Yoga is my favorite workout -- that's right, I called it a "workout." Because that's why I do it. I do it as a workout. Body and mind, yes, but still, a workout. There was a time when I thought of yoga as the "thinking person's workout." But over time, I've come to wonder whether yoga teachers think at all before they speak. And speak. And speak so much that I've come to see yoga as less spiritual discipline and more interactive performance art.
These days I prefer to do my "bending" at home, with only myself as the teacher. Best teacher ever, I might add. (No, best student ever. Thank you. No, thank you. We love each other! Can you feel the love?). And the best part is that with me as the teacher, teacher never accuses me of "cheating" if I let my knees hit the ground in chaturanga. And although she demonstrates every pose, it's not out of ego, it's out of necessity. If I want to keep my phone on my mat and text a little in class, she's like, "dude, I'm not saying a word -- it's YOUR practice."
Sometimes I try to venture out to an organized group yoga practice. But inevitably, the same thing always happens: I get annoyed. Or offended. Because of the inane things the teacher inevitably says. Here is just a sampling of nine of the most inane things yoga teachers say.
1. "You need to lose weight."
No. Just no. This is not The New York City Ballet, and I don't want to be The Black Swan. I just wanted to work out. Okay?
2. "The fact that you don't want to do it means that you need to do it."
No. The fact that I don't want to do it means that you should shut up and let me not do it.
3. "Get up, you're distracting the class."
This was heard in a class labeled "beginner". Seriously, that's not right. Is it? I'm asking for a friend.
4. "Your need to drink water is just in your mind."
This was heard midway through a 90-minute hot yoga class -- and by hot, I mean the temperature default is 105-degrees Fahrenheit .
5. "Coconut water is identical to blood plasma. It can be injected directly into the veins." Please don't be making medical claims, particularly dubious ones.
6. "Everyone grab a partner."
So, in other words, you and the guy next to me are pretty much interchangeable when it comes to hands on adjustments? Also, I don't want his hands on my ass. Also? There was that one time that "everyone grab a partner" ended up with me being dropped on my head.
7. "Watch while I demonstrate."
Sure, I'd love to watch you demonstrate while my sweat grows clammy and my yoga pants stick to my legs. Or maybe..just maybe I came to your class to practice yoga - not to watch you perform a perfect leg-behind-the head?
8. "Why'd you come?"
This is a rhetorical question that some yoga teachers like to ask as a way of motivating the class. For me, it does the opposite.. It actually makes me ask myself, why DID I come when I could be home practicing on my back porch to music I cued up, as opposed to your constant yammering?
9. "If you leave the room, don't come back."
This was said, I think, in jest. But for me, it sounded like I'd just been double-down-dog dared. And so I left the room. And I didn't come back. Of course, never say never. Where else would I find my material?
(*to me. Your experience may vary. And it probably does).