Today after my morning class, a 40ish woman came huffing through the door. “I’m here for the basic 2 class.” I explained that the class was cancelled about a month ago when I took over as it did not accommodate my work schedule. I directed her toward other basic 2 classes on the studio flyer.”Do you have anything more advanced, she asked, because I’m an advanced student.”
I’m in no position to make any type of judgements on what exactly “advanced” is in Yoga, so I directed her to the open practice on Saturday where students do their own practice. If she were advanced, she would surely have her own practice. She back tracked and said “I’m more “advanced” than “basic,” but I’m not ready to do my own practice.”
Our studio only goes up to Intermediate 2. To be in that class, you need prior approval from the co-directors. That isn’t to be elitist, but for safety issues, as Salamba Sirsasana (supported head pose or headstand) and variations like Parivritta Eka Pada Sirsasana (see above) are practiced in the middle of the room for up to 10 minutes without support.
I educated her on the levels our studio offers: “Basic 1 classes do not have any inversions but work on standing poses and fundamentals, and Basic 2 classes introduce Salmaba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand),” I said. She mulled it over for a moment, and did not seem to know what shoulder stand was even though I gave her the translation. She asked “do you use props?”
Unless she was closing her eyes when she walked in the room, she would have noticed our rope walls, bolsters, blankets, blocks, back bending bench, etc. etc. “Yes we use props, have you ever heard of Iyengar yoga?” I said in the most straight faced way I could ask. She hadn’t, but would have if she would have read the large sign outside the studio, or see the many logos on in the studio that clearly said “Iyengar yoga.”
I gave her the schedule flyer and invited her to my lowly Basic 1 class. She exited quickly and probably won’t come back. Who would want to go to a studio that isn’t advanced?