chellestar83

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  1. I practice yoga twice a week with the same instructor and group of (mainly) women. It is an open-level class with a wide variety of experience in the room. I typically practice in the front of the room so that I can focus on my own experience instead of staring at others, however, my yoga instructor has started using me as a model for poses. Whenever we are doing a pose that she is not demonstrating, she says, "look at Davy, she's doing it right," or "if you want to see the full extent of the pose, look at Davy." This is both Ego stroking (oh I'm doing it right) and Ego intimidating (don't look at me it makes me nervous). They say you meet yourself on the mat, and in those moments I see myself the most clearly. Obviously this makes me uncomfortable; I do not want the spotlight, have never sought it out, and shy away from people after class who want to ask me questions about my practice. However being able to face an uncomfortable situation from the safe place of my mat makes me more able to do it in the rest of my life. So, I've taken this as a learning experience and I haven't said anything to the teacher about how it makes me feel. But what is worse (in my opinion) is this constant, insidious attention, comparison, and idolization of me has created a negative atmosphere within the class. I have experienced slightly snide remarks after/before class from a few of the girls. Other girls put me on a pedestal and clearly feel like they need to be "as good as me". I don't want them to compare themselves to me, ever, but especially not in a yoga class when they should be focusing on themselves. How "good" they are at yoga, is not the point. In fact, getting into the pose fully, is not being good at yoga. Honoring your body, connecting with your mind, body and spirit, focusing on your breath, loving yourself: that is being "good" at yoga. I want to be a yoga teach some day and it breaks my heart to have so many women doing such a disservice to themselves and having it be perpetuated by their teacher. So my question is, what do I do? How do I address this issue? Quite honestly, I feel like leaving the class. Not only for the sake of others, but also for my sake. I don't feel the safety that I should within the walls of a yoga studio. But I am learning, I do gain something from the class and I understand that teachers are human and bring their own insecurities and hang-up into the studio. So what would you do?