Yoga: the Importance of a Yoga Studio's Culture

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For my birthday a few months ago, my amazing husband bought me a gift card to a yoga studio in my neighborhood. Instead of taking 5 separate classes I decided to put the gift card toward a one month membership.

The company has two studios, one vinyasa and one hot.

The vinyasa studio, in most ways is your typical neighborhood studio.  My experiences have been positive in terms of teachers and customer service.  The classes have been okay, but nothing I would want to spend $25 a pop on.

The instructors at this location have been kind, giving and everything else one would expect from a yogi. During class each instructor has been mindful of giving instruction and offering options to accommodate the varying levels of the students in the class.

The hot studio on the other hand has been a totally different experience.  While the customer service is the same at this location, the instruction is not.

  • 1st Class: This instructor instructed (if you know what I mean).
  • 2nd Class: The instructor just called out poses, no actual instruction. Once again, I found myself in a yoga class just lying there like I did in this class.
  • 3rd Class: Horrible! The instructor (a sub) gave out confusing instructions and very few modifications.  Within 30 minutes of the start of the class, one by one people began to leave.  At one point the instructor arrogantly chuckled, “Everyone’s dropping like flies“.

All of the classes were labeled as “all levels” on the class schedule.

What are your experiences?  Have you found that the culture of a hot yoga (not bikram) class to be different from other yoga classes?