Q: I have had my own home practice for about 6 years now. I once studied under a teacher for about 6 months, but after she left, I went back to my home practice.
I feel very comfortable in my own space here at home and unlike what others may have found about practicing at home, I am very dedicated and resist all distractions. I practice an hour to an hour and a half every day, with a variety of styles of yoga, from hatha to kundalini to flow to yin to ISHTA- just whatever I am feeling that day.
My question is: I am feeling the need to bond and connect with other yoginis, but yet, I am worried about joining in a class setting. At home, I don't worry about being competitive with others or feeling foolish if I fall out of a pose. I know I could certainly use the practical knowledge of a qualified teacher to asess my postures, but how can I get over my fear of feeling like I won't be to 'measure up' in a class?
A: Oh dearest home-bound. You are an impressive yogini. Many people struggle with carving out a home practice and you're a beautiful example of dedication to it. However, now it is time to wean you off the exclusive home practice and get you in with a group of yogis that can become a great community for you. Here are a few tips:
* Ask for teacher referrals.
* Look for a flexible schedule and offerings unless your routine/lifestyle is regimented.
* Find a teacher that assists during classes and doesn't practice with you the whole time on the mat. Class time is for a teacher to teach, not practice.
* Research online for a yoga community that resonates with you. Review their website, mission, class offerings, style, and overall feel to ensure it works for you.
We all fall over in class. It's the fun of it. Let go of any concerns surrounding not keeping up with the Jones'. I know, easier said than done but if you attend a class at your level, you'll be surrounded by like-bodied yogis. Approach your practice with an attitude of reverence and surrender feelings of judgment. This is your special time to connect within, focus on you, and release the outside world.
Your desire to connect with other yogis is powerful. It's great to find a community that you'd enjoy mingling with off the mat, also. I hope these few tips help get you off the home mat and into a studio at least once a week. Start small and gradually increase if you're loving the camaraderie! Good luck and keep me posted.