For me, fast paced ego driven classes are missing the most important aspect of Yoga. Quiet, meditative sessions where you bring the mind into the poses, and really pay attention to breathing are most beneficial. Spending as much time as you need on each movement and not just what the rest of the class may be doing is what Yoga is all about. If you are looking for a cardio workout, then head for the gym. There is a place for both!
Back when I went to larger yoga classes, I would have welcomed such an idea... even as a teacher I would have welcomed it. Now, however, I practice guided self practice. This means I have learned a sequence (Adamantine .... 14 sun salutations in amongst 20 poses using all the joint mobilities) from my teacher. Actually I learned modifications for where I am in my practice and body now. I practice every morning with others, but not in terms of a competitive and ego driven class. We arrive ove the space of 30 minutes or so. When each person arrives, he/she begins the practice and our teacher is there to adjust and assist as necessary. I have been practicing this way since the first of February. I go at 6 AM.... and I am NOT a morning person.
Set your intention, and let your teacher know in a fast-paced, crowded, "competitive" or ego-driven class or with an ego-driven yoga teacher (and by that I mean any class larger than two participants):
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