I was psyched up to attend a workshop on physical adjustments this Friday. I had the day off, my husband and I devised a plan to take the boys downtown and if needed I could feed the baby – the workshop was only between 1-4pm so he would only possibly need to eat once. I called to make sure there was a lobby area to feed in, the staffer said yes and to just give my name and show up – no problems. Over retentive as I am I decided to follow up with an email. Here is the reply I received….
“Thanks for your interest in our CEC workshop on Physical Adjustments. I am
happy to register you, however I did speak with our front desk staffer
from last night and he mentioned that you might have a baby with your
husband in the front room. Unfortunately, he didn’t consider that at the
time of the workshop our office is closed and we couldn’t just have
someone hanging out in there for several reasons. Also, I think it might
be disruptive as there isn’t sound proofing between the spaces and we will
be doing some meditation work.
Let me know if you still plan to attend, we would be more than happy to
have you. If not, we are planning on offering these CEC workshops on a
regular basis so perhaps in a few months it would work better for you.”
Here’s the thing- this time and date work best for me, which is why I was set to attend, I’ll still be nursing in a few months and I don’t find it inconvenient. Meditation and the 8 limbs of yoga involve pratyahara (sense withdrawal and the idea that you retreat inside yourself and away from stimuli) not that you would need it while I nurse – breastfeeding is pretty quiet – not something that needs sound proofing, being located in the city alone requires soundproofing to practice yoga in a bubble.
As for not having someone milling around the lobby – I never said they would be. I simply asked if they could accommodate my husband bringing my newborn in to nurse if needed. I have made similar requests with the Chicago Thai Massage School – they were more than happy to have a nursing mom student (I just couldn’t commit the finances this month to start) and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy which includes physical adjustments, meditations, silence, etc – without a problem.
Originally while pregnant I had the finances set aside and wanted to complete the Thai Massage program and spoke with Paul on the phone – he came straight to the point – that there would be poses and techniques I could not do, so having me in the program would not be prudent or safe for me and others. He wasn’t wishy washy trying to say they preferred I not come without saying stating so.
My PRYT training while 7.5 months pregnant at Moksha didn’t have sound proofing, they have multiple studio spaces and a large lobby area and people were simply respectful and quiet as they passed between it to the restroom, etc. They also did not have someone on staff during every minute of the training but accommodated out of town spouses who read in the lobby (and actually did hang around). That’s what makes some places a success, actually embodying the idea of yoga and realizing that their students can do so as well.
In the end I think this provides an invaluable lesson in any service based industry – there are ways to handle situations and still come out on top. This email did not leave me wanting to sign up for a workshop later on, or feel as though I am truly welcome at this one. If you read this email and truly pay attention to the wording you may get the same feeling I did – maybe not.