What to do if your first yoga experience was so bad it put you off

During my latest dental appointment my dentist and I chatted about yoga and how he has some friends who practice.  He said he’d tried it once but the teacher was so forceful about him keeping up with his speed and routine, and was threatened with being sent away if he couldn’t keep up, that he felt stupid.  He believed he wasn’t any good at yoga so it mustn’t be for him.

It was a very unfortunate, and I hope a very rare, incident.  But a new interest of tango dancing has challenged his physical state a bit and it’s been suggested to him to try yoga again.  The trouble is there could still be things that could put him off.

Outlined below are some things to consider when starting out your yoga practice—even if you’ve already tried it:

  • Find a studio and watch some of the people leaving.  Do they look energised, refreshed, happy?  If you’re comfortable talking to strangers ask some of them how they find this studio and its teachers.
  • Talk to a teacher at a studio you’re considering going to.  Any concerns will be addressed and you’ll get a sense of whether you’ll like him/her.  You’ll also feel the atmosphere, or energy, of the place and whether you like it or not.
  • Try different classes for beginners with different teachers.  Everyone has a different style and you’ll find one that resonates with you.
  • Try different yoga studios, too, for the same reasons.
  • Never give up!  Somewhere the right class or teacher is there for you.
  • Let go of any expectations you have of yoga and teachers.  Most things are rarely as we expect it.  Embrace the experience for what it is.
  • Try a private session with a yoga teacher who resonates with you.

Not all of these are necessarily going to apply, but they’re intended to encourage you to persevere.

After all, we all need dentists.  And a bad dentist doesn’t necessarily reprisent the whole dental health industry.

Have you had a bad experience in yoga?  Let us know how it affected you.

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4 thoughts on “What to do if your first yoga experience was so bad it put you off

  1. Completely agree with letting go of ones preconceived ideas. My wife has been practicing for over 15 years now. The few times I accompanied her, I was extremely put off by how “touchy feely” the instructor was. I was like, “Dude! Shut up already! Show me how to do this, explain the benefit, and correct anything after the fact. Stop yammering about finding my heart glow.”. It took finding someone who understood what I was looking for, and catered solely to that, not their own agenda or outlook, for me to finally get it.

    Now, I practice every morning of every day. Great post!

  2. Hello everyone: It’s the dentist here (Pablo).

    Thanks to Roy for sharing my experience and hope it will be useful for others.
    Thanks for your encouragement and be sure I will follow your advise and will persevere.
    It’s great to have patients that are not just patients but human beings that you can talk to too about other interests.
    After all, dentists also enjoy dealing with great patients.

    Cheers!.

    Pablo.

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