After a nearly 6-week hiatus from taking any classes, I finally made it to the studio this week for some inspiration and community. I took a class from a new-to-me teacher on Sunday who gave me some good ideas for working with beginners, and, Tuesday, cleared my evening for a double header of damn good yoga with a couple of teachers I know and love: first a challenging power class, followed by a stretchy hour of mellow vinyasa. I had a lovely time, and left the studio feeling weightless and warm, inside and out.
Prior to enrolling in YTT, I rarely attended classes. Then when teacher training started, I was suddenly required (or strongly encouraged, depending on your interpretation) to take four classes a week at the studio, plus the 2-3 classes on weekends for training. At first, this was really hard for me -- not physically, but emotionally. I missed my home practice, since I didn't have time for it too often with all the hours spent at the studio. I didn't feel that I was able to enter the same meditative state that ideally comes in private practice, but after a while, I really came to love attending classes and practicing in the company of other yogis, the student-teacher relationship, the give and take of energy. Then, when the training course first ended, I revelled in the solitude of my home practice for a few weeks. I basked for hours in the familiar space and quiet, just the sound of my own breath to carry me. This passionate reunion with my home practice lasted for a good while, but eventually, I began to experience yoga studio withdrawal. Even though I teach a class there weekly, it didn't seem to satisfy my need.
So, this week I ponied up and went all in. And it was great, except for one thing: the smell. As I was lying in supta baddha konasana on Sunday, eyes closed, waiting for the class to start, I heard the slap of a mat being laid out beside me and was instantly assaulted by a smog of perfume. Lots of it. My guess would be 5 squirts from one of those tiny little glass bottles. In any case, it was too much. It burned my throat and stung my sinuses. It made me think twice about breathing deeply. Then, I opened my eyes, sat up, and saw the teacher walking around the room lighting wax candles. In that moment, I considered getting up and leaving before the class commenced, fearing for my precious lungs, but I resolved to tough it out. The studio is well ventilated, after all. I told myself the air would kick in and everything would be fine. But it wasn't fine. I did not get used to the perfume, and the fumes from the candles gave the air a thick, heavy feeling in my chest. I'm glad I stayed, as the class was good and I got to hear a new perspective. I just wish people would save the perfume and candles for date nights and funerals.
Readers: What's your take on scents in the studio? Do you cover up the sweat with a little pre-class spritz, or light a candle during your practice? Which is more offensive to the senses, B.O. or eau de toillete?