Boring Yoga

By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | April 26, 2024

COMMENTS

an image of a dj working a sound board

I saw an ad last week which promised to share how it could help us yoga teachers stand out and be successful. The secret? Get your BPM right. I was confused, so I looked it up.

Turns out BPM means beats per minute, and success as a yoga teacher happens when you know how to properly sync your movements and teaching to the correct BPM of your music.

Hmmm.

I must be living in an alternate universe.

These ads popped up a few times on my Instagram feed, so I read some comments and there was lots of excitement and encouragement.

an image of a dj working a sound board

Which got me thinking a lot about boredom in yoga. I think a lot of times teachers are afraid their classes are too boring and they want to spice them up – new poses, flows, or the perfect playlist with the right beats per minute.

When I first started teaching yoga in 1995 I taught the same basic class structures (one chair and one mat) for five years. My students told me that they liked it, they always knew what to expect next, they didn’t like when I changed things up.

Sure that was the 90s and things have changed since then, but I think the point remains that teachers are often the ones who get bored with themselves and their teaching, not the students.

And, anyway, if I go to a yoga class and I find it boring, the music (or lack of it) isn’t the issue. I may want to blame the teacher, but it really almost never has anything to do with that person, it’s just projection. Boredom comes from within.

And maybe it’s not such a bad thing.

“Boredom, rooted in a fundamental discomfort with the self, is one of the least tolerable mental states.” – Gabor Maté

There are few places you can find boredom because our whole culture is set up to avoid it, to put off the pain of being with yourself, to keep you distracted – including, it would appear, most yoga classes.

Certainly the internet and social media have vacuumed up boredom from our lives.

a picture from the 1930s of a man yawning and a woman watching him and touching his shoulder

But boredom is where creativity emerges. Boredom is how we get to know ourselves.

Being bored in yoga is a mirror. It teaches me something about myself – what I can tolerate, what I can’t – it forces me to look hard at myself and get to the why.

Why am I bored right now? Why can’t I be with myself right now? Why am I so anxious to move on the next thing? Why do I hate this feeling so much?

When I sit (or move slowly) with that boredom, I can get to what’s underneath it.

If I’m never bored, I can’t grow.

Being bored isn’t just good for kids, it’s important for grown ups too – maybe even more important. If we can help our students understand that there is a lot of potential for growth in their boredom, perhaps that can lead us to a deeper success as teachers, perhaps it’s just fine to be a bit boring.

 

Please check out my delightfully boring yoga class, Chair Yoga for Your Brain and Nervous System (you’ll also receive a stick figure script).

CHAIR YOGA FOR YOUR BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM

SUBTLE® YOGA FOR ENHANCING TRAUMA RECOVERY

Five Ways Yogic Meditation Benefits Your Brain – eBook

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