Early 2012 I had a brilliant (by brilliant, I mean not so brilliant) idea of joining a yoga class. Day one was hell considering that I’m about as flexible as a #2 pencil. I quit and joined another class with elderly people. This was a lot better because they aren’t quite that flexible either and the 70 year old woman I sit next to doesn’t judge me when I can’t do the asanas right. I like her. But no matter what the average age of your fellow yoga-mates (yoga-mates?) are, you will invariably find the following people at a yoga class:
1. The Clueless Guy – I feel bad for this person because he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he got himself into. He thought he was going to spend the next hour aligning his chakras and relieving all his stress. But he leaves more stressed than he came in. I used to be this person, and I know he’s terrified of eye contact and just wants to get over with it already. The best you can do is simply leave the poor guy alone.
2. Mr. Hot Stuff– There will always be an attractive person in class. But this person, oooh my, he’s just something else. I have to stop myself from straining my neck trying to get a glimpse of him as everyone gets into the downward dog position. Before you know it, he unconsciously becomes your focal point when you center yourself. (For me this person is a 63 year old ex-military man that usually needs help getting into a headstand, and I am only too eager to help. What? He’s perfect.)
3. Miss Way-too-Close – She places her mat next to mine with barely an inch of room. She doesn’t mind that our body parts are constantly touching throughout the class, and she isn’t embarrassed that I accidentally copped a field during Sun Salutations. She’s just really close with people. Some days I even get a hug at the end of class. I haven’t yet decided if I’m okay with that.
4. The Sexual Grunter- “Uhhhh” “Gaaahhhh” I hear him cry directly behind me. I understand that he has stiff muscles, but his moans and grunts make me uncomfortable and I’m a little curious about what exactly goes on back there.
5. The Phone Addict – This guy wants to escape from the internet, but no matter how much he tries he can’t seem to put his phone down. I can hear him tapping away at his phone the whole time. It starts with a FB status update before class starts, a quick email during the first set of salutations, he’ll refresh his Instagram while the teacher isn’t looking, and proudly announce on Twitter that he successfully completed his first yoga session at the end. “60 minutes without my phone was way hard dudes. LOL”
6. The Hippie – You would think that you’d find the most hippies in a yoga class. This isn’t true. Most of them are completely normal people, business men, doctors, teachers, firemen (ahhh retired firemen*), just regular people that want to work towards a healthier lifestyle. Then there are a handful of the real hippies. The kinds that go for yoga retreats and completely forget about soap and personal hygiene. He thinks he’s being eco-friendly, but there’s a reason even Miss Way-Too-Close doesn’t get within three feet of him. Every time his arms go up, you can hear the whole class hold their breath. There may or may not be a number of anonymous submissions to the suggestion box about him.
*So I like old guys. It’s no big deal.