After a long hiatus from downward dogging, I found myself back in a hot yoga studio trying to maneuver my very inflexible self into a pretzel after the constant pestering of a friend.
Let’s face it – a 90-minute Bikram yoga session is not easy for anybody, and especially so for me when my workout regimen for the past year and a half is a 20-minute high intensity interval training session four to five times a week.
It works. I don’t have time, and I don’t have patience. Anything more than half an hour and I’m left wondering how much time there is left to the class and in this case, I was left cursing and swearing under my breath whilst trying to figure out if people with boobs are meant to do the Locust Pose.
What is more interesting is the yogis you encounter in the classes. Here are the types I’ve found you might actually recognise:
Yes, I get it – when you leave your office and enter the realms of a workout environment, you want to socialise with your friends. But here’s a suggestion – why don’t you chat incessantly about the selfie you took in the office earlier outside the studio and not bother the people trying to get into a state of ‘ohm’ in the heated studio?
The Older Lady Who’s Kicking Your Ass
Being an extremely competitive person, I have to keep reminding myself that working out is about being better than who I was yesterday, and not about being better than the person next to me. Of course, it’s hard not to feel deflated when the 70-year-old retiree is rockin’ a pose better than you ever will, and then she throws you a pitiful glance as though she’s saying, “Eat my dirt, girl.”
The One With The Camel Toe
I’m all about wearing as little clothing as you can in a hot yoga class. I mean, we already live in a bubble of humidity disguised as country and you’re putting yourself through more torture in a 40-degree Celsius class.
There is no harm in wearing booty shorts and a tiny sports bra to Bikram. The problem comes when you have, by some unfortunate circumstance (probably due to Karma), positioned yourself right behind a woman who seems to get a camel toe after every pose and with all the effort in the world tries to adjust her shorts after. Size up, lady. It’s killing my Namaste vibe.
The Low Hanging Fruit
Think of it as the camel toe for men. Men who wear speedos to yoga class, or worse, wear baggy shorts without underwear on. Nothing turns you off yoga more than a glimpse of low-hanging fruit while downward dogging.
That One B****
We all know her. The one who resembles a fitness model and sashays in the studio with Lululemon gear that looks like it has been surgically sprayed on her perfect, lithe body. She smiles in class while maneuvering her perfectly manicured toes back to her head and I, on the other side of the class, can’t even touch my toes. She looks impeccable even after a power yoga class, while I look like a 16-wheeler truck has run me over, backed up and then run me over again. I hate her and want to be her at the same time.
The Nazi Instructor
I’m all for trainers pushing me and yelling at me and pointing out my bum to make sure I rock out burpees like I’m supposed to. But in yoga, I prefer the magical wood nymphs hippie type yoga teachers. Yes, teach me, but don’t yell at me for getting a sip of water or trying to wipe my face. It’s yoga, not a reenactment of Orange Is The New Black.
The One Who Doesn’t Understand Hygiene
Hygiene is very important in general. It’s even more important when you’re enclosed incredibly sweltering hot room with about 27 other people. Bring a towel, don’t drip your sweat on to other people’s mats – or worse – on to other people. Don’t make me want to hit you. I came to yoga to get all zen and flexible, not to be issued an arrest warrant because I physically assaulted someone at yoga class for dripping their sweat on to me.
The One Who’s Glued to The Phone
I’m as big a social media addict as the next person (I have an excuse – it’s my job!), but there’s probably nothing more annoying than someone who sneaks their phone into yoga class, and then have it ring in the middle of the session. It’s rude. Get off your phone.