1. “The sweater” – You can recognize him almost as soon as he unfurls his mat. What used to be blue is now stained black as a result of many, many sweaty practice sessions. You look on in horror as people slip and fall from the trail he leaves from the practice room to the shower. The poor student who cleans the studio gets a sinking feeling in her stomach when he walks through the door.
2. “The namast-delayer” – This individual makes a point of pausing a few moments before joining in the final “Namaste”, so that everyone can notice just how spiritual he is. “Naaammmmaaaasssttteeeeeeee,” he booms, bowing deeply and enunciating each syllable for maximum effect. He often remains seated with his eyes closed muttering in Sanskrit while everyone packs up.
3. “The newbie” – It’s quite clear that this girl decided to try yoga because Jennifer Aniston mentioned it on Oprah, and “she has like, really toned arms, and stuff.” Her mat is still in its plastic packaging when she enters the practice room, and she darts furtive looks at everyone around her for guidance on how to proceed. After class, she will often turn wide-eyed to the person beside her and say something along the lines of, “I never knew yoga was so hard!”
4. “The creeper” – This man shows up to class every once in a while in an effort to scope out “hot girls.” His bros tell him that yoga chicks are really bendy, and he is impressed. He saunters in nonchalantly and will use pickup lines like, “So…do you come here often?”…unaware that generally speaking, Ashtanga yoga is a daily practice.
5. “The senior citizen” – This woman looks like she is old enough to be your great-great-great-grandmother. Her sinewy muscles bulge beneath her papery skin. You worry for her health and safety, but as class begins you realize that she is in fact much more advanced than you are. She deftly flows from Crow to Handstand as you fall flat on your face. You are humbled.
5. “The crier” – The woman seems to use yoga class as an alternative for therapy. She will often begin sniffling by the third Sun Salutation and tears will be streaming down her face as she moves into Pigeon pose. Regulars at the studio know to give her some space in the practice room so she can “let her emotions out.” She often approaches the teacher after class and will thank him tearfully.
6. “The jock” – Quarterback of the college football team, team captain of the lacrosse team and a regular at the gym, this boy heard that yoga is a great complement to sports and decided to try it out. Similar to the newbie, he appears out of his element as he enters the studio in his dri-fit Underarmour shirt and boardshorts. He sheds his shirt within the first minute of class and pulls a muscle while struggling to touch his toes. He is unaccustomed to not excelling at any physical activity he tries.
7. “The blogger” – Armed with notebook in hand, the blogger can often be found scribbling notes throughout practice to write about later, in her yoga blog. She hops from studio to studio writing up reviews and trying out new styles to write about in her blog. She chats up people in the studio and tells them about her blog. You wonder if she even has a job, as her life revolves solely around yoga…and blogging.
8. “The laugher” – The laugher often attends class with a friend who is equally as giggly. You can instantly tell when they enter the practice room, as they disrupt your Savasana with their whispered snorts. When one of them falls out of a balance posture, they will both begin to laugh uncontrollably. “Shhhh!” someone hisses, which only makes them laugh even harder.
9. “The klutz” – The problem child of yoga class, this student has difficulty following instruction. When the teacher says “right”, this girl goes left, setting off a domino effect of confusion. You hold a Seated Prayer Twist for what feels like an eternity as the teacher goes over and attempts to adjust this student, before finally moving onto the next pose.
10. “The keener” – The man always places his mat front row and center. He has devoted his entire life to yoga and takes his practice very, very seriously. He can be seen wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing and a mala around his neck. He has been working privately with the teacher to perfect his handstand transitions and carries around a pocket version of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras at all times.