Many years ago, when I was less arthritic and a little more svelte than curvaceous, I took a yoga class.  This was back in the day when you signed up for the class, it lasted x amount of weeks, and once started, no one new could come into it.  I loved it!  There were about 7 or 8 of us in the class, and because it was a closed class we got to know each other well, and we received a lot of individual attention from our instructor.  It was slow, gentle and geared to our needs.  It was great.  Unfortunately, after the class ended this particular instructor moved away.  However, because this experience was so rewarding, years later when another friend suggested taking a yoga class I was quite willing to sign up.  It was labeled as a beginner class, and on the first day there were only about 8-10 people.  This was great, small class size, large enough area to spread out, and all of us learning something new at the same time.  I was anticipating a repeat of my first class.  Unfortunately that did not turn out to be my experience. When I walked into the second class, the room was full, I mean standing room only full, shoulder to shoulder full.  Instead of 8-10 people there appeared to be about 20-25 people.  The room quickly became hot and stuffy, and very crowded.  And what began as a beginner class, quickly morphed into a class with a few beginners and many more intermediate and advanced students.   Evidently they were coming to this class whenever they had missed their class which turned out to be all the time.  So instead of 8-10 people developing an understanding of yoga, practicing awkward poses together, we had a large group of people who knew what they were doing, doing it well, and quickly, and looking very good at it.  Now I know yoga is not a competitive sport, but I began to feel very uncomfortable.  I was older, heavier, and had more aches and stiffness than 90% of the people in the class.  I did not feel as eager to struggle with new poses, and, although, I wasn’t “suppose to” I did feel judged, and found wanting. My friends and I did not finish the class. Now many more years later, heavier still, and with more injuries and­ the development of arthritis, when someone mentions a yoga class, I shudder.  But…, because my daughter teaches yoga, and I am the other half of Rowve yoga bags, I feel I should put aside my feelings of discomfort, and at least look into the possibility, even though it might only be a slight possibility, of another yoga class.  But if I go down this path I want to find a yoga class for me, a sixty something, over- weight , arthritic, and a far more faint of heart, individual. 



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