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Friday, October 20, 2006

Not So Tranquil Space

It's been a long time coming but I think I am going to divorce my yoga studio. I've been a faithful customer for several years, at times attending as frequently as twice a week and other times only dropping in sporadically. It's not a cheap endeavor and sometimes I just don't have the emotional energy to go and be introspective while squatting in slightly uncomfortable poses. I used to love the cheery girly aesthetics of the studio and the boutique that sells slightly overpriced post-workout threads. But in recent visits something is beginning to make me uncomfortable about the place and I can't quite put my finger on the problem itself. Perhaps it's because my current distaste is made up of a number of small grievances.

1.) It's crowded. Maybe it's me and a problem that I simply need to work on, but being in a tight space where everyone is inadvertently in everyone else's way drives me nutty. I hate the fact that after I spend 16 dollars on a class to get all centered and quasi-enlightened, my mood is immediately shattered by somebody stepping on my feet to get their coat. Disorganized masses of people just get to me in a uniquely annoying way.

2.) The staff. I used to think that maybe it was a product of not being enough of the regular, but I find both the people who work the sign-in counter and the teachers to be terribly aloof. When I think yoga, I think good karma and friendliness. I don't think being made to feel somehow not good enough or wanted. It provokes this weird tendency in me to want to please those people by being extra interesting and funny, which in turn makes me feel like a huge dork, and in turn makes me feel desperate. Why is it asking too much for my yoga instructors to be friendly? I already graduated from the 8th grade, this phase of my life should be over.

3.) Yoga itself. This is a new development, and it might be because I haven't been doing it as faithfully as I should, but last night's class wasn't that much fun. My bad ankle was responding poorly to some of the simpler poses like Warrior 1, and my knees continue to hate any pose where weight is put on them. I should note that there's nothing wrong with my knees, they're just sort of bony. I always place a blanket under them in such instances, but even that only goes so far to alleviate my discomfort. I just spent the whole class feeling physically out of sorts, which raised some difficult emotions, and I was having something of a bad day to begin with.

4.) Lack of community. When I think yoga, I think community. Here, I'm not feeling it.

Having issues with a yoga situation makes me feel crummy. I desperately want to enjoy it but sometimes I wonder if its for me. In the past I have shied away from the philosophy behind it simply because I grew up over-saturated with touchy-feely goodness and needed a break. Recently, I've been thinking that maybe a little new-agey philosophy would be a good thing to soften these cynical edges. I feel like yoga should be this thing that gives you unbounded pleasure and not fully getting it makes me wonder what's up. Everyone else around me seems to feel it, why can't I?

Perhaps I need a new studio. Any recommendations for a studio in Northwest DC (not Georgetown) that's less trendy and a bit friendlier?


Blogger Golden Silence said...

Yeah, I work in Georgetown and it's all about appearances and less about a friendly community.

There was this place in Dupont I tried which I think was called DC Yoga. They're on the 4th floor of a building near Subway. Unfortunately they seemed "lost in space" and the guy (a middle-aged hippie type) couldn't remember my name for the life of me.

I think Dupont also has a Bikram Yoga there. Maybe you should check that out.

Good luck!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

If you can't find peace at yoga then what the hell is the world coming to?

6:20 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I don't have any suggestions, but I wish you luck in finding a new space and in finding peace. kwwloa ka uirngf afuiasjk [keeping my fingers crossed]

7:32 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

I have heard Unity Woods is pretty good,but don't know personally. I used to take a yoga class in Scotland and the teacher always wore a T-shirt that said, "conserve water, drink beer".

That was my kind of yoga class.
=-) Sorta off the subject and, have you ever tried pilates?

8:03 PM  
Blogger Awkward said...

When I lived in DC, I went to a place out in Pentagon City that was good, but I don't remember the name, and who knows if they are still there... But, like you, I was not finding "peace" during yoga- started playing water polo (violent game) but am much calmer and more relaxed. I say take up a violent sport!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Michael J. West said...

I've never done Yoga, but I always hear good things about "Inspired Yoga" on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan (across from the Safeway).

1:26 PM  

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