Whether it's for a meditative de-stress, a quiet sanctuary, or better ass, yoga-goers have their own reasons for ending up on a paper-thin mat in tight black (please black!) pants.
But yoga students often overlook that the moment they inside, it becomes all about them ... and their favorite sanskrit-spewing, (seemingly) eternally happy instructor who, with a quick bow of the head and a sweet "namaste," seems to be unfazed. Oh, how wrong they are.
This week, we provide you with yet another reminder that people out there -- including your flight attendant, cocktail waitress, pizza delivery guy, and Starbucks barista -- really do despise you. And yes, even your yoga teacher falls gracefully into that category.
The instructor we spoke to loves her job guiding people to enlightenment through tons of sweat and a few good downward-facing dogs. But there are just a couple (or 10) things about you that tend to really throw off her chi ...
1. Excuses, excuses.
You come in and give 101 reasons why you're not going to work hard today: "My back hurts, I went hiking, I lifted weights, I'm sore, I pulled a muscle, I have a headache, I might be pregnant, I'm feeling under the weather, I'm on call, I might have to pee, I didn't get much sleep, I'm scared, hold me." Unless you have a serious acute injury, I don't want to hear it. Do the best you can -- not for me, for you. If you are assuming I am judging you for what you are doing or not doing, remember it's yoga. It's not like the gym where you run faster or pump 20 pounds more just to prove to the person next to you that you're tough.
2. Skip the smelly stuff
No wonder you have trouble breathing: You are wearing enough cologne or perfume to fumigate a small house. Believe it or not, you may think you smell amazing or that your new Beyonce perfume will somehow cover up the sweat you're about to induce. But there are other people around you that may be sensitive to, or even allergic to, what you've so liberally doused yourself in before attending class. Deodorant is great and will do the job -- cologne and perfume will likely cause people to scatter from your general area or sneeze and swell up like a balloon.
3. You're gonna regret that...
You chug water like a banshee, then complain that you can't do the posture because your stomach hurts. This might not be obvious, but it's a recipe for throw-up in your mouth when you down an entire liter of water before a posture. Especially when you're about to do a pose where your head is going below your waist -- this causes what I call the teapot effect: All the water you just chugged exclaims, "tip me over and pour me out!"
4. You're a drama queen.
Grunting, scowling, wiping off, flailing around. Save the drama for your momma, or anybody else -- just not me. Making an exhibition of yourself because you aren't made of rubber like the gal in the front row is not making it any easier and isn't giving me any sympathy for you.
5. I would rather not bear witness to your Britney.
For not only my sake but for your fellow students as well, please do the once-over for holes in the crotch, see-through material, and underwear. Please don't forget the underwear. Recently I had a very athletic-looking male student shirtless and wearing swim trunks in his first yoga class ever. About halfway in, he strips off his swim trunks to reveal a pair of fitted bicycle shorts in the glorious color of white. It might not have been that bad, but his skin was really dark and the moment he started to sweat I could see all the ladies become distracted with thoughts of dolla bills being tucked in those shorts.
6. The bottom of your feet look like you walked through a Walmart barefoot to get to class.
This is one of the biggest pet peeves for a yoga teacher. First of all, you take your shoes off to enter a yoga room to keep the floors clean -- if your feet are dirtier than the bottom of my shoes, this defeats the purpose. Second, once you begin sweating, your nasty blackfoot is going to rub all over your mat and towel and cause a weird situation for you as you try to avoid putting your face or any other body part in the black tar spots. Third, it's not that hard to just rinse off your feet before class.
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7. Welcome to the lion's den.
Like a territorial animal, you are fiercely protective of your "spot" in the room. You know the saying, "don't poke the crazy?" Well, yoga brings out a sort of weird ritualistic behavior in some people, resulting in what can only be perceived as territorialism. Yoga is a practice that is much about becoming unattached to things and letting go. So watch out, I'm gonna come and take your spot and help you on your way to becoming unattached to your place in the room.
8. Put down the crackberry.
You think you're so sneaky: You hide your phone under your mat and try to send off a text while everyone is laying down in Savasana. This astounds me. Mothers and fathers: If you could kindly come to realize that we live in a digital world and it is becoming even more important for your children to know that there are appropriate times to use and not use a cell phone. I know they insist on having their phone surgically attached to their hands at all times, but seriously -- educate. Don't send them off to yoga class unprepared and expect me to be the one teaching this lesson. Unless you are an emergency room surgeon on call, there is no reason your phone should be in the yoga room or in use at any time during class!
9. You're a buzz kill.
You leave the room at the end of class in a whirlwind of huffing, crackling water bottles, jangling keys and slamming doors. Congratulations, you've just ruined final meditation for everyone else.
10. You look better in your little yoga shorts than I do
Just because you have amazing genetics and don't hold an ounce of body fat doesn't mean you're better than me. You have to do the posture just the same as everyone else and don't expect praise from me just because your tiny shorts fit your perfect little booty like a glove.