Which of These Yoga Student Types will you be Stuck Next To?

Via Mark Kreloff
on Aug 30, 2010
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You probably know one or more of these people.  They are in every one of your yoga classes to entertain, amuse and confound you:

OVERACHIEVING YOGA CHICK – She’s much, much faster than you. As if she has ESP, she moves into Reverse Triangle pose before the teacher even starts to say the word “Reverse”. To her, yoga is a competitive sport and you are a loser. Favorite Classroom Location: Front row, next to the teacher. Favorite Pre-Class Ritual: Sizing-up any would-be competitors.  Yoga Clothing: Color coordinated Lululemon pants and top.  Favorite Tattoo: The Olympic Rings.

LOVERBOY – Even though he’s a minute or two late, there’s always a space for him next to that beautiful girl that wasn’t impressed and didn’t respond to your question: “is this a level 3 class?”. She’s already set up his mat, towel and water because he looks like Zac Efron and also because that’s a lot of stuff to remember. Favorite Classroom Location: Any space that is set up for him. Favorite Pre-Class Ritual: Hugging and deep kissing at least 3 girls “hello”. Yoga Clothing: Whatever he woke up wearing today minus the shirt. Favorite Tattoo: His ex-girlfriend’s name followed by the word “forever”.

HIPPIE GIRL – She improvises in class by adding mudras to every posture (even “downward facing dog”). She sips Kombucha and nibbles on homemade kale crisps in between Asanas. Her legs look like a satellite photo of the Black Forest . You can’t really tell, but under that West African kaftan, she’s the fittest person in the room. Favorite Classroom Location: A corner in the back row where she can put her hemp backpack and sandals. Favorite Pre-Class Ritual: Playing her harmonium. Yoga Clothing: Something she bought in Rishikesh. Favorite Tattoo: The Dalai Lama’s face.

MS. RICH – She arrives in a 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid (15 miles to the gallon versus 11 for the regular model). She always leaves class just before Savasana because she is running late for her therapist or a pedicure. Either way, she will drop her set of keys on someone’s head on the way out of the studio. Favorite Classroom Location: “I thought this was a private?”  Favorite Pre-Class Ritual: Sipping a Starbucks “schitzo” latte. Yoga Clothing: “Lululemon Couture.” Favorite Tattoo: A diamond tennis bracelet her husband gave her when he got caught cheating.

BODY BUILDER GUY – You know him. He looks like he just walked off the set of Jersey Shore. He has the flexibility of a concrete piling and smells like Old Spice. He shaves his head for that “clean” look (and to cleverly mask his hair loss that coincided with his steroid experimentation). Favorite Classroom Location: In the back row where he can scope out  “the ladies”. Favorite Pre-Class Ritual: Handstands against the wall that involve a loud THUD. Yoga Clothing: Gold’s gym sweatpants that have been cut to look like the Hulk’s. Favorite Tattoo: A Chinese Symbol that he was told means “Powerful” but actually means “Little Eggroll”.

Want more characters? Check out Julia Lee’s article 10 Characters You May Encounter in Yoga Class.


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.


26 Responses to “Which of These Yoga Student Types will you be Stuck Next To?”

  1. YogaDawg says:

    Ha ha ha. This cracked me up. Here is my list: http://www.yogadawg.com/students.htm Good Job!!

  2. Keelyn Riley says:

    LMAO!!!!! We are all a little bit of someone in here.

  3. Emma says:

    Mark, you rock! Where on earth do you practice?

  4. mark says:

    boulder and la mostly. thanks for reading my piece!

  5. fivefootwo says:

    The least dangerous spot seems to be between Ms.Rich and Hippie Girl, huh? Thanks for having this ready for morning coffee…

  6. mara says:

    😀 thanks for the laffs U.M. <3

  7. erin says:

    Little eggroll…..that's awesome. just now died laughing

  8. Ana says:

    Absolutely loved this, I laughed soooo much! Great piece

  9. Yogini# says:

    Hey you left one out, mostly in New York City, maybe:


    This chick, 5-10 minutes before class, is doing inversions at the wall on her tiny upper limbs and I am afraid she is going to fall sideways on top me.

    Must vary by studio I left that studio over 3 months ago, and I don't see her anymore …

  10. royo says:

    ["elephant journal is dedicated to 'bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society.'"] I find this perpetuation of judgements and stereotypes the exact opposite of this dedication. Set an intention and stick to it… which is it? Bringing-together OR compartmentalizing and sterotyping? Continuing to point out how we differ just perpetuates the isolation our culture suffers from already. I don't see how this is yogic. Hope you rediscover your path.

  11. Derek Beres says:

    I have to agree with Royo on this one. These articles are very degrading to people trying to live a practice devoted to breaking down the stereotypes and welcoming newcomers into the discipline. I'm not saying yoga has to be rigid and strict, but some level of respect should be maintained, and this does nothing to help anyone in any way.

  12. Greta says:

    Ahh, the yoga student type, "I Misplaced My Sense Of Humor".

  13. david says:

    hmm, when you put a box around someone else, you really are just putting a box around yourself. Sorry, but I found this divisive and childish. oh, and I don't know any of these "types" .

  14. david says:

    Greta, laughing at someone else's expense = shouldn't be funny

  15. Jhon says:

    Ha, ha, good one Greta.

  16. mark says:

    you are funny greta! Shame on you for laughing!!! 🙂 This piece is not about any one person and I am surely an amalgam of all of these "types"….

  17. Freddy says:

    dude: i've seen your tattoos on Google images and i feel your pain. You are so busy posing for "glam" photos of yourself that its pretty obvious you have lost the ability to laugh.

  18. julie says:

    hilarious!!! so true!

  19. Ricardo says:

    Guys, seriously, take a chill pill. This is humor, this is irony. This is poking fun at yoga, not making fun of people. And if you don't get the author's humorous intent, check his other articles here on Elephant Journal. Does he have to resort to posting something like "Attention: humor follows" so you, Royo and you, Derek, can relax and not take things so seriously. Mark, thanks for making me laugh again. This, and your "7 classes" post, are priceless!

  20. madbluewings says:

    Ah, but laughing at ourselves, and our selves, should be!

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  24. befunknote says:

    Honestly I too am a bit bored with these types of articles. Where do these people practice yoga? I’ve never encountered the rudeness or disrespect that people on elephant claim happens in any yoga class I’ve ever been to, including gym yoga. If you don’t like the people or the teacher then go elsewhere. Why surround yourself with people that piss you off during yoga?