Positive setting. Vis a vis hatha yoga- the teachers really need to learn how to teach people with different bodies. They tend to know how to accommodate boyish bodies (ie Yoga Journal bodies) but not rounder fleshier ones. They tell us to learn how to make our bodies fit the pose, but they don't know how to teach us to do that. Example- fixed firm pose- it's a sin seeing how people who can't achieve the full pose are hovering on their knees with no support. Please take some Iyengar courses to learn how to help all of your clients. I dissuade people who don't have a solid foundation in yoga to start yoga at this studio. This is a great studio for weight loss, building stamina, and looking at yourself in the mirror, but not for learning the basics about alignment and how to "use yoga."
Ironically, we had a teachers meeting yesterday to discuss modifications for larger bodies, and will be putting together a workshop for this in the near future. Please understand that most of our teachers are "Bikram" yoga or Baron Baptiste "PowerYoga" trained, and have been teaching these styles of Yoga for up to 15 years. And true, these styles do not give much leeway for different body types and modifications. Which is why we are moving away from this type of teaching, but it is a slow process, and we are encouraging training with other teachers such as Tony Sanchez. We are not a " Bikram" or "PowerYoga" or "Iyengar" studio, and I believe not one style is better than the other, but we are striving to meld together the best of what we have learned through our training's. Over the past few years we have been focusing more on teaching the priority of alignment and breath, and the mirror is actually there to promote focus and checking alignment as the teaching is teaching it. It is not there for any ego stroking, people will use it as they will though, we cant force anything. It seems to me you may have taken class with a teacher who is not comfortable yet with suggesting proper modification. We are striving to bring all our teachers to be on the same page, but they are all at different experience levels. Please be patient with them, some have only been teaching for a few weeks or a few years or struggling to separate themselves from the Bikram dogma. But the more seasoned teachers would suggest to bring an extra towel to place behind or under the knees and to lean into the fists to take the pressure off the knees in fixed firm pose. Hopefully after the meeting we will all be comfortable helping students to do that! Thank you~