I've been in a yoga rut lately.
Everyone in my house has been sick, we've actually been invited out to places (!), my mother visited from NYC...and it's been difficult to get to class everyday, so I've been practicing a lot at home. Which generally isn't hard for me except when the kids are screaming, guests are arriving for dinner parties and there are other things demanding my attention.
But today, I set my alarm, hauled my ass out of bed waaay before anyone woke up and went my favorite hot yoga studio. My "home" studio you might say. The place where I really fell in love with yoga and how it can make me feel. The place where I've gotten some great thinking done on the mat. The place that hipsters go and that has fancy studios with bamboo floors. It felt like it was going to be a sort of homecoming.
And the class got off to a good start. I mean, we had to do Awkward Pose (hate!), but it was early on, so at least it was out of the way. But then the teacher set us up for Dolphin Plank Pose...and I just don't do Dolphin Plank Pose. I hate it. I am not successful at it and I just didn't feel like fighting with myself today. So I did High Plank (and a kick ass one at that) instead.
"Why didn't you do Dolphin Plank?" the teacher asked me as we all lowered down to the mat.
At first, I was flustered. Did she really want to hear that I spent the night before last in the emergency room with both kids, worrying that Oliver had a serious head injury and that Felix had some unidentifiable rash suddenly covering most of his body? That I haven't slept through the night in over two weeks? That we actually accepted an invitation to go have drinks at the house of some friends last night, only to watch our two kids rip the place apart and cause me untold stress? No, I doubt it.
"I just prefer it," I said. And she rolled her eyes at me.
"There are a lot of poses I wish I didn't have to do," she said, lifting up her chin and voice so it was clear she was addressing the whole class. "But we come here to just do them and reap the benefits. For instance, I don't really like Chair Pose but--"
But nothing. I totally tuned out her and her judgmental comments disguised as "teaching." I KNOW when I'm not giving it my all. And after 182 days of putting my body (and my family) through this, I know when and what I need to modify. It's not that I still don't need guidance, correction or encouragement, I absolutely do! But this morning, I just got the feeling that the teacher pegged me as lazy and unmotivated when she knows nothing about me.
Of course, I am most certainly guilty of doing the same at various points in my life. But hopefully my experience today will help me be more sensitive to my mistakes. And in the end, I was there, I was working (High Plank! Not a latte break!), I was modifying to fit my body...and isn't that what one's practice is supposed to be all about?