- What do you do about yoga students who are chronic freestylers? Or those that wear inappropriate clothing to class (I’m specifically thinking of a perpetual outfit including booty shorts, a nude, regular bra in place of a top, and chronic genital flashes)? Honestly, I don’t care that much. I admire free spirits. Do whatever makes you happy. If you aren’t into Warrior II and you’d rather do crow while punctuating the silence with thuds, that’s cool. If you want to do dynamic stretching while the rest of the class is in easy pose practicing pranayama, whatever. Particularly in cases of elderly students who have been practicing for 30 years, there’s no reason to pressure them to change their ways unless they’re truly distracting. If they’re rocking their own sequence silently, already distracting the class by being topless and not wearing a sports bra, is there a need?
Not everyone feels that way. My sister and I have both been told to approach the freestylers and reinforce the fact that we are teaching the class and they need to follow along. I’m supposed to inform them that they’re doing the pose in the complete opposite direction. Aside from unwanted glimpses of nether regions, I think it’s kind of awesome. Plus I’ve heard several times when I gently attempted to get them into a pose, “I’m doing it this way for a reason.” That’s why I absolutely hate adjusting people. I instruct them verbally how to correct their alignment in a pose and demonstrate next to them, but grabbing them and getting all up their business is a skill that disappeared after teacher training (read here for some insight into to my anxiety). I know that’s frowned upon.
But that’s another story for another day. Back on topic. My belief is that students who have paid for a class can freakin’ frolic all they want. Seriously (you know Bruce Lee’s cousin, Serious Lee. Haha.). Yoga is supposed to be about doing what feels right for you and listening to your intuition in order to satisfy your body, mind, and spirit. At some point I think you have to let it go. I could be wrong, but I find it harsh when teachers lay down the law with the uninhibited, eccentric yogis.
The only part that crosses the line for me is when a human gets up during savasana and goes out into the lobby to try to purchase various items, forcing the teacher to leave the room and ring her up or tell her to wait. Or when they get in the fetal position halfway through final relaxation and then don’t get up until 15 minutes after the class has ended. I just continue with the closing remarks and Namaste without waiting for them. I can’t let classes run 15 minutes late because an individual is enjoying being curled up like an embryo. Am I supposed to wait? Do I ask them to come to a seated position? I’m genuinely uncertain of how to handle these situations.
Any tips or tricks for me?