Are You One of These Annoying Yoga Types? ~ Malin Bergman

Via elephant journal
on Dec 23, 2012
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Haters Gonna Hate!

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.

lucyburrluckAre 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.

Too flexibleAre 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

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12 Responses to “Are You One of These Annoying Yoga Types? ~ Malin Bergman”

  1. @Yogini_Jess says:

    Don't go to classes that play music. Boom.

  2. Haha. I don't. Problem solved!

  3. edieyoga says:

    Love it. Thanks!

  4. Lisamarie says:

    I’m sure that there are those kinds of people here in LA!! There are mommy cliques, which are pretty disgusting, mean and immature as well. I believe it’s all ego based, which can be a bitch , if one lacks confidence.

  5. Hmm, that actually doesn't surprise me that much… so maybe I need to at least partly take back what I said above! But either way, I think the "trick" is to not allow yourself to feel intimidated. I remember my first class here in NY back in 2003! Thank God I was flexible from being a dancer, because aside from that, I had no idea what I was doing! But people were actually very friendly and even offered me some advice on poses, placement etc. 🙂

    Either way, my take is that if you just paid 20 bucks for a yoga class, you want to enjoy it and focus on your own practice – not get caught up in drama and other people's insecurities.

  6. Joe Sparks says:

    I agree, if you take it personally, they won, you lost. We all have feelings about everything, most of it has nothing to do with the present, otherwise we would handle the situation in an elegant way. Everyone has a back log of old unmet feelings. We are always in charge of the situation, no one is making anyone do something they do not want to do.

  7. Very true, Jon. Thank you for putting it so much more eloquently than I did.

  8. Peacelovehappiness says:

    I agree that yoga is a personal inward practice, so when the instructor tells us to work with a partner or friend on a pose during class, I find it infuriating. I have no desire to chat or interact with others during most classes. I wish instructors respected a yogis desire to practice alone while sharing space with others. I have forced conversations all day long in my work life… Now why would I want to do that during yoga? And people who leave during shavasanah are rude. It is disruptive to others. I equate it to those who show up late for class and have everyone move their mats around to accommodate them. Drives me batty. Sure, it!s not very yogi like.. but it is what it is. Namaste. Ps. Great article.

  9. camsa says:

    1. I agree/disagree with the shavasana point. It’s true, that many people leave during this time. Their particular reasons for leaving the room are not our concern. However, they should be mindful to leave quietly (tip toe on the balls of the feet, slowly and quietly move through the room) rather than slam down on their heels and throw their blocks/etc around like iron plates at the local crossfit gym. Believe it or not, shavasana is actually PART of the class! And as most instructors will let you know, one of the most IMPORTANT parts! So, the reality is, leaving during this period is just as rude and bothersome as leaving at any point in the class. If you have to do it, be courteous as you would if you had to leave when the instructor can see you!

    2. ‘boys will be boys’ – I’m no feminist, but….that was painful to read. Great notation that maybe the ‘creepy’ man behind you is checking you out to see how to actually do the pose that he may be struggling with. It is most likely true. And if he is checking you out, also, good to remember to keep your mind focused within. However, I wish you took more care in wording this. After reading that part, I have to admit that I stopped reading the article, and jumped down to see the photo/bio, figuring I would find some googly eyed bikini babe. You are better than that!

    3. I am with you on the music – especially when my instructor plays one song that has repetitive lines of ‘youuuuuuuu arrrrrrre beauuuuuuuuutiful’ underneath her speaking over and over and over again how to ‘quiet our minds’ in Yin class. Dear ****** SHUT UP! 😉

  10. lunacatchild says:

    really? complaining about people being judgmental, by being totally judgmental? nice job.

  11. Michelle Marchildon says:

    I kind of loved this. But I guess that's not a surprise. Keep it up Malin. And don't worry about your haters. Someday you are going to thank them, big time.