Dear Yoga Yenta,
One of my pet peeves is when there are too many people in yoga class. It gets so bad that you can’t even hold your arms out to the side. The teachers always seem to allow more people than they should. How do you suggest that I deal with too many people in my class?
Dear Frazzled Yogi,
Thanks for bringing up this issue. I think a lot of people feel the same way about very crowded classes. And, like most things in life, some people feel have a different take on it. For me, the more people packed into the yoga room, the better. The heat of the other bodies helps me to go deeper into my practice, and the group energy really provides a whole new level of support and a sense of shared experience (not to mention more boys and outfits to check out when my mind wanders in distraction!)
That said, I totally appreciate your point of view. We all have pet peeves, and yoga class is one of the best forums for us work through them, and to challenge ourselves to stay calm – especially when the room is hot, the practice is hard, and the number of people is sometimes overwhelming.
My suggestion for dealing with too many people in class is to EMBRACE IT. If you can’t stretch your arms out to the side, stretch them halfway, or reposition/stagger your body in a different way. Consider it a great warm up for dealing with the obstacles and annoyances that invariably arise in life. Think about how happy you would be if you got to class just before it started and your classmates graciously made room so you too could enjoy the time to give yourself the amazing gift of yoga. Or think about how happy you feel at the end of your practice, and how lucky EVERYONE in the room must feel for sharing in that experience. The more people who do yoga, the better!
Om Shanti & Infinite Gratitude,