REVIEW – SSMU Mini Course: Hatha Yoga


Last semester, I participated in a non-credit course offered by the Student’s Society of McGill University.

As the autumn air was approaching, I found myself browsing the list of mini courses that would be offered in the coming weeks. As soon as my eyes caught sight of the Saturday morning yoga class, I was headed to the SSMU office with my sixty five dollars.

NB: Although one’s experience in any mini course entirely depends on the instructor and the group of individuals taking that course, I thought you might be interested in reading about my adventure in yoga this past Fall term.

Friendly Environment? Check.

My group happened to have a range of experience levels. Thankfully, the instructor managed to  create a welcoming environment in which everyone seemed to feel very comfortable. She would always demonstrate the various levels of a given pose, as well as stress that the easiest version would be just as beneficial (for the experienced yogis) and even more beneficial (for the beginners).

Beautiful Environment? Double check.

If you’ve never taken a mini course before, they usually take place in a beautiful building on Peel Street, near the corner of Dr Penfield. Calling the room that would turn into a yoga studio every Saturday morning “a pleasure to practice in” would be an understatement. The space, in my opinion, was absolutely gorgeous — making the yoga class all the more exciting. The majestic looking house in the Golden Square Mile had a very clean, modern interior that became rather cozy as the crisp morning air slowly descended upon the city.

Workout? More like sleepout(side of your bed).

If you’re looking to break even the slightest sweat, then the Hatha Yoga Mini Course is not for you. Unfortunately, I could not come to call this class a good stretching session either. Personally, I would go as far as to classify it as a lazy Saturday morning ritual for people who wish to be in bed during that time. In other words, I would not call it a yoga class but rather a sleeping-with-one’s-eyes-open (actually we would often close them) -whilst-moving-super-slowly-session, all the while hearing people intensely exhale and make strange noises. Relaxing the mind is great (and evidently very important). But If you’re interested in a “workout” in any way, shape, or form, I do not recommend this class.

Making friends? Don’t count on it.

If you’re looking to meet people, then the Hatha Yoga Mini Course is not for you. From my experience, the instructor did not once encourage discussion, nor did she ever leave any time for something like a group reflection, which surprised me given that the required material, besides a yoga mat, was a notebook. It was merely: you walk in, set up in silence, take an alternative version of a nap for two hours, briefly say goodbye, and leave. Very relaxing, but talking to others was not encouraged.

Will I take this mini course again? No, because my personal reason for enrolling in the class was to get a minor amount of exercise while simultaneously meeting new people — both of which were not the instructor’s, nor anyone in the group’s, primary goal.


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