Tammy and the Great Yoga Burn Out
Once upon a time there was a girl named Tammy. One of the best yoga teachers in the world opened up a yoga studio right down the street from Tammy's house. Tammy hears that yoga is the happening thing. Madonna and Sting do it. It is how celebrities loose baby weight. Whats not to love!!
Tammy purchased her Manuduka mat, monthly unlimited auto draft studio membership, a couple of Lululemon outfits, a Yogitoe and a BPA free water bottle. She is ready to go. She is super strong. She does not want to be spoon fed. She wants it now. Tammy looks at the schedule. She picks two of the most challenging classes to start with; Hot Yoga and Primary Series Ashtanga Led. Tammy nods her head as the teacher talks about modifications, taking your time and child's pose but she is not listening. She just did a half marathon & that does not apply to her. She finds the story of Pattabhi Jois quaint, sweet and colorful. Who cares if he taught one pose at a time, she is going to rock this Led primary and she can't wait to try led secondary.
As weeks progress, she has sets her mind on handstand, jump backs, jump throughs, & full lotus. She will absolutely do the full version of all the poses. No matter how jagged her breath or how many stars spin in front of her eyes, she will not take child's pose or modifications.
After giving Ashtanga a go for awhile, tweaking a muscle and still not being able to do jump throughs, jump backs and full lotus, she determines that it is the devil and must not be for her. Her teacher tells her to practice Mysore style & focus on breathing & proper technique but she is not interested in memorizing a sequence or practicing on her own. The self deprecating moments she has as she watches the 90 pound girl beside her, who just started last week, effortlessly float through poses is not something she wants to deal with. It is absolutely Ashtanga's fault that she limps a little bit when she walks.
To take her mind off of Ashtanga, she arranges her schedule to take a few more Hot classes a week. The heat masks the fact that she still limps when she walks so the hotter the better. That way, she can't feel the pain in her body or mind. Hotter,Harder, Faster, Stronger. That is the way to go. The classes soon replace her workouts. She notices that she is still limping a bit. She asks a teacher what to do and is told to slow down ,to focus on alignment & **gasp*** even consider taking a break from physical yoga. Perhaps she should focus on meditation and pranayama for awhile to quiet her mind & speed healing. Tammy mentally reminds herself to avoid that teacher's classes because that person is definitely not for her. She is totally glad she did because, score for yoga, her limp goes away! Then a few months later, she injures her shoulder. It is definitely Chaturanga's fault. Hotter, harder, faster, stronger....but with a few less Chaturangas. She heals that and hurts something else.
She continues to come to class and notices people who started at the same time as her, are surpassing her in strength and flexibility. She still can't do that handstand. To take the focus off her own issues and thoughts, she starts to focus on everything that is wrong about each teacher, class and the studio as a whole. She is almost positive she saw the 9:15AM instructor smoking a cigarette outside of Wal-Mart and the 11AM instructor is definitely sleeping with the 12:30 PM instructor. The 1PM instructor talks too much. Terry already knows how to get into poses & who cares about the Yoga Sutras . The 4PM instructor makes her hold poses way too long. That is for beginners. Advanced students do it hotter, faster, stronger. She searches for the teachers & classes that make her feel good about her conflicted thoughts & behaviors and avoids those who make her face them. Her favorite teachers just call out the poses & the choreography is masterful. This works for her. The cool kids are starting to talk about Cross Fit. There is one opening down the street. As her current choreography based teacher starts to mess up yoga class with talk of breathing and meditation, the cross fit class is starting to sound real good.....
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