I’m a new member to this forum, and I hope that a kind soul or two here can help shed some light on this negative experience I’ve just had.
About three years ago, I was in a serious car accident that resulted in multiple serious injuries- one of them being a broken leg and torn meniscus. Since my second surgery a year ago, I have vastly recovered, but there is still damage that limits me on occasion.
Since a couple months ago, I’ve been attending yoga classes at a studio I can walk to about two or three times a week. It’s been ten years since I’ve done yoga, but I’m definitely remembering where I left off in my practice, and it’s an immensely positive experience, except for something that just happened.
One of the things I love about yoga and my studio is the message that all the teachers send: that it’s not a competition, that wherever you are in your practice is fine, to draw the line between pushing yourself to go further and pushing yourself too far, etc.
I’d only been in this teacher’s class twice before, but both times I really enjoyed the challenge she presented. I was going through practice when I felt a stress in my knee, and made a note not to push myself in any way that could potentially cause another injury.
Class went on, and we went to practice headstands (a pose that I’m uncertain at best with)- the way this teacher teaches them is to “kick” up- even though the leg I could use to kick up could be my good leg, and I could be near a wall, I knew that I could potentially have to catch myself falling the other way with both my legs hitting the floor- and possibly injuring my knee. So, I decided not to try to go up unless I felt secure in my strength; I just practiced with one leg up, one toe on the ground, and then switched.
Everyone else in the class could do the pose (some unsteadily, some better)- not a problem, except the teacher didn’t notice that I wasn’t completing the pose, and tried to gather everyone in a straight line so she could take a picture with her cell phone of everyone in her yoga class doing a headstand.
She did this without asking if it was okay with students to have their pictures taken, but instead starting telling us to rearrange our mats so we could be in a straight line near the wall for the picture. I was faced with either forcing myself into the pose or explaining that I couldn’t do it.
This was very upsetting to me- I stopped telling teachers after the first class that I have a past knee injury because it was never relevant and I don’t wish to discuss my accident if I don’t need to- I just modify poses that don’t work for me- and this is rare. We’re always given the option of stepping instead of jumping into certain poses, and usually that’s the only modification I need to do. Because of the philosophy that was presented to me, I really never imagined that I’d be in this sort of position when it came to yoga.
I stepped out, and said I hated having my picture taken. She continued to pose everyone, and I just got so upset that I left the class before it ended as quickly as possible and walked home without saying anything.
I don’t think she’s a bad person or even a bad teacher- the last class of hers I took, I even went up to her to tell her how much I enjoyed it.
But I don’t know what to do next. I can avoid her classes or try to find another studio entirely; my boyfriend thinks I should talk to her (and that perhaps it could help her as well as me to do so), and I know he’s probably right, but I’m unsure of how to do this productively. I just don’t know why she’d think acting like that would be okay, and at the same time I just don’t want to make her feel bad.
Even a sentence or two would be appreciated. Thank you for reading all of this.