Things I’ve Learned in Yoga

When yoga first became a thing, I was like “pass.” I remember Gwyneth and Jennifer toting around their yoga mats like, “my exercise is so much more noble than yours, Plebeians.” This was about 10 years ago, and I thought it was a cool kid phase, like Jnco jeans in the ’90s. I’d learned that the hard way – I bought my first (and only) pair of Jnco’s just as the tide was turning and people were getting all hopped up on sportswear as day wear. I wore them to school like, “Make way, I can only sashay a few inches before these pants give away Victoria’s Secret,” and my classmates were like, “Excuse me while I shuffle past you in my Adidas slip on sandals with socks.” The ’90s proved inhospitable to walking.

The 90s, in a nutshell
The 90s, in a nutshell

But back to yoga. I was determined not to give into what I was convinced was a passing trend, but then I moved to New York and discovered Yoga to the People. YTTP is huge now and has like 7826347325 locations, but at the time there was just the one in the East Village. The studio beckoned me in by being totally donation based (aka free; say no more) and by being rumoured to be the choice studio for the Olsen twins when they were studying at NYU. Sold.


So began my foray into yoga. I’ve practiced off and on for about 10 years now. One of my friends once sarcastically said that “yoga doesn’t count unless you’ve Instagrammed it,” but I can assure you that even if I’ve yet to #yogaeverydamnday, I’ve done more than my share of shrivasana-ing, happy baby-ing, tree-posing, and the like. I’ve chanted. I’ve “om”-ed. I’ve nearly passed out in hot yoga from binging on fries and burgers beforehand (yolo).

Needless to say, I’ve been to a lot of classes and learned from some seriously eccentric teachers. And I’ve observed. I’ve observed quite a bit, readers.

And since I’m all kinds of selfless, I’ve decided to share what goes on in a typical yoga class:

  1. There will be at least one man in the class with a large pot-belly, a beard and thinning hair he’s chosen to wear like the Joker. His crow will kick your crow’s ass, like, right out of the nest. Don’t mess with this guy.
  2. There will be a woman who openly passes gas and looks pleased with herself for doing so. She will give off the air that “it’s all natural.” She will somehow turn the tables and make you seem like the sick one since you aren’t contributing to the impure air in an already poorly-ventilated studio. Casually inch your mat away from this woman
  3. Up front will be a duo who you’re convinced have life size wax figurines of the instructor at home. They will crave his approval so openly that you’ll begin to wonder if he’d in fact fathered the students who trump him in years. You’ll cast that aside as impossible but fairly classify them as kiss asses. You will be correct.
  4. One guy will be dripping with sweat after about 10 minutes. He will continue as such until a small pool of sweat rests mid-mat and provides a nice cool spot for his head whilst in Child’s Pose. You will tell yourself “He just jumped in a pool. He jumped in a pool, is all,” to get through it. Because, vom.
  5. There will be one woman whose “Oms” could pass for an adult film audition. Pretend as if this is par for the course. Some people really enjoy their chanting

And there you are, everything that could possibly happen in a standard yoga class. Nothing unusual here, keep moving along.

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