1. Hello, yogis! I haven't seen this thread updated in a while...

    I am taking a break from my regular studio and going to do a trial week elsewhere...intuitively, I know that I will be leaving my current studio (where I have a 6 month contract) for a different place. I might stay longer than my 6 month contract, but I don't see myself being there for more than 1-2 years (and 2 years is really pushing it). Not because I don't like my current studio (I actually LOVE it), but I know I'm not going grow if I stay there forever. Has anyone ever stayed with a studio for several years? Because I don't think I've found my studio yet, and I'm not sure if there is one that I will ever call "home", if that makes sense. I'm actually looking forward to trying out this new one because apparently the classes offer advanced modifications, which I can learn from...not saying that I'll be able to do any of them, lol.

    I have to say, that even though I know yoga is a spiritual journey and we're not expected to learn every asana right away, I sometimes get disappointed/frustrated, especially with inversions. I would love to take an intermediate/advanced class, but I feel like I can't because I haven't mastered forearm stands and handstands yet. I get arm balances fairly well (I can do ones like peacock and hummingbird) as well as backbends and headstands/shoulderstands, but I can't seem to balance myself on handstands/forearm stands. Now that I think about it, I knew how to do side crow way before I knew how to do a headstand...inversions just don't come naturally to me. Any tips? I think in the meantime, I'm going to stick with beginner/intermediate classes or all-levels classes for now. :-/
  2. I practice at different studios. I have not found a yoga home either. I did recently find a studio (through Groupon) that I really like. It's far from my home (30 min and there are many studios much closer to my house). I like the vibe and feel of the studio, but oddly enough, I have taken classes with 3 different teachers there and haven't found "the one" either.

    Have you ever considered taking a private session with a teacher to help with inversions? When I wanted to master headstand, I paid for a private session and it helped a lot. Also, are there workshops in your area? Perhaps you can find one that specializes in inversions.

    Yoga Sutra 1-14 reminds us to practice persistently, consistently and with enthusiasm :smile:
  3. I continue to practice at the same studio where I started learning yoga a dozen years ago. I've been around to other places, tried all kinds of yoga styles yet I still find that no other place is a yoga home to me like the place where I started.

    Inversions is not easy for everyone. There are some fellow practioners whove been trying for years and still havent made it upside down till now. Part of it is also psychological. At where I practice they offer an inversion course over 5 weeks walking students through step by step and various prep poses before going upside down. What does help if ou are in a studio with props assisting you, ie belts blanket blocks, with these apparatus and a step by step approach you might find yourself progressing with confidence.
  4. Thanks for the replies...I've been looking for an inversion workshop, but so far, no luck. :-/

    One thing I don't like about my studio is that most of the time I don't get to practice handstands/forearm stands during class. Forearm stands I've only had been able to practice once in all the classes I've been to. Handstand practice is offered more often, but of course it is not the main focus...and sometimes we are asked to practice without the wall, and I'm definitely not ready to do that (I've already flipped over doing a forearm stand and it is very scary). I've been finding myself mainly practicing on my own....

    Now that you mention it, I'll definitely consider getting a private lesson for these two poses because I feel like that's what's holding me back from advancing in my practice. Private lessons are very cheap in my studio (only $39 for one hour), so I guess it won't hurt....
  5. I paid $100 for a 1 hour private session. It was well worth it.

    Also, as Jadeite mentioned, inversions are challenging and scary for most people, myself included. Many teachers do not include inversions like headstand, etc in their classes. I don't teach those asanas in my beginning classes. In the open level, I offer yogis choice- headstand, shoulder stand or legs up the wall.

    One thing to keep in mind (and I say this in all my classes) is that the teacher is a guide. I would never, ever say not to do hand or head stand in the middle of the room. Heck, I even make the suggestion for my students to do tree against the wall. As soon as I make that suggestion, at least one student goes to the wall. The wall is there as a prop and can make us feel safe and secure. In time, with practice, I hope the student feels more confident to practice these asanas without wall support, but if they don't, that is perfectly fine too.

    I once fell over in headstand in the middle of the room. It took me over a year to feel comfortable to practice it again, much longer than it took me to recover from my injury. Also, ever since the recent NY Times article and William J. Broad's book, many teachers and students have been reluctant to practice inversions. I'm not saying that is the case in your situation, but just offering another perspective.

    Please keep us posted with your journey. Namaste :smile:
  6. Bernz, i agree with Judie, a couple of private lessons will be well worth it. with the right teacher. Over here at our studios privates are over $120/hour...

    sometimes i feel, with the masses of "yoga teachers" out there (no offense), some of them may not have sufficient experience or be properly qualified. They may not know how to teach these complex poses correctly or, at least, know how to approach these poses correctly. Thus when these poses are not taught in class because the teachers don't know how, the students rarely get a chance to practice. Or more often, are just told to "go do it". That's scary for any beginner. good luck.
  7. #1282 Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
    Thanks for the tips! I'm seriously considering getting private lessons with an Ashtanga instructor in my area. It costs $100 for one hour. I've heard good things about her and the studio she teaches at.

    I took a Yin/Yang fusion class last night at the other studio I'm trying out for the week. I liked the instructor and the Yang was definitely challenging (we got to play with arm balances and headstands! :biggrin: I was really happy about the headstand part because I almost never do headstands for long periods within a Vinyasa sequence) but the Yin aspect was disappointing. Ironically, I've found that the only class that is closest to "Yin" is CorePower's CoreRestore class (not sure if anyone has heard of CorePower, but it's a yoga chain)...I paid to do a drop in one day and the teacher knew exactly what Yin was and how to teach it. I don't do CorePower though, mainly because I don't find their Power Vinyasa classes very challenging...but their CoreRestore/Yin class is great!

    But anyway, I'm really excited to try out the rest of my trial week. I felt very challenged with the two teachers I've had so far. The approach is so different from what I'm used to at my other studio (whom I've been with for about 2 months already), although I'm thinking I just got used to the teaching styles of the instructors I've had.

    And Jadeite, I completely agree with the masses comment. I feel very conflicted with the whole certification/Teacher Training that's so prevalent in the yoga community. I'm not going to delve into my opinions as it can get very PI (I already get into sparring wars with my real life friends over this matter, lol), but it's also another reason why I don't see myself with my studio for more than 2 years (if I even stay that long).
  8. Hey everyone! Good to hear that you are thinking about making a change in yoga studios;it might be refreshing!
    I am getting ready for my trip tomorrow and I think I might pack a book of poses to take with me or a dvd... I will be busy, but I would like to get some exercise in.
  9. so true! It takes years of regular practice to become a good teacher - it certainly takes a lot more than a teacher training course! Also I find a lot of drop-in classes are a little 'fluffy'. In order to do inversions properly a certain practice consistency and core strength is essential. So inversions are unsuitable for casual classes where people come and go and maybe only do yoga when there is nothing good on tv;) Anyone based in London pm me and I can suggest some decent places for yoga.
  10. Does anyone practice Kundalini Yoga? On Monday night, I took a class in honor of my friend's birthday. I blogged about my experience. It was interesting, very different from vinyasa (what I typically practice).

    My local studio offers Kundalini; I will probably take a class soon.
  11. i tried a few classes, but it's not my cup of tea. Yes, it's VERY different from vinyasa.
  12. Okay everyone…I *think* I got forearm stand down…I put *think* because I still find myself flipping over, BUT…I tried it out yesterday on the grass and I was able to lift myself up!!! I took advice from a friend and an instructor (as well as practice near a couch as opposed to the wall)…so far it’s been working and I’ve been able to perform this pose randomly. I even tried it this morning, and got myself up without issue, lol. I kinda have a feeling of where my hips and weight are supposed to be, so I'm understanding it better....hopefully in a short time (not going to put a definite timeline on this one) I will be able to fully get into it. :biggrin: I didn’t get private lessons, but an instructor said that it’s best to keep your focus between your two thumbs…I didn’t realize how helpful this was!

    Handstands are still a work in progress but I’m finding it easier when I try to grip my fingers onto the ground, if that makes sense. I think I may get private lessons from this Ashtanga instructor (she charges $100 per hour, but she's REALLY good).

    Yesterday was my last day with the other studio. It was okay, but I don’t think I’ll end up going to them. I can’t make most of their good classes (i.e., intermediate-friendly) and the other classes that are available for me were too easy or too difficult. I took an advanced class a couple nights ago under the impression it was an intermediate class with advanced modifications…I was so wrong! The class was extremely difficult and I could barely do less than half of it. It was fun, but I don’t think I’d be ready for it until another year or so. Plus the studio is way too far from where I live and kinda pricey compared to my current studio. *sigh* Oh, well, it was a great experience!

    Oh, I do have a question…my friend (who has been helping me with the forearm stand) is selling his unused Manduka ProLite and offered it to me first before he sells it on craigslist. I haven’t bought my Yogitoes towel, but he told me he didn’t like Yogitoes…he said he slipped too much when he used them (and he has two of them). However, he also says he slips on his Manduka Pro and he’s had it for a year (and he uses it pretty regularly). He likes Jade better but the Manduka has a warranty….

    I’m debating on whether or not I should buy his mat…he is offering me a discount, but then I am going back and forth with it just like I did several posts ago here…argh…
  13. bernz, it's great news you're learning to balance in inversions but have you considered doing the forearm balance with the wall behind you? it will rescue you from flipping over and injuring your back. using the wall is pretty secure and until you can balance with stability it will be a lot of help to you.

    i use a yogitoes on top of a manduka lite. but for all inversions i always take away the yogitoes as the chances of slipping on the yogitoes are higher. the manduka is pretty solid for inversions, there are 2 sides a rougher side and a smoother side. use the side that suits you best during your practice.
  14. Thanks! Actually, I would prefer doing it against the wall, but I only do it when my roommate is away...I don't have a lot of wall space and I feel like I bug her when I hit my feet against the wall (the acoustics in the house are terrible).

    I stay closer to the couch and I land on the cushier side so I don't hurt my spine/back. So far, so good. And thanks for the Manduka tips; I'm really considering buying his cherry mat. My gaiam is good, but it's starting to wear...and when we lie on our backs, it's thin and it hurts my back too much. :sad: