Warning: naughty language ahead!
Geez, oh man, I love yoga. You wouldn’t know it based on the infrequent number of times a week I seem to get on my mat, but I swear, it’s the truth.
When I do manage to carve out three minutes to pop into a class—as opposed to teaching a class, which I do copiously—I get super bummed when certain things happen. I mean, I know I should be all peace and love and like a duck with the water rolling off its back and so forth, but I’m only human, and a pretty irritable human at that, if you want to know the truth.
So here’s my little bitch fest; my apologies in advance for being a meanie.
1) Don’t be stinky.
This may be the fastidious American in me, but when I can smell you before I see you, there’s a problem. I know some people sweat more than others, and I admire your sweatiness as it indicates dedication and effort, but there’s a difference between yoga sweat and B.O.
Also, know that if you went out and got hammered the night before you came to class, everyone can smell exactly what kind of drinks you had. May I recommend going with the vodka next time rather than the gin when you order that 10th martini?
2) Don’t wear your shoes in the studio.
I know sometimes we all forget, and cross the threshold in our flip flops, and I’m ok with that. I’m talking about the guy who just came from the office and clomps across the studio in his work shoes to get to the bathroom and change.
Dude, I get it, you’ve had a hectic day and your footwear is the last thing on your mind, but I’m about to do fallen angel in your footprint and I’m not too psyched to come up with a piece of someone else’s chewing gum stuck to my third eye.
3) Don’t surreptitiously check me out.
This one is not just for the guys, but for the girls shooting me the evil eye. I am not doing whatever pose to show off or make you feel bad about yourself, I’m doing it because the teacher told me to. Just because I chose the harder version of the thing she cued doesn’t mean I think I’m better than you, it just means I’ve done this pose, like five million times because I teach it to other people every day.
Know that I am cheering you on in your practice, and I would like to be cheered on as well.
And to the guy who always has to roll his mat out next to mine, and then have a conversation with my cleavage, my cleavage isn’t interested, and neither am I.
4) Don’t be so serious.
There’s nothing worse than a room full of yogis taking themselves too seriously. You can feel the palpable tension in the humid air and the unpleasant vibe of ruthless competition.
One word; chill. It’s just yoga. Smile at your neighbor. Laugh at yourself. It’ll make the whole experience better for everyone, including you.
5) Don’t over-breathe.
You know that yogi who’s gotta make the big huge victorious breath, the breath so loud it sounds like a freight train rolling through the room? Why is this person breathing this way?
One can only speculate. Perhaps they are unaware of the disruptive volume of their diaphragmatic action. Perhaps they are trying to demonstrate just how into the practice they are. Either way, continually doing something which forces my attention away from my dog and puts it squarely on your lung capacity sucks.
Simmer down already. You should be able to hear your exhales, but if the people in the nail salon next to the studio can hear them, maybe you should take it down a notch.
I know for a fact I’ve done each and every thing on this list—except maybe the train-breathing but that’s only because I’m shy—and I also know when I did it, I wasn’t trying to be a pain in the ass. So, when other people frustrate me, the best default position is one of gentle tolerance.
But still, if that cleavage guy shoots the laser pointers of his eyes one more time in the direction of my girls, he just might get a not-so compassionate punch in the nose.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman