10 Reasons your Yoga Classes Suck.

Via on Jul 31, 2010

Editor’s note. Many of our readers “hate”—hate—this snarky articolo. Mark rubs a lot of folks the wrong way. I find making fun of myself and what I love cathartic, and so appreciated this. As they say, there’s no legislating whether a joke is funny or not. 

“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” E. B. White

Please quit your day job and become a stand up comedian.

Have you observed these and other classic FAIL situations in yoga class?

1. Teachers that refer to your ass as “Booty.” KC and the Sunshine Band called.  They want their lyrics back.  Skinny-assed white teachers should not be using this word. Ever.

2. Teachers that refer to the collective as “My Friends.” Are you running for class president?  Is this some kind of stump speech? Friends don’t charge their “Friends” $18 to take a yoga class.

3. Punctuating a lame observation with YA? “This posture is good for your spleen YA?” Do we live in Deutschland?  Did you do your teacher training after you finished medical school?

4. Half assed/off-key OMs. There is nothing like a near-empty class of tone-deaf college students and soccer moms chanting OM to set a positive tone for a yoga class. Can we first hear a clean G major chord from an instrument to get us on key?

5. Spray bottle noises before class starts. What are these people doing exactly? Don’t they realize its 130 degrees in the studio? In a minute, you and your mat will be soaking wet.

6. Paying $18 for a drop-in class that is taught by a recent graduate of teacher training. These teachers should be paying us $18 to suffer through their clunky flow…and trite observations on life.

7. Shameless plugs for teacher training before and after class. Okay, we get it. Teacher training is a huge profit center for the yoga studios. But do we really need to be pitched on the up-sell every single time? Can’t you buy a Super Bowl ad to reach everybody in America at the same time once a year? [or, slightly cheaper, an ad on ele? ~ed.]

8. While doing sit-ups, teachers that say “only 20 more minutes of these.” Har Dee Har Har! Please quit your day job and become a standup comedian.  Soon you’ll be telling jokes to your friends on “open mike” night.

9. Pools of sweat from the class that just ended. As if the toe nail clippings aren’t bad enough.

10. People that come to class a minute before it starts and ask if they can squeeze in next to you. Listen fellow yogi/yogini, I snuck out of the office 30 minutes before the lunch hour officially started to get this spot. Who do you think you are?  Russell Brand?

About Mark Kreloff

Mark Kreloff is an entrepreneur in Boulder, Colorado. He started his yoga practice 10 years ago with a “donation only” class in Santa Monica taught by Bryan Kest. To this day, it was the best class he has ever taken in his life.

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88 Responses to “10 Reasons your Yoga Classes Suck.”

  1. Kat says:

    LOVE that your first class with Bryan Kest is still your favorite to this day.

  2. Jen says:

    Its going to be okay guy. The poor teachers and fellow students that have to deal with your judgmental rants. Go with the flow it makes things much easier to deal with.

  3. iamronen says:

    How about a followup post "10 Indicators you are in a good Yoga class"?

  4. Linda-Sama says:

    love it! yeah, those toe nail clippings creep me out!

    and I might add: PARTNER YOGA

  5. Bud says:

    It sounds like the author needs more bran in his diet.

  6. Katie says:

    Too much snark, not enough intelligence. This was just a hyper critical, arrogant rant with little benefit to anyone, and pretty much no humour.

  7. Alex King alex says:

    Thanks for this Mark. Hilarious and oh so true. Yoga = the king of smug.

  8. joshua says:

    yeah its smug….but its all true, really it is…and yes the toenail clippings are nasty…and for the price of yoga you think they could pay somebody $5 a class just to mop up the last classes diluted puddles of self accomplishment….squeegee anyone?

    • namastehon says:

      hey, many studios trade free classes to people to clean up after and do other odd jobs.

  9. Keep coming back: more will be revealed.

  10. ARCreated says:

    wow…maybe skip the mocha and do an extra class…snippy anyone??

    I was seriously going to respond to every line…but I figure you need more yin or restorative yoga instead of a re rant back.. so just the major ones…I wonder if you have been doing some gym yoga??? booty? really ??? Maybe I'm just the luckiest yoga student on the planet and haven't experienced the horrors of some classes…

    and
    10. People that come to class a minute before it starts and ask if they can squeeze in next to you. Listen fellow yogi/yogini, I snuck out of the office 30 minutes before the lunch hour officially started to get this spot. Who do you think you are? Russell Brand?

    WEL aren't you lucky to be able to do that…aren't you lucky to have the ability to sneak out …how the heck do you know what that person had to go through to get there one minute before class and not 5 minutes late…IT"S a community show a little brotherly love…if that's just not possible stay home and do a dvd…

  11. YogiOne says:

    #11: The snarky student who complains about the studio, but never lifts a hand to clean up his own spot, perish the thought, push the dust mop around during the 30 minutes he is waiting for his own class to start. Its the thing with a long stick and a shaggy dry mop on the end.

    #12: The snarky student who warms up by doing kick boxing. Can only shake my head at this one.

    #13: The snarky student who dislikes the music and complains loudly in the middle of the class. You obviosly have a Big Lobowski deficit. Remember this Mantra and say it 108 times a day: The Dude Abides.

    #14: The snarky student who snears at anyone in class that doesn't fit their idealized conception of what a yogi should look like. Um, there is this thing called projection? Look it up.

  12. Sheri says:

    I laughed at several of these because they are so true.

    I have a couple Bryan Kest DVDS and love his style of yoga.

    The other day a student in my warm power yoga class got up after practicing and wrung out his mat towel on the floor creating a huge puddle (and walked out of the room). Eeeew!

    I had to practice patience, non-judgment, (biting my tongue), and compassion.

    Thanks for bringing a little humor to my day!

  13. dean says:

    ahole.

  14. una says:

    One of my first classes was with Bryan as well…actually that whole studio on the second floor in SM was pretty fantastic…but! i have to say, bryan talked too much for my taste, even though he was great. then i went to yogaworks and studied with vinnie marino who was hardcore. vinnie was the real thing for me. i appreciate your observations, i have plenty more to add: guys trying to pick you up after class?? really?, teachers telling you to get out of child pose – when you realize that you actually just need a little child pose to rest/revitalize/restructure, students leaving for the bathroom during a standing pose (vinnie will yell at you if you do this…), the stretching BEFORE the class show-off period (oy), talking through corpse pose, savasana, has got to be the worst and tops my list….

    • namastehon says:

      I once had a woman text on her cellphone for nearly the entire class – even AFTER I asked her to stop and focus on her practice!

      another time, everybody was just settling into shavasana and somebody's cell went off. and ANOTHER time in my university class, an unannounced fire alarm drill started! had to peel 30 students off the ceiling….

  15. Rb says:

    This reminds me of why I can stand taking yoga at Core Power in Boulder. They are ruining what yoga is supposed to be by making it corporate!!!!

  16. NellaLou says:

    "Who do you think you are? Russell Brand?"
    I'd only take yoga classes if Russell Brand was actually teaching.

  17. Matt K says:

    Guilty as charged. :(

  18. mark says:

    no way!!!!! you are the best!!!

  19. Tricia says:

    If everyone would just revert back to the yamas and niyamas we would be clean, avoid the attachment of owning a "space" and remember not to harm. Corporate yoga is a reality and like it or not it will continue to grow. It's unto the studio owners to educate people on the basics. forgive and forget! Metta.

  20. Amy says:

    How about a follow-up post "10 Indicators you are a self-righteous a$$h0le"? Oh wait, I think this article already covered it. Thanks snarky yoga guy!

  21. Gary says:

    Thank you for this article. It perfectly illustrates why I chose to stop having this free 'magazine' delivered to my inbox.

  22. Cousin Johnny says:

    Bryan Kest rocks but this article is not funny.

  23. laksmi says:

    love this. A large part of the reason I practice at home ALONE.

  24. Monica says:

    Haha its so funny because its super true! "only 20 more of these…" haha

  25. [...] I can’t tell if it was just plain coincidence or the result of my incessant ranting but 2010 ending up being a transformational year for my beloved yoga studio. [...]

  26. [...] students now want to have sex with you.” Editor’s note: Mark Kreloff’s original 10 Reasons Your Yoga Class Sucks got so much traction with beleaguered yogis everywhere, we supplicated our disaffected friend for [...]

  27. Mark's Ego says:

    tool. get a new hobby.

  28. Fern says:

    Someone needs a home practice – stat.

  29. Lele says:

    Giggle giggle

  30. Laura says:

    I think most of these comments sound like a corporation or gym type yoga as I have never heard these things from any of my yoga teachers and I have practiced in many studios around the world. The mat comment also is not really a bothersome thing to me and most other yogis I know. If you have a full class, you have to move your mat over. When I have practiced in India and some other smaller studios my mat has had less than a few centimetres between mats; literally almost touching. Main rule of courtesy in yoga: stay on your own mat. :) I would not be offended if someone wanted to squeeze in – the more the merrier or rather the more the greater the energy! I think the worst aspect of this article is the picture. My god I would never want to be practicing on the sidewalk like that!

  31. abby says:

    you totally just negged me out man.

  32. Paula says:

    i say booty and lots of other silly things when teaching to get my students to giggle. yoga doesn't have to be so serious all the time. maybe dear author you should try laughing more and ranting less.

  33. Christine says:

    This is unnecessarily harsh and I didn't find it particularly funny.

  34. Jay says:

    “What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what kind of a person you are” – C.S. Lewis — AKA, your yoga class sucks because you do

  35. ZensationalCreations says:

    HUuumm. PEOPLE please… Humor should not cultivate so much negative energy. Get in the flow of the yogic spirit and breathe a bit. If you even utter Namaste, then dare to criticize Mark, you are crapping all over yourselves. Hint:
    “I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
    I honor the place in you that is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.
    When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me,
    We are One"

    So love the 2 rupees in place of 2 cents. Hilarious! So here is my 2 rupees:

    #11 Hate it when teachers say: Move the love if you need to so that the sitz bones can feel the mat. It's not love that's encasing the sitz bones, it's OUR ASSES! Stop acknowledging the larger asses in the room. Seriously, just say: allow the sitz bones to feel the mat. Or: adjust the flesh if needed allowing the sitz bones to burrow into the mat.

    #12 Hate it when teachers say: Ohhh Donna, or Fred or whoever's ass they want to kiss that day, is doing a beautiful ustrasana or whatever pose of the moment. Nobody gives a shit what their fellow yogi is doing, or at least they shouldn't be. If they want a model for each pose, they should appoint one before class and put them in front of the room.

    #13 Hate it when anyone other than the teacher speaks during class. Shut the F&*k UP! You are not special. Wait until after class for your silly remarks or selfish comments.

    #14 Love it when the synergy of the class is obviously positive and filled with people who realize, "we are all one". Oh wait, has that ever happened? I'd like to think so…

    Well that turned into 4 rupees. So what, it is what it is and I am what I am. However, I would like to see a follow up of the top 10 reasons to love a yoga class. My #1 reason would be: Because it is available.

    Love, Light, Peace & Namaste…

  36. appreicate the part about trite observations on life!

  37. Sara says:

    Seriously negative writing. This is a sad commentary and ego-driven. It hurts that you're talking about yoga.

  38. ndieken says:

    Ew, so negative. Get a colonic.

  39. Renee Fidz says:

    It's important to have a sense of humor about yourself. The fact that this article pissed so many yogis off is telling.

  40. Amber says:

    Unfortunately this article is a Fail. Venemous and toxic, not funny. You are what you see in others.

  41. Sophia Paul says:

    I know it sounds funny but most of it is true and sadly so… had to post a link on my fb page :)

  42. namastehon says:

    I once had a male student who would go through 2 long sleeve shirts and 2 large bath towels in Primary Series. He still left enough of a puddle at the end of his mat that I (jokingly) threatened to hire a lifeguard.

    a couple years later, he was down to 1 long sleeve shirt and 1 towel. now he barely sweats at all! plus, he can get into full lotus without his knees hurting (he'd had surgery on both knees, it took him a LOOONNNGGG time to rehab them).

    it's up to teach to keep a proper attitude and try to educate the students about compassion towards those who violate the "rules" while compassionately educating the violater….

    though I must confess to kicking one man out of my class because he REFUSED to change from his trousers into pants he could move in (he wouldn't even take the belt off! he had injured himself that way – took him 6 months to heal – and every class I told him to just buy a pair of sweat pants). Actually, I just told him I would not let him continue to take class if he was not properly attired and I never saw him again.

    pet peeves of teachers list coming soon

  43. JoeC2K says:

    #6 is a good one :-)

  44. Dawn says:

    I'm so tired of the goddamn snarky cynicism. Really? You have a problem with the word Booty? My seven-year old twins love it. What the hell is wrong with a teacher saying booty? And the rest of it? This is what you spend your time worrying about? This is all too easy and pointless.

  45. pardon me says:

    I htink #8 is funny.

  46. Yogitucson says:

    This post clarified my desire to unsubscribe to Elephant Journal.

  47. Yogitucson says:

    This post clarified my desire to unsubscribe Elephant Journal.

  48. devacat says:

    What a mild piece of humor to inspire so much vitriol. Your local Y doesn't charge $18/hr and you might find better teachers there than you find at the image-conscious studios. I've taught at both for many years, have trained widely, and can attest to that.

  49. missbernklau says:

    The thing that I think is getting SO tired is the people kvetching (with much venom, I might add) about newly-certified teachers. As if these people (the ones kvetching) never did anything in their lives for the first time or ever had to practice at something to get better at it. It's as though these people forget that all the yoga teachers that they like that now have many years of experience under their belts ALSO had to go through their awkward first few months/year of teaching and "finding their voice". I mean, I know some people just really like the taste of Haterade, but it's getting so incredibly old.

  50. Jamie says:

    Rather unfortunate this was posted. Mark, you should look into understanding Ahimsa a little better. Best of luck on your yoga journey- you have so much more to learn.

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