Thoughts From My Yoga Mat – Today I Did Something I Never Thought I’d Do…

Today I did something I never thought I’d do.  I walked out of a yoga class.

Thoughts From My Yoga MatLet’s back up a little…a few weeks ago I had booked a Thai Yoga Massage for myself, it’s something I’ve always wanted to try and I’ve been looking forward to it all week!  Even when a few friends decided a couple of days ago to head to Boston today for what sounded like a great yoga event, I decided to not go and keep my appointment – I was really looking forward to it!

Unfortunately I stepped out of the shower this morning to a text from the massage therapist saying she had to cancel. Seriously, less than an hour before my appointment?!?  (AND via text?)  I was pretty annoyed given how much I had been looking forward to it.  Now I had no Thai Yoga Massage AND it was too late to join my friends for the event in Boston.

I decided to try to make the best of my day and saw there was a yoga class right in town I could still make – at least I’d be able to get on my mat, relax and try to let my frustration over my ruined day go.

I’ve always believed that there is no such thing as a “bad yoga class”, that it’s all a matter of personal preference.  Well, let’s just say this teacher certainly challenged that belief.

The best way I can describe it is Fran Drescher from The Nanny as an aerobics instructor who just happened to decide to teach yoga today.

She blasted aerobics appropriate music and spent the whole class yelling.  Her instructions were impossible to follow, I kept having to look around to figure out what we were supposed to be doing (and if I as a yoga teacher couldn’t follow, I have no idea what others were thinking!).

Within the first 5 minutes of the class I knew this wasn’t going to be the relaxing release I was looking for, but I decided to do my best to look past her teaching style and to focus on my own practice (which was quite difficult when every 2 minutes she’d literally scream “BREATHE!” like she was trying to revive a drowning victim).

I lasted 45 minutes.

Throughout the class my frustration continued to build.

I have never felt like this in a yoga class ever, I literally wanted to jump out of my own skin and just scream!

Now I was not only frustrated about my canceled massage appointment and missing the event in Boston, but I was furious that I was wasting my time and my money on this ridiculous class!  (Honestly, it was so weird that I actually wondered if we were on some sort of reality show and they wanted to see how people would react to it!)

My original thought was to just stick it out, partially because as a fellow yoga teacher it felt like the respectful thing to do.

Then I remembered something I tell my students in my own yoga classes all the time…

Listen to your own body.  Respect what your body is telling you is or is not working for it today.  If there’s a pose or a sequence that I offer or suggest that feels like it’s not serving you in a positive way feel free to skip it and do something that DOES work for you.

I think it’s safe to say this class was not serving me in a positive way.

In fact, it was doing the exact OPPOSITE of what I hoped to get out of the class today.

So with 15 minutes left in the class, I quietly rolled up my mat and left.

On my way out the girl at the front desk asked if everything was ok, I told her I was fine and that I just needed to leave a few minutes early.

The minute I walked out the door I finally was able to breathe and begin to try to relax myself.

As momentarily awkward as it was to roll up my mat and leave before the class was over, I know it was the right thing for me to do.

Now, on to salvage the rest of my day!

Have you ever walked out of a class?

Would you if you felt like it was actually doing more bad than good?


22 thoughts on “Thoughts From My Yoga Mat – Today I Did Something I Never Thought I’d Do…

  1. Sorry you had such a bad “yoga day.” I thought I would try to make you smile by telling you I had to look up who “Fran Drescher from The Nanny” was? 🙂

  2. You probably should have left earlier….and you should have told the person at the desk why you were leaving, they can’t make it better or fix it if they don’t know what’s wrong. at least you know where NOT to recommend!

    • I don’t know that there’s anything to “fix” – for all I know some people love her class! Just wasn’t like any yoga class I’ve ever experienced!

  3. I give you a lot of credit to do what was best for you and not worry about what anyone else thought.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Good for leaving. It wasn’t helping at all if you wanted to relax and just kept getting frustrated. I can’t imagine Fran Drescher as a yoga instructor.

  5. Sorry for your bad yoga day! Which is the antithesis of what yoga is supposed to be. First, I love the Thai yoga massage ~ what a bummer. I’m always interested in other peoples business practices so the cancelation by text is poor form. Even if something came up and it couldn’t be helped a phone call is in order. Especially, if you want the customers to return. Unfortunately, many people think this is an appropriate way to handle business, which it is not.

    As far as walking out of a yoga class ~ I’ve never done it. I’ve had some teachers that weren’t my cup of tea but never to the point I needed to walk out. As a yoga teacher myself I think it’s important to read the students.

    Would I walk out ~ sure if it was too crazy yes. Looks like you showed class by just saying you needed to leave early. What you don’t say speaks volumes. Namaste.

    • I agree, I thought the cancelation by text was quite unprofessional, I would have appreciated a call and a bit more of an apology for such last minute notice!

      And I didn’t want to say anything at the front desk about why I left because like I said, to each their own! For all I know she’s someone’s favorite teacher, it just (really!) wasn’t for me!

  6. I think you did great all things considered, I’ve got lots of overlapping options for things lately, and if one was cancelled last minute I’d be disappointed too, hopefully she gives you a little extra care when you are able to do it. Also, good call on not telling the front desk girl, I usually over share, but who knows, maybe another day you’d want something high energy and it would work for you?

  7. What a bummer! I’ve never walked out of a yoga class, but I’ve definitely had classes that were not serving me the way I would have liked in the moment (had a teacher who played exclusively Elvis tunes and had a very brash way of speaking). Kudos to you for knowing what you needed and removing yourself from a stressful situation.

    • Yes, brash or jarring would be exactly how I’d describe her teaching! It’s not ever something I thought I’d do, but leaving that class was definitely what I needed to do for myself at that moment.

  8. I was thinking about you and this post last night — I was invited to try a “yoga for runners” class at a local PT/rehab office, so I thought sure, why not. Though the class was clearly geared towards beginners, this was not my problem with it — I often take the “Rookie Yoga” class at my regular studio when I want a simpler, low-key class. Now, I’m not a yoga instructor or anything, but this was the first time I’ve questioned a yoga instructor’s knowledge during a class. We awkwardly moved from pose to pose with no flow or logical transitions. She also named several of the poses incorrectly — she was telling us to do “warrior one” while demonstrating crescent lunge, for example. I basically felt uncomfortable and awkward, and spent the whole class wishing I had gone to my regular studio instead. At least it was free!

  9. Ugh. This sounds horrifying. I know it’s not the same, but I’ve totally been tempted to walk out of my Thai/Taekwondo classes. Lots of times, actually. When the instructor clearly isn’t the right “fit” for a particular activity — or, for your personal needs — it really can make for a crappy experience…and your “me” time is pretty much ruined. Sounds like you made the right call in ducking out early!

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