You’ve probably noticed that I’ve recently added a new “label” or category to the blog, Rebecca’s Reviews, which serves to provide a trained perspective of yoga classes in the Boston area (although other areas will be covered in the future). The purpose is to highlight talented teachers or innovative classes or both. While I realize that the implication of reviews is that they’re outlets for both positive and negative criticism, you won’t see anyone getting panned on Om Gal. You just won’t hear about them—period. I have plenty of criticism and disdain for mediocre, uninspired, or technically unsound yoga- and don’t even get me started on faux accents or hackneyed New Age lingo with nonexistent authenticity- however, I don’t have an interest in sharing it here. The bottom line is this: Reviews will only be given to competent-to-highly talented teachers who teach noteworthy classes that should be on your radar. This blog is meant to be “a yoga and wellness resource with soul, style, and smarts.” In short, it’s purpose is to serve up information and inspiration about topics that are important to you and protect you and your path to wellness from getting stale, uninspired, or inconsistent with the rest of your life.
Perhaps some of you are wondering what qualifies me to provide an analysis of someone else’s teaching. Here’s a snapshot on my teaching, yoga, and yoga teaching experience. For those of you who are not former students, this might be a helpful.
Teaching I’ve been teaching and/or tutoring a smattering of subjects and activities most of my life. Got kids who are terrified of the water? I’d wage my entire collection of Lululemon gear that I can turn them into polliwogs in a matter of hours (I was a lifeguard on the Cape and taught swimming lessons to oodles of kids ranging in age from 3 to thirteen). I also taught high school English for a nonprofit program for at-risk youth. By day, I regularly broke up fights and devised highly elaborate schemes to make Shakespeare cool. By night, I taught yoga.
Yoga I’ve been practicing yoga for thirteen years. Hatha, ashtanga, and power yoga formed the foundation of my practice. I’ve also studied yoga as an academic pursuit, including a visit to India, the birthplace of yoga, and collegiate courses in Eastern religions and examining sacred texts affiliated with the practice of yoga.
Yoga Teaching I began teaching yoga in college; I was 20 years old; yoga was not very popular yet. After graduation, I moonlighted as a yoga teacher- in no small part due to the fact that it was the only way this broke 22 year-old could afford a gym membership! Later, I fell under the tutelage of a “celebrity” yoga teacher. I taught at a highly visible studio for more than four years. This tenure included teaching six days a week, assisting on Teacher Training Bootcamps, evaluating and advising new teachers, creating and conducting master workshops, teaching private clients, and counting among my students professional athletes, movie stars, and all the other classifications of people that somehow qualify a teacher as being established, seasoned, or high profile- no matter how misguided that categorization may be.
If nothing else, I want to impress upon the growing readership of this blog that I (and, by extension, the reviews written, here) value authenticity and intention over most qualities in yoga teachers (and people, in general). As a rule, I think it’s important to support and celebrate these qualities and the people who embody them. Hence, this site will serve as a place to applaud the talents of good teachers and the effectiveness of the styles of yoga that they teach, when appropriate.
Other new features on The World According to Om Gal. . .
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Collaboration: As mentioned last week, I am excited to announce my role as a featured contributor on a new website founded by Deepak and daughter Mallika Chopra. Check it out for yourself. The fully developed site launches later this summer.