The first thing you'll notice in an American yoga studio is the abundance of estrogen. I haven't seen a male/female ratio this uneven since my old BofA boss gave me tickets to a WNBA game. At first this sounds great (yoga, not the WNBA), but as any guy who's ever taken a women's studies class in college can tell you, the numbers aren't in a guy's favor. These birds are here to fly free. Everywhere they go in the world; men whistle, flirt, harass, and slap them on the ass. The yoga studio isn't where they're looking to go to have this continue.
...but if you're gonna fly free, chickypoo, Daddy's gotta spread his wings too!
To every broad reading this, I'm not asking for permission to run around slapping your asses (although I would like to point out ass slapping is a traditional way of telling someone they did a good job in male sports). I'd just like a little bit of consideration for my guy needs.
Understand the feelings my word choices invoke in you are meant to convey the overall feeling in the pit of my stomach I get being a male in a female dominated environment. I want you to understand a few issues faced by yoguy's
Wardrobe & Merchandise
In my search for yoga stuff, I noticed a huge problem: It's all for women!
Where's my swag?
I may look fantastic in a pair of pink flower printed spandex tights. We'll never know. All the women at my studio look so comfortable with their jewelry, shawls, and skin tight workout clothes.
I don't have an apple bottom. I look like a shaved greyhound learned to walk on his hind legs. When I lose focus while transitioning between asanas, I wobble like a zombie learning to walk fresh out the grave. Also I need at least a little bit of bagginess in my pants to hide the occasional erection I'm bound to produce if I ever actually let myself relax like I'm actually supposed to.
I've seen guys pull off yoga pants (Cheers, John Allen), but I'm not that guy. I spent most of my adult life in suits and uniforms. Nowadays my uniform usually includes a t-shirt, jeans, and Chucks. None of these clothes work for yoga. I'd wear the traditional loincloth, but even Walmart didn't carry them. My similarity to Gandhi stops at nonviolence and hunger, so I'm certainly not making my own.
For now I wear my Army training shorts and shirt. In Mysore classes I remove the shirt and dog tags and place them at the head of my mat. When I lose focus, I look down at them and remember I'm a soldier. It gets me through my practice, but it still bothers me that I can't find any decent male yoga swag.
Hygiene and Other Miscellanea
If I have to hear you roar, then you need to deal with my sweat, woman!
Now that we've established I do yoga half-nekked, understand I don't get mistaken for Justin Timberlake when I'm out in public. But just like you're not here to impress me, I'm not here to impress you.
Guess what? Men sweat...Men smell...
Having been a man my entire life and associating with enough of them, I've seen all kinds of things men do. If not for womankind, mankind would be wandering around the planet aimlessly peeing and rubbing our genitals on everything in our field of awareness. Be happy I show up as presentable as I do.
I constantly wash my hands and wipe till the tp is clean, but I'm still a guy. I fart and burp. Every so often I skip a shower for a day. I smoke an incredible amount of weed. There are days I could swear I'm daring myself to eat the most unhealthy foods imaginable. I live in a van. That's not to say I show up to yoga like it's the tail end of Burning Man, but I'm always going to fall short of a woman's hygiene.
Am I the only yoguy out there who thinks like this?
Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower. He documents his experiences van dwelling, working with Anonymous, training to be a yogi, and fighting the banks on his blog.