Back in Stockholm I have an amazing yoga teacher. S is humble, teaches well and encourages us to own our practice, including doing variations or even different poses if we have the need to or for some other purpose wants to do so. This is key in his teaching and I agree with it and have incorporated that also when I am taking classes for other teachers.

Together with my friend K we decided to go to a community yoga centre in Neukölln here in Berlin. I have done yoga for a while but I still feel like a beginner, it was K:S first time. The place came highly recommended, although I saw on Facebook that someone posted that some of the teachers had a bad attitude, little did I know how right that person was.

The studio looked just what I would expect from a Berlin yoga studio, wooden floors, a fire place, white painted bricks and huge windows which let in so much spring light. It was a beginners class but I could see K and other beginners struggle since the teacher was not very precis about left and right, positioning of the feed and other key elements. I did pretty ok due to my previous experience. At the end of the class he did something unexpected; he tried to teach this class of beginners, who could not do proper ujjayi breathing, The Crow. The crow is one of those poses I cannot do. I either fall or hurt my knees so I decided to do a simple headstand instead. It looks advanced but I learned the basis of that in 10 minutes a few years back.

crow

The Crow

I went up, felt strong and concentrated and I went down to catch my breath. And on my way up for my second headstand I felt a finger poking my butt, it was the teacher. I lost my concentration and went down heavier than usually, still not falling, please note.

The teacher in a harsh voice: That is inappropriate. If you don’t wanna do a position, do child’s pose.

And then he went back to the front of the class and continued in his normal soft voice. Needless to say, I was furious. First, you do not interrupt while someone is super concentrated unless you pose a danger to yourself or others. Second, you do not call anyone’s practice “inappropriate”. What does that even mean? I was not naked, I did not have a boner, I did not drool over the hot guy in front of me (only inside my head). Third, if you feel like correcting someone for breaking some community rule not being communicated anywhere, do it after class in private.

I left the yoga centre in anger, and decided to find another centre. Which I did, a centre with only gay men. To be continued…

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