FringyLiz's Journal, 08 July 2014

I had a horrible experience at the gym yesterday. I'm a member of the Y, and they have yoga classes of varying intensity all through the week. Lots of "all levels" and some intense ones, and a very few beginner classes. I've never taken a yoga class before and I know I'm really not flexible or strong enough to get much benefit from a class where they spend 5 minutes in a pose I can only hold for a few seconds, so I waited all week until a beginner class that fit my schedule happened.

I was nervous enough doing something for the first time. Add to that the fact that I was by far the largest person in the room, and I was having a hard time controlling my fear. But I will not give in to unreasonable fears, and the only way to become good at something you suck at is to do it until you get better. So I stayed.

The instructor began the class talking about how we were going to start out "pretty vigorous" and get into some stretching near the end. This did not quell my fears. And sure enough, it started fast and hard. I was coated in sweat in the first 5 minutes, trying to follow along as he went pretty fast. He kept showing a pose I could only barely get into, and then spending a long time in it, showing off advanced variations, which most of the class was attempting. I had to keep stopping to breathe, just sitting there on my hands and knees, head pressed against the mat, working on my breathing and telling my limbs to shut up and just work. At one point I was so dizzy, I almost blacked out. But no one else seemed to be having troubles, so I just gritted my teeth and did the best I could.

The end of class came, and a lot of students approached him to thank him for the class. I was just trying to clean my mat and put it away and get out of there, but I was so worn out, I was moving very slowly. He walked past me on his way out the door and asked if I was okay. He had clearly seen me struggling, our eyes met repeatedly throughout the hour, but he had never come over to check on me, despite spending a lot of time correcting other student's postures. All I could manage to blurt out in response was "that was a BEGINNER class?"

He laughed at me. He actually laughed right in my face and said "No, was it supposed to be?" I bit my lip and got out of there as fast as I could. I even managed to make it to the change room toilets before breaking down sobbing.

I'm still so angry and frustrated and humiliated that I started crying again, just typing all this out. I don't know what to do. I can't let "Someone was mean to me" be an excuse to derail my fitness plans, but I really don't think I could put myself through that again. I don't want to complain, because most of the students seemed to get what they were looking for out of it, I'm the only one who had a problem.

How do I find an ACTUAL beginner class? One where I won't be openly mocked for being a beginner?
187.0 lb Lost so far: 15.0 lb.    Still to go: 37.0 lb.    Diet followed reasonably well.

Diet Calendar Entry for 08 July 2014:
1183 kcal Fat: 79.70g | Prot: 93.90g | Carb: 20.13g.   Breakfast: Red Rain Diet Red Rain, Compliments Camembert Cheese. Lunch: Kirkland Signature Smoked Salmon, Red Rain Diet Red Rain. Dinner: Compliments Camembert Cheese, Calavo Caliente Recipe Guacamole. Snacks/Other: Atkins Advantage Milk Chocolate Delight Shake. more...
on diet FringyLiz's own diet   steady weight

8 Supporters    Support   

First and foremost ((HUGS)) I have severe anxiety so I know how hard it was for you to work up the courage to go in there and stick with it. Be proud of facing your fears head on. The instructor sure sounds like a douchebag to me. The world is full of wonderful people, don't let one asshole defeat you. That wasn't a beginner course, but you did it anyway all the way through, that is quite the accomplishment. As far as finding a real beginners course, keep looking. Talk to someone in charge at the Y about it, or call other gyms in the area and ask about classes. I'm proud of you for still wanting to continue, and I'm so sorry you had a bad experience. 
08 Jul 14 by member: Yolanda9179
Regardless of the level of class...remember - you are moving! My 6 year old son likes to do yoga dvds with me at home, but what he does certainly doesn't qualify for the 'correct pose', but he's at least trying, and he's moving. I encourage you to remember that too. The benefit comes at the attempt of the movement/posture, not just at the perfection of it. I'm sorry that your first class was met with such a negative result, but I hope it doesn't discourage you from going again. I bet you could go to any class that is offered, but talk to the instructor before class and let him/her know you're a beginner (maybe even a little nervous about it). A good instructor will be able to guide you. 
08 Jul 14 by member: mgrill
I wouldve spoken up about it. "hey, the schedule said this was a beginner class! Why are you doing advanced stuff?" He then wouldve been forced to tone down or give you the option to leave. Id then talk to whomever is in charge of event scheduling and tell them of your experience.  
08 Jul 14 by member: pythonis
Girl you did the darn THING!!! Kudos to you for having the tenacity to stick it out. You stomped with the big dogs.... You started and you finished. 
08 Jul 14 by member: theresa diet
you tried and did it. I hope you get the courage to go back ... everyone there started in your shoes. you will learn it and acclimate just as they did. when they do something different - just bring it down a little so you aren't killing yourself. that you tried is fabulous. .. whether you go back or not! 
08 Jul 14 by member: kristyanne3
That guy sounds like a jerk. 
08 Jul 14 by member: TryinginVA
What a complete and total TWIT. I do agree with everyone - you DID it. You hung and and more important, you want to keep going. That's HUGE in my book. I agree that I'd contact the Y. I think if they're advertising a beginners class, they want to know they're PROVIDING a beginners class. Hopefully they'll be interested to know too that one of their instructors is being very rude. As far as finding actual beginners classes, I generally look for things that are geared toward people with arthritis or toward seniors.  
08 Jul 14 by member: Vickie 5966
I agree with Pythonis. I would talk to a supervisor or someone and tell them you are wanting to join a beginner yoga class, but the one you tried certainly wasn't. They should (if they're doing their job correctly) direct you to the appropriate class, as well as talk to the idiot who thought he could change the level of the class without permission. 
08 Jul 14 by member: hollipop
Do you want I should call the gym for you? The instructor and I could have a little chat and I would merely explain to him the error of his way. The names crazy, instantcrazy. Seriously though you should be proud of yourself. You made it through an advanced class!  
08 Jul 14 by member: Instantcrazy
Kudos for you for going to the yoga class & overcoming your fear. The instructor should have come to you to help you in your poses. Yoga is not about doing what your teacher can do but what you can do for yourself. It's your own practice & don't worry about the others. We all start somewhere.  
08 Jul 14 by member: dra1018
Kudos for you for going to the yoga class & overcoming your fear. The instructor should have come to you to help you in your poses. Yoga is not about doing what your teacher can do but what you can do for yourself. It's your own practice & don't worry about the others. We all start somewhere.  
08 Jul 14 by member: dra1018
Hi! Have you thought about doing yoga videos at home? I find the pace of those is pretty mellow and they usually have a couple of different people doing different levels of poses. Then, once your confidence comes back, you can join in on a real beginner class. I don't know how to find one - the yoga classes I took in college seemed pretty beginner and the classes I took at 24 hour were pretty mellow as well. I'd write an email to the Y and let them know that you are looking for a beginner class, and the instructor told you the one you joined was not beginner. Good luck! 
08 Jul 14 by member: bubblesnap
In the future when you are struggling, feel free to grab your yoga mat and get up and leave. If he asks why, just say, "This is too advanced for me," as you leave the room. Never, ever, endanger your health and almost black out to please someone else or "suck it up". Who would you have been impressing in the ambulance on the way to the hospital? Take care of yourself first. 
08 Jul 14 by member: mrsmole
Some instructors have no clue. Firstly, he should have welcomed all new comers and explained that if they could not get a certain move, not to worry and to do what they can. He should have shown the class various positions of i.e., if you can't twist like this than do this, type of thing. But the main part is you gave it your best shot and for that KUDOS to you. You should be proud that you hung in there to the end. Great Job! 
08 Jul 14 by member: toppy24564
Kudos for you for going and doing it. I would have so gone to the desk afterwards and complained because it was listed as a beginner class and I sure would have complained about the instructor and his attitude. As far as the other students go, you are assuming they were happy with that pace, you might be surprised about how they really felt. I once took a beginner step class and was totally lost because the instructor didnt explain anything and went way too fast so I decided after 3 classes that I was dropping it and I was talking to another person in the class by the desk after the end of that 3 class and I was telling her I was dropping it and she said she wasnt coming back either cause she couldnt keep up and the gal at the desk asked us what was wrong and we told her and believe me it got fixed. Next class the instructor explained every move and slowed it down and starting walking around helping people and it became a more enjoyable class.  
08 Jul 14 by member: BrenIL1
Look…try other classes…and if you go up to the yoga instructor and make it known that you're new, then it will be up to that instructor to demonstrate a "beginner" pose or easier way. Yoga is great form of exercise…stay positive. Try it again and enjoy…  
08 Jul 14 by member: demetra bengle
I'm confused. I thought yoga was suppose to be stretching and peaceful and calming. I've always wanted to but never taken a class so my idea could be completely foreign. I'd ask at the desk. It could be the schedule was wrong or maybe there is another instructor who is better suited for beginners.. or humans for that matter.  
08 Jul 14 by member: Ms Elizabeth
I am guessing you are a adult? He was mean to you? I think you are acting a little on the childish side in my opinion. I hardly think he was being mean to you and I think it is more of the fact you felt embarrassed. Grow up suck it up and keep at it. You already did a awesome job sticking it out and giving it your all now keep pushing.  
08 Jul 14 by member: floodjlc
I have the same fear and anxiety revolving around the gym and that is why I stick to working out at home using DVDs and various equipment needed for those DVDs. Maybe some day, I can have the courage like you to step foot into a gym without feeling like everyone is just staring at me.  
08 Jul 14 by member: Arrevanthas
Arrevanthas - How old are you? Time to grow up a little and step out of that shell. You will be much happier. 
07 Aug 14 by member: floodjlc


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