The Yoga Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. ~ Scott Moore

Via elephant journal
on Jul 21, 2010
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Surviving the Studio.

One of my favorite and most useful books in my library is one called The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.

Its bright yellow hard-backed cover makes it durable so I can take it with me everywhere, and easy to find when I’m in a pinch. This Survival Handbook contains a lot of information; you know, practical and essential know-how for things like giving your cat the Heimlich Maneuver, how to escape your car when it has been completely submerged in water, and how to escape from killer bees.

One section that is glaringly absent from this essential how-to is a section on what to do for those “Worst-Case Scenarios” involving your yoga practice. So, in the interest of helping humanity avoid any preventable disasters (and I realize I may be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for this) I would like to offer my own appendage to this already very informative book. I offer this information from personal experience either in practice or teaching. It cannot be overstated that I have experienced or seen everything in a yoga class — everything.

What to Do in Class When Your Cell Phone Rings

1. Look disapprovingly at someone else in the room.
2. Pretend it didn’t ring and pray the battery in your phone dies.
3. Calmly walk over and silence then turn off your phone. Under no circumstance should you answer the call.
4. If you are a doctor or have a young child at home who may call you during an emergency, tell the instructor before class that you will put your phone on vibrate and if in the rare circumstance it should ring, that you’ll discretely leave and take the call out of the studio.

How to Come in Late to or Leave Early from Class

If possible, plan your day to arrive early, and don’t leave rushed, but I’d personally rather people come late or leave early than not come at all.
1. If coming late, while standing outside the studio, unroll your yoga mat and place it longways over your shoulder. Do not whip open your mat in the studio.
2. If possible, scout a spot in the studio to place your mat quickly and quietly.
3. Listen and make sure to come into the studio after the class has chanted and once the class begins moving.
4. If you are leaving early, tell the instructor beforehand that you’ll be leaving. Plan to sit or rest in savasana for a few minutes before you leave.

How to Keep from Coughing in Savasana

In this desert climate and with all the ujjai breathing (whisper breath) we do during class, it’s common to have a dry throat at the end of class.
1. Hydrate before class and keep water close to your person.
2. Most studios allow students to bring water to class. Swig several ounces right before savasana.
3. If you feel a cough coming on, focus on a different chakra than your throat chakra and repeat this mantra, “I am hydrated. I am calm. I am the ocean, or something.”
4. If you begin coughing, discretely leave the room and find liquid.

How to Survive if Someone in Class Has Severe Body Odor

Unfortunately some practitioners do not apply the ancient yoga philosophy of Sauca (pronounced sow-cha), the virtue of cleanliness, in body, mind, spirit and relating to personal hygiene.
1. Focus on pranayama (breath work) that emphasizes your exhale.
2. Slip the odoriferous individual a copy of the yoga sutras with highlighted passages pointing to this philosophical point of cleanliness
3. Remember that we are all sentient beings (though some of us have more acute senses than others) and each are part of the Whole, even those individuals who have really, really, bad B.O.
4. If you realize that you are the one with the B.O., discretely find a restroom and rinse your pits. Hand sanitizer contains mostly alcohol which kills bacteria. Rubbing some under your armpits may neutralize the odor. Shower regularly and use deodorant.

What to Do When You Are Trying to Impress Someone and Can’t Do the Pose

1. Fake a cramp.
2. Mutter in semi-audible tones that you are tired from performing this same pose (which is usually very easy) earlier on that day in your 3-hour personal practice and need to rest.
3. Complain that you learned how to do the pose differently.
4. Perform a different pose that you can do very well.

What to Do When You Have a Real Muscle Cramp

The exact cause of muscle cramping is not well understood. Cramps are thought to be the result of overexertion and fatigue of a muscle and loss of vital minerals such as sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Oxygen deprivation is also a possible cause for muscles to cramp (inefficient energy resources in the muscles when oxygen is deprived).
1. Stay well hydrated to prevent cramping.
2. Ease your way into and through each pose. Practice the balance of steadiness and ease (Sthirum and Sukam) while performing every pose, especially if it is an unfamiliar pose or you have previously fatigued the targeted muscles.
3. Maintain your deep and slow breathing. Oxygen may help muscles perform regular energy production. See Krebs Cycle.
4. Increase the aforementioned minerals into your diet by eating bananas, watermelon, low-fat milk, kale, spinach, leafy greens, or broccoli however make sure that these foods are appropriate for you Prakruti, according to the Ayurveda model.

How to Avoid Passing Gas in Class

Yoga is designed to be very cleansing on several levels. Unfortunately, social norms don’t support all methods of cleansing caused by yoga.
1. Avoid eating at least two hours before class.
2. Visit the restroom before class.
3. If you feel air moving in your digestive organs, discretely leave class, visit the restroom and practice a squat pose until gas is relieved.
4. If you or someone proximal does pass gas, apply similar methods as sections: How to Survive if Someone in Class Has Sever Body Odor and What to Do In Class When Your Cell Phone Rings.

How to Avoid Doing Partner Yoga Postures with the Sweaty Guy

1. Fake a cramp
2. Invent an injury and explain that you will need to do a different pose.
3. Pretend your cell phone rang, that your a doctor and need to take the emergency call.
4. Use this opportunity to use the restroom.
5. If you are the Sweaty Guy, consider bringing a towel to class or and perhaps and extra t-shirt to put on in case you are partnering in poses.

Scott Moore is a senior yoga teacher in Salt Lake City. His teaching comes from his heart and he loves to invest his classes with music, poetry, stories, and a sense of humor. See his blog and teaching/retreat schedule online or on Facebook.


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7 Responses to “The Yoga Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. ~ Scott Moore”

  1. jolinda Van Haren says:

    re: cell phone rings – you may also take calls if you are on the list for a heart and lung or kidney transplant and waiting for notification of donor. Could happen!

  2. Joslyn Hamilton says:

    An awesome combination of true and also side-splitting. Thanks for this! I'll be sending to my yoga studio owner friends to post in their dressing rooms.

  3. Sam says:

    Some of these are good, but I wouldn't go as far as lying about being a dr. or things like that. COnsidering I have been going to the same yoga place for 5 years. Thats a little stretched and not very yogic.

  4. Eloy Lombel says:

    I suffer from cramps frequently when I am swimming, which is about the worst occasion you desire it to happen. I have found that if I consume six to eight glasses of water daily this helps prevent dehydration, which could be a reason of cramping for most people. I also eat potassium rich food chiefly bananas because they contain elevated levels of this important mineral. I in addition carry out plenty of stretching frequently all through the day and before exercising, this has in addition helped to avert my cramps.

  5. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to find any individual with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is something that is wanted on the net, someone with slightly originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  6. Rishima says:

    Errr, the sweaty guys are frequently here, we're in the tropics after all 😀 True and funny. My problem usually is a rumbling stomach, just a little less disturbing than gas I reckon, at least for the ones around me…