Yoga & Introverts. ~ Lisa Avebury

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I am a strong introvert.

I only recently discovered there was terminology that described me so accurately, which also helps to explain my current attitude about practicing yoga within a community.

Like many introverts, I have tried over the years to conform to a Western society, catering mostly to extroverts. As they say in Britain, “It did my head in.”

I don’t feel comfortable in crowds, don’t like loud, noisy places, only talk on the phone when absolutely necessary and don’t see the point in small talk. I avoid parties or limit my time at them severely and value my time alone.

I do have friends and relationships I cherish. My work is meaningful to me, and I spend time volunteering regularly.  I adore animals, nature and travel and enjoy people of all kinds in varied situations.

But I know when I have hit my limit. I know when it is time to retreat to a place I feel safe to recharge my batteries.

Yoga used to be one of those places. I like, or rather liked, practicing in classes.

My first yoga class of memory was in New York City at the Himalayan Institute around 1986. The beginner’s yoga series was taught in a small dark carpeted room below the bookshop. What I remember is a sense of serenity.

I felt so much better after the class.

The teacher was kind and soft spoken. She gave instruction on the poses but no spiritual discourse was given and, from what I remember, not many hands-on corrections. You were left to be at peace in your space, which naturally allowed your mind to wander to contemplate the other limbs of yoga.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and immediately set upon finding a yoga class to take here. I thought this would be easy as LA had the reputation of being the “healthy” place.  I mean I had just come from the mean streets of New York City, so finding a class in Los Angeles like I had there would be a piece of cake.

It wasn’t.

I took a few classes and floated around, but the most I found is what I call Yoga Simon Says.

The classes felt more like a Jane Fonda workout with a bit of eastern philosophy dropped in for effect.

After awhile I gave up.

Fast forward to 2000 when a new friend reintroduced me to yoga—I was reluctant but slowly began dipping my toe back in the big yoga pool and enjoying yoga classes again.Before 2000, I missed practicing with people but wanted to be left alone while doing it. My little incognito space was comfortable.

Over the years, I have seen my little incognito space shrink. This began to crystallize in 2009 when I participated in a yoga teacher training that was lead by a well-known teacher and his cult of personality.

(I partially attribute this cult-like aspect of yoga to the monetization of yoga and the cultivation of the yogi/ spokesperson. Every yoga teacher now seems to be a brand.)

Most yoga teachers now spend copious amounts of time on lecture and opinion replete with numerous sound bites from the current tome of the moment. This is enhanced when the teacher is 23 and expounding at length on her/his deep and mystical understanding of how the world works.

Usually, this same teacher will spend more time gathering up the students to perform demos on how to perfectly imitate the teacher’s version of the pose.

My worst nightmare is when I am asked to “find a partner” and spot each other. And if I don’t copy the teacher’s technique perfectly, I get adjusted. Often these adjustments are performed by someone with no prior knowledge of any injuries sustained on my body, the body the adjuster just touched.

If that isn’t enough, a soundtrack of background music chosen based on the current mood of the moment fills every possible opportunity for quiet contemplation.

The class inevitably ends with the obligatory Om or Namaste.

This same class could have happened at a 24 Hour Fitness, except the room I left was filled with Hindu statues and people wearing overpriced yoga garb who paid a lot more than 24 Hour Fitness charges. (At a commercial gym, I would surely have been spared the talk.)

For the past few years, I have been a yoga gypsy. Moving from studio to studio and class to class searching for one I could relate to, one that made me want to go.

Nothing has felt right.

Today, yoga has turned into such a scene and has become difficult for me to be incognito and have a truly personal experience. Suddenly, I am expected to be part of the yoga community, and from where I stand, much of it is ephemeral.

Countless people are serving up “Spiritual Junk Food.” It tastes good and feels satisfying going down but not long after, you are starving and want more.

The lack of nutritional value in what you are being fed turns you into a junkie. And then the attachment happens, the attachment to all the things which yoga was originally designed to rid you.

As an introvert, becoming a part of the yoga community is difficult. The yoga I fell in love with has become oppressive to me. And it feels like no one else notices the hypocrisy.

Yoga in a group setting is a unique opportunity for people to share an experience, exchange energy and feel connected without having the social obligations that come along with other gatherings. But it seems that so many other factors have now influenced how classes are conducted.

Many individuals who come to classes see yoga as not much more than a form of physical exercise with a bit of a pop-spirituality pep talk thrown in as a feel-good bonus.

So, what is an introvert yogi to do?

Home practice is always an option, but when did yoga become more about the teacher and less about the practice itself?  What happened to the other seven limbs besides asana?

It has been almost 30 years since my first class in New York City, and I have yet to find another teacher that has impacted me as much. The respect she showed her students reflected the respect she had for the practice.

Sadly, I don’t even remember her name, but I remember her authenticity.



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{Photo: via Supercat on Pinterest}



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Lisa Avebury

Lisa Avebury is a Wellness Consultant, Spiritual Counselor, Bodyworker,Yoga Instructor, Meditation Guide, Animal Rescuer and “Introvert Activist”. Lisa recently launched SacredIntrovert to debunk the myth that all introverts are shy social misfits. Lisa grew up in New York City and has lived, worked and thrived in Los Angeles for the past 20 years and is definitely not shy. She became an Introvert Activist to clear up the misunderstandings around what it really means to be an introvert. The goal being to create more harmony and understanding around introversion. She has designed the first ever group travel experience expressly for introverts, the retreat/tour. The first of which is departing for Southwest England in May of 2015. You can find her here and on Facebook & Twitter.

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anonymous Feb 7, 2016 12:05am

I like yoga for health. I did several work for yoga photography to photo retouch. I was with you, remember?

anonymous Dec 20, 2013 11:48pm

Hi Lisa as a mild to moderate introvert. I see commonality and agree w that yoga has become just another $$$ making endeavor. And teaching it is a hobby for many. Western yoga is stuck on the anamaya kosa. The body level. Since I have moved far away from my home base I only practice on my own now. Yes I miss the reminders from teachers and adjustments and opp to learn.

This is why we should be going to classes to learn wether introvert or extravert not to be left alone and do our own thing and space out. This is the message I got from part of ur critique of classes. Why not just practice at home so u won’t be intruded upon.

One Does not have to get caught up in the drama of other yoga students we can practice acceptance. Santosha. Detachment. The other Lynn’s that u refer to.

As a teacher which has been a challenge for me As an introvert I have learned so much about yoga and myself and continue on the path which is full of challenges. I hope u find the best place for u to be in yoga.

anonymous Dec 20, 2013 10:03pm

Hi Lisa. I thank you for writing this. I am an introvert, too, and I have been trying to practice yoga for some months now. I've wanted to do it for a while and being it so difficult for me to practice in a normal class scenario I took it upon myself to learn at home with just videos. I don't practice Yoga everyday, but I try to. Sometimes I don't do it because I don't feel progress in doing the poses ( I have mild scoliosis in my back, so its hard sometimes ), and also when trying to do Crow Pose my wrists tend to get sore. I have watched a million videos but I always feel like Im doing some of the poses wrong, even though I try to follow the steps correctly. But on other days I feel great about it and at the end of my session Im left feeling stronger and more at peace.

Thanks again, from Puerto Rico.

anonymous Jun 19, 2013 3:10pm

Hi Loomis, I read somewhere that Finland is the most "introverted" country in the world. I don't know where I read it but I think it isn't a coincidence you commented! Thank you for that! Yes, it is nice to know we aren't alone!!! Also, one of my all time favorite, now defunct rock bands is from Finland-Hanoi Rocks! I got to see them one time in the 80's before they disbanded! Peace & Blessings, Lisa A 🙂

anonymous Jun 19, 2013 12:14am

Reading this I thought "oh wow, I'm not alone in this". And reading the comments was a happy experience, too, apparently it's okay to feel this way :). The same thing with yoga is happening all over the world – I'm writing from Finland. It's not easy to find a good class but at least there is a lot to choose from.

anonymous Jun 18, 2013 8:06pm

Your piece is an eye-opener. You are right, there is an emerging prevalence of teachers branding yoga as their own, which I think, comes with the business aspect of sustaining the operations of their respective Shalas. I too am an introvert, but I personally appreciate the combined energy that I feel by going to class. I guess I have yet to discover the discipline of constant self-practice. I suppose I feel blessed that in the Yoga Shala I go to, there is one particular teacher who's my favorite – she teaches Jivamukti Yoga. I appreciate her reflections on issues, this she says while we do our asanas. Although I don't subscribe to everything she says, I continue to appreciate it more when she emphasizes that there is no judgment whether we're able to do full poses or variations thereof, that each individual yoga journey is different and unique, that we should listen to our own bodies, that we are all one and the same, expressed differently. She also tells us to let her know if we prefer not receiving adjustments. I'm sharing this to you I guess to assure you that there are still decent Yoga mentors out there. I would love to refer you to the Shala but I'm based in the Philippines!

I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for in your quest for the right Yoga Shala for you. Namaste, Lisa!

    anonymous Jun 18, 2013 10:10pm

    Hello Goldyancha, thank your for your well thought out and sincere comment. And thank you for caring enough to want to encourage me to keep trying! I too still love to practice in groups and I agree there are still wonderful teachers out there. Encouraged by the response to this post I attended a new class on Sunday and had a really lovely experience. So much so I reached out to the teacher via email to let him know this. I am ever hopeful that I will find more classes like this one. And Yoga means enough to me to keep searching for them. Namaste, Peace & Blessings!

anonymous Jun 18, 2013 9:50am

Hi Lisa – Interesting article. I am developing a yoga practice in my 40s, and am recovering from serious injuries – so though I'm not exactly an introvert, I certainly am not interested in doing any yoga that isn't "mine." It has taken me a while to fully appreciate this – when I first went, I used to try to keep up with the exact poses everyone else was doing, and tried to "fit in." I am coming to full appreciation that everyone's path is different. Now when I go to class, I simply follow the poses that feel right to me, and make no attempt whatsoever to do what the rest of the class is doing. Sometimes I will be in the same pose as others, but most of the time I'm not. I have spoken to most of the teachers ahead of time to let them know I am doing this, and they all have been totally open to it. I highly recommend it – it feels great, and allows me to really develop my internal awareness. For an introvert, it could be helpful as it allows you to realize that nobody else really cares much about what poses you are doing – and if they do care, it really has nothing to do with you – it's their karma. Finally, if you care to, I find it helps to connect with a spirit of Divine Love (or whatever you'd like to call it) while practicing – it can give you an internal strength and keep you focus on positive energy, not worrying about what else is going on in class… Hope this helps!

    anonymous Jun 18, 2013 12:06pm

    Hi JST, Thank you so much for the beautiful suggestions and the tone with which they were offered. I often "do my own thing in class" but haven't made a point to let the teacher know in advance I may do this. This is wise advice indeed and I will heed it in the future. Peace & Blessings, Lisa

anonymous Jun 18, 2013 9:04am

its very interesting to see the perspective that a "yoga community" isnt what everyone wants or needs. or rather, that at times it can be stifling to your practice's full potential. group setting can be very synergystic but i bet many people, including myself, have no idea what we're missing my developing a self practice as well.

    anonymous Jun 18, 2013 9:35pm

    Hi Andy, I think there are inherent benefits to group and self practice. As long as we aren't married to any one way over the other exclusively we can maintain balance. I love being in groups, I just don't necessarily want to be social within them all the time. That may sound off putting but it isn't meant to be. I just like to be in my own little space-not always tho! The introverted brain can get overstimulated easily and, at the end of the class, I often just want to be at peace with the feelings and thoughts that come up. One of Yogananda's great quotes was "Talk less, meditate more". I guess that is my mindset. Peace and thanks for commenting.

anonymous Jun 18, 2013 4:47am

I loved this article. But I have to say, I've been to a lot of studios across the United States and beyond that don't fall into this category. Maybe as an introvert, a home practice is your best bet. It works for me! I have everything I need; including a "community" when I practice at a studio. Most yoga I've experienced in studios is spiritual versus exercise with a celebrity teacher.

    anonymous Jun 18, 2013 12:11pm

    Hi Yogaitress, Glad you could relate on an extrovert level to the introvert plight and sympathize. Thank you for that! Peace, Lisa A

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 8:48pm

Buoyed by the supportive comments I sought out a new yoga class to try today. And happy to report-it was a good one! It never ceases to amaze me the universe's power to provide if you are willing to claim what you need. Thank you all for motivating me. Peace, Lisa Avebury

anonymous Jun 15, 2013 5:47pm

I really love this. This past year I finally began making peace with the fact that I am much more introvert than extrovert–I'd always almost felt guilty about it, and sometimes still do!–so it's refreshing and strengthening to read writing from a similar perspective. Also, I do agree with the difficulties of "monetization" of Yoga, yet I have still found lovely instructors, and places where I can go practice in a group setting, while still pulling my energy inwards to refuel. Thanks for sharing!

    anonymous Jun 15, 2013 7:17pm

    Thanks for commenting Tara! I too have really been making peace with my introvert state and left feeling guilty behind (or at least most of the time!). But it is nice to hear others relate. And yes, there still are wonderful instructors out there-I agree-they do it for "seva". I am hoping to connect with the one space and face ('s) that feel like home to me. Peace!

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:14pm

Lisa, I'm sorry this has been your experience. I am an introvert and a yogi in New York, and while I have been witness to the cult of personality-type classes you describe, I have found many, many more experiences that have nurtured my spirit for the better. I am happy to share teacher names, if you'd like to write back. In the meantime, two points: a). on the adjustment front, I feel there's only one surefire way to combat that — tell the teacher that you don't want to be adjusted. Perfectly fine to do so. I have waived people off from touching me in the middle of class, especially if one of my recurring trouble spots is acting up. If the teacher gets offended, that's his/her problem, not yours. Do not, however, just take it and then grumble about it afterwards. Put the brakes on, even if you see their hands out and approaching. Okay. B.) About those classes where the music is distracting to you and the teacher is odd and the language is off — don't go. I'm not being sarcastic here. Hear me out. Don't go. This is much harder than it sounds. Inevitably, those teachers are popular. Your friends are going, all kinds of other people are going, and all of them are singing praises. And you want that feeling of bliss/contentment/excitement that they claim to have. Problem is, you're not getting it like they do. Whether the disconnect is occurring on your end or on the teacher's end isn't the point. It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is there's a disconnect. Therefore, we introverts have to be brave and admit, yo, this isn't working for me. And stop going, hopefully without malice and without disappointment. And try something else. There's no shame in looking for what works for you.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 10:02pm

    Hi Stacy, Yes I have been a "yoga gypsy" for a while. I stay ever hopeful that I will find a place that fits. I don't go to classes that don't work for me once I have that realization that the fit isn't right. As far as adjustments, since I do go to new teachers I try to stay open minded and sometimes don't find out till I'm "all in" that the teacher is the ultra talky, ultra touchy adjustment type. I have waved them off sometimes in the past after my adjustment threshold has gotten reached. But the funny thing I have noticed, its happened 2xs, is the teacher usually comes up after and asks if I am "ok". I've had to explain that I just like to stay in my own space while practicing. But I often wonder if this is more for them then for me and if my not accepting their adjustment somehow pushes a button. Hmm, I just wish everyone would not take things personally like the book the "Four Agreements" says 🙂 Peace!

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 7:31pm

WHERE can I get that body sweater?

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 5:01pm

So interesting seeing this after the conversation I had with my husband last night. He finds it interesting how much of an introvert I can be yet be open and extroverted when teaching or just out and about. Reading your part on not liking crowds, parties and lack of interest in phone (mine is never on) hits home for sure. I have a pretty solid home practice as well of me, myself and I:) Sometimes the cat and dogs are there though but they don't say much:)

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:11pm

    Hi Lalana, I actually really LOVE people and so get "fed" on a sincere exchanging of thought and shared ideas. I totally get you on being extroverted in some situations. I am the same as when I connect with someone and feel the environs are "safe" I can be quite the chatty one! And I too share my mat with a dog often. But, funnily enough, he can have quite a bit mouth! He speaks his displeasure often when I pay more attention to the mat them him. He's a giggle and I love him so I deal!

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 11:42am

Try Richard Freemans' Yoga Workshop in Boulder,Co for home practice in Community. Very deep, internal and no talking at all…

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 9:48pm

    Hi Jenny, thanks for the info. Next time I am in Boulder will have to check it out! Peace, Lisa

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 9:45am

I try to see everything as a learning experience. Even young arrogant yoga teachers and bullies have great life lessons to offer. I see myself as an observer of a long documentary that sometimes becomes a horror and some days can be a comedy, drama, etc. Of course I'm not always "in the flow" taking in each experience unscathed! But for the most part, I take what I need and leave the rest, which usually serves my higher purpose. The occasional experiences that cut like a knife often become the best lessons of all! For me, the most important thing to remember is to be grateful for everything, especially for the opportunity to even be in a yoga class! So I offer this advice with love and light; the 8oz glass with 4oz of water is not half full nor half empty. It's simply a glass of water…

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:03pm

    I totally agree about everything being a learning experience. I was just telling someone today that the YTT I was in had taught me some amazing lessons-just not the ones I was originally expecting! Its all about being open and willing to receive the message you are being offered. Thanks for commenting Vinataa!

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 1:40am

Hi Lisa. I'm autistic and a yoga teacher. Sometimes 'introvert' is used as a euphemism for autistic. I'm don't know if this applies to you or not, but in any case a lot of the issues are the same. Those that you describe are pertinent to autistic people too. I'm a long way away from you geographically, but if anyone else is reading this who shares these issues (diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum or not) and is in London, I can offer you a safe place to practise. Information at

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:01pm

    Hi Jess, I do go to London so I will keep your info on hand. I have read about autism/introversion connections. One of my best friends, who is 13 going on 14 :), has autism and she is one of the most brilliant, kind, gentle and accepting people I know. Thank you for sharing your info!

anonymous Jun 14, 2013 1:30am

I have been a 'yoga gypsy' also for months now! It is really hard to find a studio that sweet spot. I am so glad I am not the only one.

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 11:49pm

Beautifully expressed Lisa, and so many great points worth thinking over. I will be keeping this in mind as I move forward as a yoga teacher (and introvert!)

Hope you find the yoga class you are looking for.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:13pm

    Thanks Jennie! Good luck with YTT. It sounds like you are "already" a teacher!

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 11:36pm

yeah, I totally get this. I live in Toronto which is gogogo and the yoga classes are more of the same. Hard, fast energy, ego, all of that, although I think people are trying to combat it by going to class. It reminds me of one Christmas eve I went to Midnight Mass at a Catholic Church I had never been to. The priest was somber. The priest was stern. The priest kicked our asses, and for good reason. "I see a lot of faces I have never seen before here tonite. God isn't just a one-off. " He was stern. Sometimes I wish the yoga teacher would incorporate a bit of tough love. "We don't care how good or bad you are. We don't rank your performance. We don't notice your appearance. Get it together and let it go in the spirit of ONENESS. Now, raise your arms over your head…."
I'm going to YTT soon, maybe that will be my class!! Also, no teacher will ever live up to the one who gave you your first taste of sweetness in a class. Yogically, don't live in the past. Continue to be open to new experiences. You'll never recreate your first love 🙂

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:22pm

    Thanks Leelee! I love your priest analogy!!!! I do think you could use it for your template as a teacher! I would LOVE a class like that! Also, yes I agree you won't ever recreate the past. I don't try to but, in writing this piece, I thought of that teacher and how she "set me up" for my future yoga path. I only hope more individuals have that kind of experience. Where the space (carpeted, dark basement), the clothes (whatever really-I don't remember what I had back then!) and place (mean streets NYC) don't matter. What imprinted on me was the sense of calm and connection that class left me with. I felt very included and appreciated but never bulldozed. Good Luck in YTT and thanks for commenting 🙂

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 11:04pm

This article and those who comment seem awfully judgemental. Sometimes we need to step back and allow people to simply be people.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 5:14am

    Yoga has always resonated most strongly with people inclined to delve more deeply. While I appreciate your reaction, I can't help but think that the author's words are her own experience — what yoga truly presses forward — and therefore are valued in their own right. Whether your or my experience speaks differently, and therefore informs a different reaction (or judgement), really isn't relevant to the author's.

      anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:27pm

      Thanks Dan for your clear and very thoughtful response. Yes, this was/is my experience and I am happy if my sharing it helped open up a dialogue. We are all bumping along this path and if we can give a hand to another along the way I think that is why we are all put here-and why this is resonant to so many. And I am comforted by all the responses who reached out to tell me I am not alone. To me, that is TRULY yogic!!!

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 9:42pm

I am in my YTT program now. A small group of 10 at a beautiful little heart centered yoga studio. The course feels well rounded. It is a sangha I have been part of for several years and feel home. This article is speaking volumes to me. We spend quite a bit of our curriculum examining and developing our personal approach to the non hatha elements of our practice and how we will teach. And I genuinely love that I am getting exposure to a variety of guest teachers and not under any branded type of yoga. My biggest concern is my wordiness and my over enthusiasm leading to intensity or lack of patience. Awareness is the first step, yes? well any how, thanks for this bit of food to digest.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:29pm

    Hey Jess, It sounds like you are in a wonderful YTT with like minded folks on that same page. That is such a blessing. We need 10 more teachers coming from the mindset of individuality. Thank you for commenting and I am sure your enthusiasm is infectious!

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 9:29pm

This is one of the best articles I have read on this website. Everything you say really resonates with me and I can relate to some of your experiences. I must be about 10 years younger than you but I first tried Yoga in 1999 at my university and I was taught in a really safe non judgmental environment. My teacher was a mature and unpretentious person. I also felt like I was in a truly serene space. No one judged you because thats the way the teacher was. It just didnt come along with her teaching style.

Then about 12 years later I went on to study a teacher training course and I have never been in a room full of so many bullies in my life. You could just feel the anxaity in the room and I even remember two students ganging up on me in a Bhakti class and just staring at me to put me off. Of course I ended up in tears. What is an introvert to do?

I then when I began teaching one studio owner had a problem with me being "shy". She wanted us to, and this is her words, "suck up to the students". She wanted the class to be a social space for them to come to and be this community. I dont know what kind of community she was going for but when it got too much I just had to remove myself. I didnt feel like I had the opportunity too pass on the things I had been taught in a truly nurturing envoronment. I was expected to entertain the students more then anything else. And yes they then end up with this insecure attachment and an idea of what a yoga teacher should be. Im not saying that a teacher should be an extrovert or an introvert but just because someone is introvert why should they have to be forced to comfort ingnorance?

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:38pm

    Hi Mia, It does sound like we have lived a bit in a parallel universe! Well, in my own experience much of how things unfold trickles from the top down. It is always a good idea if you are in a situation that feels "not right" to look at the leader/teacher/boss and in that examination often you will see why things are the way they are. In my experience, probably best to cut and run asap! I have stuck it out before trying to change the situation and have only drained myself in the process. And, I believe the adage "when one door closes another opens". When you are willing to honor yourself and step back and away from something that does not feel supportive the universe supports you and can then step in and guide you to where you need to be. Hence why I am a yoga gypsy-ever hopeful and willing to keep looking for a class that may be my home. Keep teaching, we need you!

    anonymous Jun 18, 2013 2:00pm

    I have to second Mia's "… one of the best articles I have read on this website".

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 9:25pm

I've had a good experience with Kundalini yoga. I was over 50 when I started, and have studied only with older teachers. I found a small early morning class with others around my age that worked perfectly. In L.A. These classes are out there, you just have to seek them out.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:39pm

    Thanks for the comment Sirene, I do keep looking-ever hopeful for my yoga "home" 🙂 Blessings, Lisa

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 9:03pm

Thank you for your blog. I, too , have become disenchanted with the egos that are so antithetical to yoga. Yet, I love practicing in a group when the conditions are right. And what is up with these super expensive yoga clothes? Ego, ego, ego. It is disheartening.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:41pm

    Thanks for your comment Paula, yes I agree-but we must soldier on right!!! For Yoga and all it means to us! Peace, Lisa

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 4:54pm

I recently received my Yoga Teaching Certificate in what should have been the "real" way; not a 4-week crash course, but under the Kinesiology Department of a college. It took me 2-years to get it. I was in shock regarding the huge, scary egos of the Yoga Teachers teaching for the program; the chit chat amongst other soon to be yoga teachers regarding their expensive yoga clothes and mat; and the mean fellow students that I was taking the program with.

I started thinking this whole "yoga" thing was not for me but I've been taking yoga most of my life (even when it wasn't trendy), am a vegan/vegetarian, was eating quinoa before any "guru" knew what it was, taught myself walking meditation before anyone heard of it, and I do animal rescue across the world.

As a new teacher I must keep up my yoga practice as a student, and it is so difficult. I have been knocked over while trying to place my mat down and had "teachers" that were acting like 1980's aerobic instructors. I know that practicing at home is best for me and there are many great free youtube videos that I can follow (if want) and I love my kitty and doggies bugging me during my asanas. I pause and smile when they take over my mat, and thank the "yoga spirits" that I have a roof over my head and little creatures to join me in my flow…albeit an interrupted flow.

If anyone wants to take yoga with me on the beach or in a park, I am in North San Diego County. Lynna

    anonymous Jun 13, 2013 11:02pm

    Thank you Lynna, you sound like my kinda girl! And I bet you are a great teacher. Keep it up, we need you!

      anonymous Jul 29, 2013 11:32am

      Thank you Lisa! I need all the encouragement I can get!

    anonymous Jun 14, 2013 8:50am

    I want to be your student, Lynna! <3

      anonymous Jul 29, 2013 11:31am

      aah, thank you Paula. I just found the notification of your reply/comment on my wordpress email. I am so bad at keeping up with that blog; spend too much dang time on fb.

anonymous Jun 13, 2013 3:30pm

Much of this resonates. Sometimes that introvert urge is so, so strong.

    anonymous Jun 13, 2013 11:00pm

    Nice to know I am not alone!

    anonymous Dec 21, 2013 7:30am

    Thanks so much for posting. It captures the introvert perfectly. This is the first time I have seen an article so succinctly describe the "evolution" of the yoga scene and its impact on quiet practice. The worst experience was a local Bikram studio which asks one's name at the door then calls us by name if we are not following the military-like instructions of the teacher. I have had the same experience that you described especially the partner yoga moments and as a yoga teacher have finally had peace with being an introvert. Home practice with the cat Sara, is my refuge, and luckily I am able to sustain it. I also teach middle school during the week at a school which focuses on loud student activities during lunch.