I have very mixed feelings about led classes. Overall, I think they are good for me in many different ways. They are a break from mysore and a chance to practice with the whole room instead of just by myself. There is something nice in being in the same pose as everyone else. I do enjoy playing with the poses that I don’t practice in mysore. It gives me a sense of what is coming up. They are also a chance for the teacher to elaborate on something that he or she might not have done individually. I always learn something new. Lastly they are a good chance for me to work on the flow of the practice and find a rhythm to it all.
However, there is always the problematic side and isn’t that what we always focus on? In a positive light – my room for growth. A led class is significantly longer than my own practice. Add to this that the teachers tend to have you hold poses longer than you would normally because they are working hard to adjust those that need it. So by the end my whole body is exhausted and shaking. Led classes also tend to give me a complex. It seems that I am generally the least advanced person in the class. In mysore I only practice through bhujapidasana (an arm balance) and to be honest I was only given it a couple days ago so I am in the very early stages of it. I am working on Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel) and I don’t practice headstand. Led class tends to drill into me just how far I have to go exactly. I try to remember that this is a journey, not a destination, and that the important part is that I am there and practicing not whether I can do a jump-back or not. This is somewhat successful, but I still struggle with it.
The ultimate thing that gets me through the class is the knowledge that there will be Anne’s chai at the end of it. I always breathe a sigh of relief when Anne walks into the room to begin her practice because I know that the chai is just waiting for me to finish. The chai and the lovely conversation afterwards are always a delight. It has become even more special as of late since Walter is no longer allowed in the studio, Fridays are the only day I get to sit and chat instead of running out to trade with Alex so he can start his practice. So I guess all in all led class has it advantages!