Our new Summer Schedule begins on Monday, June 5th!
Believe it or not, creating the Class Schedule is one of the toughest parts of running a yoga studio. I always take into account the students' needs (consistent schedule), the teachers' needs (their availability based on their full time job schedules, parenting and childcare schedules, etc.), and the studios' needs (putting the right classes in the right time slots to maximize attendance). As you might imagine, juggling these priorities is a tall order!
With the new Summer Schedule, the classes pretty much stay in the current timeslots (with a couple of small exceptions), but there are two other types of changes that I would like to explain.
The first is that since Kali moved away and other teachers experienced changes in their availability, you'll see some teachers teaching in new timeslots. This is not a big change, and in some ways it may even be perceived as a positive change, because as much as we enjoy the teachers in their current timeslots, it's good to look at things (the yoga practice) from a new perspective once in a while. It's an opportunity to understand things in a new way.
The second change is a bit more unusual. After lots of thought and weighing the idea with the TYR staff, I've decided to change the way we name our classes.
Since the beginning of The Yoga Room (2010!), we've had class names like Gentle, Hatha I, Prenatal, Flow, Slow Flow, Hatha II, etc. These types of names are commonly used for yoga classes in the US, but after years of answering questions about "Is the Gentle class for beginners?" "What's the difference between Hatha II and Hatha Flow?" "Which is the most advanced class?" I've realized that these class names are problematic for a few reasons:
1. These names are very confusing to people who are new to yoga. They don't inherently understand the difference between Gentle, Hatha I, Flow, Slow Flow, etc. And since they're unclear about what to expect in a class, they feel uneasy or nervous, and it often delays them beginning their yoga practice. We want EveryBody to practice yoga, so we need a more straightforward naming convention.
2. Students tend to get mentally locked in to what they can and can't do, "I only do Gentle classes!" "I only do Flow!", which limits *when* they can attend classes. I'm hoping that our new naming convention will encourage folks to be more open to wandering outside their comfort zone. In a future newsletter I'll talk more about the yogic concept of attachment and how attachment inevitably causes pain in our lives. Being more open and willing to trying new things can be a way to practice non-attachment.
3. The new naming convention gives teachers more freedom to teach more of what they know. As it is, instruction inevitably varies within each class. For example, you may do a bit of flow to warm up for a Hatha I class, or you might do some restorative poses in a Gentle class. You might do some deep relaxation at the end of Flow. You might even flow in a Gentle class. Our new class names create a broader definition, so the teacher can use more tools to bring about a desired outcome.
With all this in mind, I've finally settled on naming the classes according to their level of intensity: Gentle, Moderate, and Strong.
- Gentle - Gentle intensity class. A slower pace makes this class appropriate for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
- Moderate - Moderate intensity class appropriate for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
- Strong - Strong intensity class for experienced practitioners. May include faster paced sequences and/or stronger postures.
The Gentle and Moderate classes are appropriate for beginners because their pace tends to be a bit slower, creating time for new students to understand the alignment and intention of each posture or sequence.
All of the classes are appropriate for "advanced" practitioners, as advanced practice is dependent upon the practitioner's degree of focus and their self-awareness. As yoga students, we are all on the path to becoming advanced practitioners.
I'd love to hear any thoughts or questions you may have about our new class schedule or our new class naming convention. Please feel welcome to post your comments on our blog, on our FB post, or to email me directly.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
P.S. - A note for the students who attend my classes, and for students who may be interested in attending my classes. You'll see that most of my classes have been renamed from Gentle to Moderate. This name change is a reflection of the way my teaching style has changed over the past several months since I began my training in the Krishnamacharya tradition. The degree of intensity will remain as it currently is.