No worries—I am here to help!
Let’s get started right away.
Are you someone who likes to complain about the cliques and “mean girls” at your studio?
I never really understood any of this. I practice yoga at a couple of studios in downtown Manhattan (I mention this only since sometimes I hear people arguing that this is only a problem in New York, L.A. and other metropolitan areas) and I have never seen these mean, clique-y people that so many bloggers love to speak of. And also, just so we’re clear on that, I am definitely not part of that crowd—I am a quiet, mousy person who likes to do my yoga as an inward exercise and not really interact with anyone at the studio, other than the mandatory “Good morning!” and “Thank you so much, I loved your class today!”
Where are they? In your head? If you’re a seasoned yogi, keep your eyes on your own mat and just let it go already. And if you’re a beginner, find a class that’s appropriate for your level and don’t worry about the meanies. Just whatever you do, don’t sink to their level and start complaining about them! I swear, no one wants to hear it.
Are you someone who looks down on girls who wear makeup to class?
Oh, come on! I can only speak for myself, but while I’m perfectly happy to show up au naturale for Mysore class at six am, I might be wearing a little eyeliner and mascara if I come to class right after work in the evening.
Who cares? That poor girl you’re hating on probably had to scramble like crazy to get out of the office on time, change into her tights and find her mat on the storage shelf in the studio—next time, smile at her and send some positive vibes instead, to help her unwind and get into yogi mode.
Are you someone who gets upset when people leave during savasana?
I never really thought this was a big deal either. In Mysore class, people are constantly walking in and out with their mats, bags and other belongings and you have to make it a point not to be bothered by what’s going on around—even if you happen to be in savasana while others are leaving or entering the studio. And besides—you just had a wonderful, rewarding yoga practice! Do you really want to ruin it by being angry or upset? Close your eyes…and your ears, too!
Are you someone who gets mad when that gross dude behind you, who totally doesn’t know what he’s doing and shouldn’t be in intermediate/advanced class, is checking out your ass in downward dog?
Boys will be boys. It is what it is. And who knows—maybe he’s actually looking at you because he doesn’t understand the pose and needs help? Just focus on your own practice and let him enjoy the show….or whatever it is that he’s doing.
Are you someone who gives the thin, flexible girl on the mat next to yours dirty looks as she’s sliding down into a full split?
Really? Get over yourself and stop being so insecure. Some people are naturally thin and naturally flexible—it’s OK to be jealous (if you must!) but not to give them the bitch version of a once-over. Be nice to your fellow yogis and remember that what you see is not always what you get!
And are you someone who grits your teeth when the teacher plays music during class—yoga is supposed to be done in fucking quietude, God damn it!
Okay. I admit it—I am that annoying someone. In nine cases out of 10, I can’t stand music in class. Cough, cough. Let’s talk about something else…unless someone has any advice for me?! Let’s hear it—I am all ears!
Malin Bergman is an ashtanga yogi, indie film and music aficionado, often-cheating vegan and failed ballerina, who sleeps like a starfish and refuses to accept that Pluto is no longer a planet. She loves green figs, anything crochet, horses, Coney Island, second-hand book stores and the guy who plays piano in Washington Square Park. She seldom leaves her house without giant shades, a mug of black coffee and her Chinese Crested darling dog, Angel. Connect with her on Twitter and/or New York City Snippets.
Ed: Bryonie Wise