Be A Yoga Slut

A couple of years ago, I was a total yoga slut. I would take class from any teacher who taught at my go-to studio. Soon enough, there was no teacher left on the roster who I hadn’t yet experienced. I was proud of this knowledge. I felt worldly in that I possessed knowledge of who lived up to the hype and who didn’t.

Chances are if you take from well-known teachers, you are used to their absences as they teach workshops afar or abroad. This leads me to the dreaded subject of subs. There’s nothing worse than having a stressful day, expecting that you’ll restore some bliss at your usual class, only to find out – either in advance online or at the moment you enter the studio – that a sub is teaching!

You have a few options:
a) Don’t do yoga. Your teacher’s hiatus is your hiatus.
b) Google the hell out of the sub to see if you want to take their class. Check their website, credentials, and photos while you’re at it.
c) Take class from the sub.
d) (If you didn’t know in advance) Run out of the studio before the sub sees you – as fast as you can if you happen to know him or her.

The answer is alway C, right? Unfortunately, as we become experienced yogis, we sometimes become jaded yogis. It’s ironic how inflexible we become. We have our usual teachers because we know that they consistently deliver, and we cast subs off as wild cards. But regardless of whether a sub is good or bad, they always have something unique to offer: their point-of-view. It’s important to experience different perspectives in yoga so that we don’t turn into clones of our teachers. A sub might offer a different cue or access point that your usual teacher would not be able to offer.

The teacher should never be more important than the practice. As much as we love our teachers, it’s important not to get attached to them. It’s only natural to have a preference for certain teachers, but they shouldn’t be the catalyst for your practice. Maintaining a non-attached practice is important because God-forbid if your teacher moves away, you wouldn’t be left high and dry.

So, when it comes to who you’ll practice with, be promiscuous. You’ll be all the wiser for it.

-The Humble Warrior

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6 thoughts on “Be A Yoga Slut

  1. Thanks for your post! While there’s a lot to say about yoga systems (e.g. Astanga) where you follow a set sequence, these traditions of yoga have one good thing about them: they’re not depending on the teacher. I sometimes feel that in vinyasa flow classes, teachers try to out-do themselves in terms of creativity, some offer free neck and foot massages at the end of class, anything to make the students come back, where it should be the practice that attracts them, no?

    • That’s a great point! That’s one good thing about Ashtanga or Bikram practices in that the focus is on the sequence. I do agree that sometimes teachers can get a little carried away when they try to differentiate themselves a little too much from the crowd.

  2. nadinefawell says:

    This post made me think: I am, I suspect, a yoga slut in recovery. Why in recovery, you ask? It’s the injuries and limitations. They’ve forced me to be careful about who I trust with my body. I’m still not great at telling teachers to back off so I need a teacher who is well-trained and will let me modify the practice as I need without humiliating me…

    Interesting points about the fixed systems though.

    Oh, and, I have been doing a bit of slutting lately, but with FAB teachers. Not completely recovered, it seems! Humble Warrior, you are so right. If people only go to one teacher, they only get one point of view.

    Savasana addict, if you know where the free foot massages are going, please let me know 😛

    • Hey Nadine! I know what you mean. Some teachers are so nit-picky about getting people into the “right” pose and can cause more harm than good. Glad you been slutting w/ FAB teachers as well! lol

  3. I’m a total yoga slut – I will go to any studio running a LivingSocial or Groupon deal! I have a favorite studio, but they just raised their prices, so it might be goodbye to them…

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