Recently, I started doing yoga. I would love to say that I’m on a life-long search for revitalization and my muscles simply felt the need to be stretched, but the reality was that I found an awesome deal on Groupon. I live in a yoga-fueled city, full of glitzy hot yoga studios packed to the brim with people wearing more Lululemon that I could ever hope to afford. However, a tiny yoga studio in an industrial park has won me over. I absolutely love it and have taken to doing Downward Dogs in public. It’s embarrassing, sure, but when I love something, I can’t hold it in!
My greatest love, however, is the art of people watching, which is something that yoga has amply provided. And I’ve noticed that whether you’re doing yoga in an urban oasis with a river of holy water running through the studio or in somebody’s basement, you’re guaranteed to meet the following five people at your yoga studio. They’re unexpected.
I didn’t expect there to be so many men doing yoga. I think most people would expect a male yogi to be feminine, but these are fiery pillars of testosterone just ready to get their Cat/Cow pose on. The men who do yoga tend to be either very hairy or passionately grunty, usually with a broken toenail. I don’t know why I started looking, but I can’t go to a class without observing the feet of the men in the class. (And there’s always one.) Yep, without avail, there’s the gross toenail. I usually have a problem with loud breathing, but grunt on, men. Way to embrace your masculinity in a stereotypically feminine environment!
My special keener is named DeeDee. DeeDee is in her fifties and is always wearing well-fitted black clothing that covers her arms and legs – does she have skin beyond her face and digits? I will never know. What I do know, however, is DeeDee shows up to class every single day that I am there and I’m pretty sure she goes to yoga every day. She may look like your average Phyllis from The Office that you’d see on the street, but my girl can stretch like there’s no tomorrow. (DeeDee does not know that she’s ‘my girl.’ We’ve never spoken. But I’m sure she’s going to become an aunt-like figure in my life.)
There’s always that one person who chats just a little too much. I respect the need to vent, or yell out nonsense, as a person who has performed The Circle of Life in public, for fun. But I come to yoga for quiet, relaxing moments of zen. I don’t come to listen to you complain about how your husband won’t do yoga with you, or to your jokes about how you’ve never been to yoga but you “touched your toes” one time. Be quiet and touch your toes for the second time in your life, and when you do, don’t tell me about it.
Alas, we move to the injured yogis. I admire these people – they push through some pretty intense Hatha workouts despite muscles being shredded apart by rabid tigers and twisted spines from skydiving accidents. Before my first yoga class, I ended up talking to one lady, talking about how I wanted to build up some muscle. She got this far off look in her eyes, like a war veteran, and said, “I have a lot to regain.” She instantly gained about thirty respect points from me!
The worst thing, however, is when this person is combined with a TMI Tuesday personality. There was a lady in my class last week who went into great detail about her bunions. I was a little appalled and had to Google bunions when I got home, which was a mistake, because I convinced myself I had them. Also, bunions are kind of disgusting.
Yoga instructors aren’t real people. They’re magical wood nymphs send from the secret land of YogaFae, sent to cast magic spells upon our muscles and lives. I am in love with all of my yoga instructors. They’re all very good looking and I know that looks aren’t everything, but you kind of feel like you’re good looking by default. Not only that, but they’re so nice and always tell you how beautiful you are. Because of these wood nymphs, I feel like a sassy model whenever I walk out of there! They also have very soothing voices. I want to be a yoga instructor, but I am not a fairy. I’m a nineteen year old whose main occupation is eating pasta and watching Buffy. But a girl can dream, right?
In my opinion, everyone should start doing yoga, if not for feeling like a newborn baby after every class, but simply for the observing. If you think about it, going to a class to stretch, breathe, and sweat is pretty weird. As far as I’ve learned, weird is wonderful and surrounding ourselves with these five people is essential. Yoga, you’re pretty expensive but you’re worth it. Time to spend my college fund on Lululemon tights!
Read more from Kaitlyn Shore here.
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