So this Rolling Stones quote popped into my head after class tonight. I went to Exhale tonight, thinking I was going to take class with Annie Carpenter. When I arrived, the staff informed me that Micheline Berry would be teaching instead. Both teachers are very popular and quite well known, though have very different teaching styles (in my past experience). Annie is known for focus on alignment and intelligently sequenced classes that help you move safely and deeply into advanced postures (e.g., scorpion). Micheline teaches a Prana Flow style that is focused on fluidity and movement. Sometimes there is trance dance in class. Both master teachers, just very different styles.
When I first learned the teacher I expected to be teaching wouldn’t be there, I wasn’t sure what to do. Going with the flow is not my strongest point (bad pun intended). A number of students left. I decided that even though the class wasn’t what I had planned (and I hate it when things don’t go according to plan), I’d stick it out and see what class had to offer. Prana Flow is hugely popular, but it isn’t the style I typically practice. I sometimes have trouble maintaining my alignment and can hurt myself, so I tend towards the more structured classes where you hold poses a little bit more. Also, I’m totally shy about trance dance. I love dancing in a club, but for some reason I have trouble letting go in yoga. Weird, I know… I like to blame the music (I prefer hip hop to trance) but I don’t REALLY think that’s the reason. But I digress… It’s easy to get stuck in a yoga rut and just take the teachers you know like and practice the style of yoga you think you like the best. I’m totally guilty of it myself. Pushing the boundaries can be good, right?
I came to class expecting to hold poses and focus on alignment. Micheline’s class was PERFECT for what I needed for the night. We had a little bit of Prana Flow to get nice and warm, and we went really deeply into our hips and into backbends. She gave fantastic alignment cues and adjustments. We did what I think might be my new favorite sequence after a day of sitting at a desk behind a computer: warrior 1, revolved side angle, anjane asana, lizard, hanumanasana, anahatasana, vinyasa. Twisted the spine out from sitting and helped counter the rounding over the computer. Delicious! We ended class with a little restorative poses. Funny enough, when I signed up online for class earlier in the day, I saw there was a restorative/yin class offered later in the evening. I thought it sounded fantastic but I have trouble getting myself into those classes since they’re not “a workout” though I love when teachers throw the poses at the end of a class. Somehow, the universe knew that was just what I needed. (Side note: we didn’t trance dance. I guess the universe didn’t think I needed that lol )
I’ll leave you with the Rolling Stones lyrics (and music in the link): You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you might find you get what you need