as hell, lol. Maybe they should go into a different field of work if they don’t like their students. I also, in my career, hire fitness instructors to work for me – from yoga to pilates to aerobics to dance, for all ages from preschool to adult. If one of the instructors who works for me ever yelled at a student they’d be in deep dog doo-doo with me. If they did it again after being reprimanded they’d be replaced – I would never stand for any of the students being treated so disrespectfully.