Yesterday I took at class at the downtown studio of 'Yoga to the People'. It is a donation based studio, which basically means that you pay what you can afford for the class. the suggested donation is ten dollars, but you can pay less or more depending on your financial situation. As much as I'd like to pay more, yesterday I paid three dollars. You put the money in a box at the end of class so it doesn't feel like you are being judged.
The classes are open level classes, designed for any one, from beginner to advanced. It was therefore, very very busy. I enjoyed the class, I found it challenging and I have done yoga before, so am aware the basic poses. Dancing also helps as it means you can figure out from watching pretty quickly. But one thing that struck me as a negative was the lack of instruction from the teacher and the amount of people in the class who clearly had very little awareness of their body. This combination made me a little nervous. I seems to lead to one road....injury.
As I come to the end of my degree I am beginning to feel the impact that has had on my body. Its hard to describe, but it feels like a knowledge that comes from the inside out, allowing me to move in to new physical situations but still understand what is required from my body in order to be 1. safe 2. effective.
It also made be think about the point of beginners going to classes like this. Looking around I felt grateful for my training, and it drove home to me the importance of good technique. In terms of physical work, be it yoga, dance or boxing, what ever it is, technique is vital. It is what allows you the most freedom, accuracy and benefits in, and to, your body.