Dear Smug, Toned Teen at the Y last night,
Thank you so much for your concern and for stopping in the middle of your warm up flow to come over to me, bend over, squat down, put your face in mine while I try to gaze at my navel and not at the front of my mat at you, and whisper corrections for my arm placement in my downward facing dog. Just a few thoughts, however, you may want to consider in future before taking yourself out of your own breath and body to concern yourself with what your neighbor is doing. I’ve complied them here for your convenience. Three things you may want to ask yourself before pausing your practice and pulling such a move in the future:
1. Is the person behind perhaps performing some sort of modification for their large acromiom process and tight sub-scapula muscles that limit their shoulder mobility and thus cause the person to be getting the same benefits I am enjoying in my downward facing dog, but just not necessarily to look like me or like the norm that instructor is pitching to? If yes, pipe down and perk your hips back up to the ceiling. If no, continue.
2. Is the person behind me perhaps an RYT 200 level certified yoga instructor herself who may or may not know more about her own body and modifying for it than I do? If so, take a deep breath, stay in position, gaze at your own navel and reclaim your ujjayi pranayama. If not, proceed.
3. Am I actually the instructor in the room or is it someone else’s job to concern themselves with anyone other than herself? If not, take a big deep inhale, pause, reflect on your need to assert yourself in places you may not belong, then let it all go in one big whoosh out your mouth. If yes, proceed.
4. Am I remembering the core tenants of a safe, non-harming, non-judgmental yoga practice that keeps in mind the ultimate guru is one’s own body, one’s own needs, and that yoga is done from within, not from comparing oneself to how other people look? If yes, persist with the gentle care and compassion you were taught with to assist the person in need. If no, meditate on that for a mo’.
This PSA brought to you safely after being rewritten twice after a cat malfunction. Yes, cat malfunction: my flea infested, worm infested, giardia infested, yeast infected, herpes infected adopted kitten leapt on the keyboard during the first draft and some how managed to delete the whole post. (A separate rant about how much money I have hemorrhaged for this poor sick sweet post deleting baby will likely follow next week).
I like to think this one is more succinct for having had to have been rewritten. Perhaps I will invite her to pull such a move on me in future writing projects.
Or perhaps you will see a PSA letter dedicated to Daisy next week.