I happened into a yoga practice in my home studio in Nashville a few weeks back. It was a small class, about 6 people total - including the teacher.
There were a couple of travelers in the class, so the crew of studio regulars was four - again, including the teacher.
One of the traveling yogis was clearly advanced in her practice. She had all the moves. She had a strong and impressive practice. It was no where in step with what the rest of the class was doing. As the teacher guided us through a well thought out series of poses, this traveling yogi powered her way through her own sequence. The rest of us were spending time in down dog and warrior poses, while this visiting yogi gracefully moved her body through more advanced postures - at her own pace. It was much faster than the class. It was clearly more challenging than what the teacher had planned for the day.
Here's the thing. That yogi, in her own un-noticing way distracting from the practice of everyone else in the room. It seemed to me to be more about, "This isn't quite what I want, so I'ma do my own thing." Which is okay, I guess. But ....
I've had a notion for several years now the yoga gives as good as it gets. When I stumble into a less-challenging class when I'm wanting a more power-filled practice, I try to take the poses the teacher calls and explore them in a way that I find engaging.
When you visit a studio in another town, try to notice that there are other people in the room. Try to respect the teacher who's put their valuable time and energy into creating a sequence for the day. If it's not exactly what you're looking for - maybe take the energy to explore the poses and postures offered by the teacher in a more challenging way.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: If you have a strong practice. A solid practice. Free of ego. You can take the sequence offered and enjoy it with the other people in the class. If you are insecure. If you are compelled by ego. You can move through your own sequence at your own pace, but you're likely missing some of the benefits of a group practice. You're also quite possibly infusing your lack of joy into the room.
Notice. Just notice.
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