Tried Yoga. Didn’t Like it Because…..

So as part of The Year of Hope, I’m trying new things. Yoga happens to be one of them.  My friend and amazing Windy City Social advocate, Beth Goldman, recommended 105f, a place on Clark, just south of Diversey.  I did my research and got the following tips about my first class:

  • Bring your own mat and towel
  • Don’t wear make-up or jewelry
  • Drink LOTS of water during the class

So with two water bottles, a yoga mat and my “Don’t Drink and Text” beach towel in hand, I headed out on a new adventure.

I got to the studio and had a really great conversation with the teacher as well as the person at the front desk. I told them that I had never tried yoga before and they assured me that the class I was about to take was for beginners.  So cool, I thought and mentioned that I might just stay for the first hour – and see how it goes.  They told me to plan on staying for the whole time; even if I just laid there because opening the door lets the cold air in (I was taking a hot yoga class)

I figured I’d play along and paid $29 which was the special rate for the first month of classes.  I believe after that its $110 a month and other packages are also available.

I asked about lockers and they said there’s a dressing room where you can hang your stuff, but no lockers — REALLY? In Chicago?  No lockers?  So I took my valuables and walked into the HOT room and was greeted by a filled class of people who looked pretty fit laying on the floor. I set-up camp next to someone who looked as if she had just about my same body type, but that wasn’t the norm.  The majority of the class was filled with skinny, fit men and women who looked like they didn’t have an ounce of fat on them.  Yes, I was intimidated.

LONG story (90 minutes to be exact) short, I did what I could and was disappointed that the class wasn’t as beginner as I expected.  The room was PACKED and people say fantastic things about the place but as a beginner, I was frustrated for a few reasons:

  1. These moves were not beginner moves.  Or if  they were, I really need pre-beginner moves or some sort of Richard Simmons adaptations
  2. The instructor just gave direction from the front of the room.  Since I’m new at this, I’d really like to make sure I’m doing things correctly – She did call out to me a few times when I was really doing things wrong. But I feel like form is so important, I don’t want to learn the wrong way and hurt myself.
  3. The whole “no leaving” thing was very hard.   I actually did dash out to get water. I went through 32 ounces in the first 45 minutes and figured the cost benefit of letting cold air into the room vs. me passing out was in my favor.

So I decided that yoga, or at least this studio was not for me.   Some of the moves did make me feel good, but I knew I needed a bit more direction so I asked the woman at the front desk if there was a more basic level class that taught total basics and she said, “No.” So, I asked if I could just pay the single class rate of $15 since I wouldn’t be coming back.

Then the teacher, who had come up to the desk, chimed in, “Well you just have to apply yourself or you’re never going to learn.”  Guess what?  That REALLY Ticked me off!!!

It’s not a matter of me applying myself, IT’S A MATTER OF MY BODY NOT MOVING THE WAY IT NEEDS TO MOVE TO GET INTO THOSE POSITIONS.

Which is why I was asking if there was a SUPER basic class.  Trying yoga again wouldn’t be that bad, but I truly need a studio that has a basic class where I can learn moves that help to build whatever yoga muscles you need to build.  Would love recommendations regarding places to go.


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2 Responses to “Tried Yoga. Didn’t Like it Because…..”

  1. Hi Hope. I stumbled across this post while googling something else (serendipity!), and wanted to offer some encouragement. As a long-time yoga practitioner and teacher, I can tell you that there are many different kinds of yoga, which is great but can certainly make it difficult for a beginner to find what they’re looking for. It’s unfortunate that the style you tried was not a good fit for your needs or interests. If you still want to experience the benefits of a yoga practice, however, let me assure you that there’s bound to be a good fit for you somewhere in Chicago!

    Since you specifically mentioned wanting to know that you are doing things properly and safely, I would highly suggest looking for a style/class/teacher that is “alignment-based”. That means that there is an emphasis on form and the teacher should know how to offer modifications of poses to suit individual students’ needs. These are generally considered safe classes. Anything that has an emphasis on “flow” will be more about moving around a lot, and less about doing each movement properly. It’s apples and oranges in the big fruit basket of yoga.

    Specific styles that might interest you are Purna Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, or even something like Anusara or Viniyoga. I have a colleague who teaches Purna Yoga in Chicago, so I know that it’s available! Also, you can look up teachers/studios on the Yoga Alliance directory or Yoga Journal directory.

    Best of luck in your year of hope. I hope that you consider giving yoga another chance, because the right fit can really enhance your life.

    Best wishes,
    Arya Pretlow, CPYI, E-RYT 500

  2. Thanks Arya. Still haven’t added Yoga to the mix, but I’m open to trying again.