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I told my yoga instructor that I had been visiting various 24 Hour Fitness clubs and checking out their yoga. What was his take on that?

“Ignominious”.

Definition: involving a total loss of dignity and self-respect. Ouch. Fortunately I understood he was at least half joking.

I visited yoga classes at the Rancho Penasquitos, Pacific Beach, Mission Valley Center, and Point Loma clubs. After a few classes I began to understand the ignominious comment.

At Rancho Penasquitos, the instructor said we were now going to do “sun salutations”. We did something but it wasn’t a sun salutation—not even close.

At Mission Valley Center the instructor said she was going to stir in some Pilates just for fun. Pilates isn’t quite in the yogic tradition but okay.

The Point Loma and Pacific Beach classes were good but rudimentary. I did get frustrated at Point Loma because the instructor kept admonishing us to find a quiet spot but she never stopped talking so the quiet spot never arrived.

None of the instructors adjusted the students during the classes. I found a few people looking to me in the mirror to get an understanding of the position. Talk about the blind leading the blind. At a yoga studio I’m the one looking to others for guidance.

None of the instructors led the class in any mantras. There was no “ohmmmm”.

24Hour Fitness is a big faceless entity and an easy target. It’s true. What I found encouraging was that the classes were well attended.

There were people getting a taste of yoga in these classes; people who might have never tried yoga if it weren’t offered at their club. Who knows, some might continue to grow and move on to a studio or even private instruction.

Club Yoga: A good place to start or ignominious?

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