This post came about after a discussion last night between Azmi and some of my fellow practitioners.
Your regular teacher is away and you still want to go for your yoga class knowing that the class will be taught by a replacement teacher whose class you have already been to and have never enjoyed. You feel yourself getting agitated in the class as you don’t like the way the poses are being taught and wish you were somewhere else. What do you do?
There are two choices here...1. You can leave the class or 2. You can stay.
During the discussion, it was agreed that it is better to excuse yourself and leave the class as you are showing respect both to your body and to the teacher by letting him or her know that you feel the class is not suitable for you. If you choose to stay in the class but shows your displeasure by fidgeting around and are reluctant to do the poses, you are disturbing the other practitioners as well as causing more harm to your body.
After giving it some thought, my response is to come back to our intention of why we came for the class in the first place. If you already know that you will not like the way the replacement teacher is going to teach the class, why did you come to the class? If your intention is to have a workout or just because you have already paid for the class, it would have been better not to come to the class as you are setting yourself up for disappointment when your expectations are not met.
However, if your intention is to have a yoga practice, it is even more pertinent that you stay in the class. By staying, it will allow you to work on issues with yourself as yoga teaches us to deal with our emotions. As we find and go back into our own centers, we begin to take more responsibility for the anger, criticism, judgments and expectations we project onto others. We learn to take a step back and open our minds to new possibilities and along the way, we might learn something new from the class; be it a new technique to go into the pose or just a change in our attitude.