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Competing over Yoga?

Francesca Silva

competitive-yoga.JPGRemember when I told you a while ago about a friend of mine who’d become totally hooked on yoga and wanted to take some classes with me?

Well, we finally took our first class this week and – wow! Talk about competitive! I’d never seen that side of my friend before and couldn’t decide whether I was amused or irritated!

It started out fine, with our instructor taking us through our warm-up and leading us into yoga stretches and poses. Although I struggled with some poses, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the alignment of my body had improved considerably from my first series of classes. I noticed that the instructor corrected quite a few of my friend’s poses, but that was not unusual since my friend was a “newbie” to yoga. It didn’t even occur to me that my friend would be upset about it.

Was I ever wrong!

I think it was the tree pose that pushed her over the edge. For some unfathomable reason, when I try the tree pose on my own at home, I fall over most of the time. But when I’m in class, I can often execute the perfect tree pose – who knows why? Well, my friend just couldn’t do it. Try as she might – and she tried valiantly several times – she just couldn’t do the tree pose. I don’t think it helped that she kept getting more and more frustrated every time she didn’t succeed. And when she saw me doing it with what she thought was apparent ease (little did she know), she went into an almighty funk! I couldn’t believe how mad she was at me!

Well,” she huffed. “You’ve been doing yoga for much longer than I have so you’re way ahead of me.” I shrugged off her comment with a smile and continued with my yoga practice, thinking she was just getting her frustrations out. But when she continued to grumble and mutter about me under her breath, I started to get irritated.

That ruined the class for both of us.

Not being one to let things slide, I asked her what the problem was as we were leaving the class. She said she thought she’d been “set up” because I had chosen a class that was easy for me but hard for her. I pointed out that we had selected the class and instructor together – and reminded her that it was a beginner’s class. I also said I didn’t appreciate her nonsense and thought perhaps it would be better for our friendship if we didn’t continue to take classes together.

After a few minutes of mutual silence, my friend – to her credit – apologized to me and admitted that she shouldn’t have taken out her frustrations on me. “Let’s try one more time, okay?” was her request. “Okay – deal. But if you start complaining about me again, I’ll put a muzzle on you” was my not-so-diplomatic response!

We had a chuckle over that but it’s going to be interesting to see how the next few sessions go. I’m really very fond of my friend, so hopefully we’ll still be talking to each other by the time the classes end![tags]competition, frustration, irritated, friendship, first yoga class, tree pose[/tags]

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