It seems virtually everyone, including yours truly, is getting into yoga. Entire retail chains are dedicated to properly outfitting the truly committed “yogi” as well as those that want to lead a “yoga inspired” lifestyle – i.e. those who are inspired to not actually practice yoga. Perhaps that is best because I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a world shortage on yoga studios. I showed up to mine the other day and the line was out the door to get into class and around the block. I had to scalp tickets to get closer to the front of the line and mow down a nice lady just to grab one of the last spots. The mark from my It’sJustZen(R) new yoga sandals were still on her back when I left which seemed rather un-Zen like in retrospect.
In the 14 weeks since I started hot Yoga (which more than qualifies me as an expert on the subject in my warped protocol of written subject matter justification) I’ve come to the conclusion that mixed among any class there are the true Yoga disciples and then there are the Yoga posers.
Yoga Disciples – Dedicated, Disciplined, Spiritual. In other words..boring!
Yoga Posers are much more fun to observe because they come in various forms and almost assuredly provide delightful material for an observationalist like myself. I say this with the full disclosure and humility that I’m a card carrying Yoga poser myself. Until I can actually sit in a lotus pose for more than 30 seconds without sobbing uncontrollably from pain and find enough mind discipline to not get distracted by the hairy guy in front of me who is wearing Yoga shorts atleast 2 sizes too small, I am far from disciple status. That said, regular class attendance has allowed me to observe that there are distinct classes of Yoga posers you’ll find in a studio at any given time. Surprisingly I have yet to find any of these types published in any yoga journals I’ve browsed so consider this an unofficial list until they are formally recognized. There’s a higher likelihood that I’ll be kidnapped by the Yoga secret police and put in Yoga jail and made to sit in a Lotus position for the entire term of my sentence. Here’s the list
The “Whoa I didn’t sign up for this!” Yoga Poser
There’s nothing easier to spot than someone in a hot Yoga studio that is not sure how they actually got there and clearly wants to leave immediately once the wave of heat hits them. My statistical calculations conclude that 37% are those who were talked into going by a friend, 17% went because they are trying to date the aforementioned friend and wanted to get them in bed to try all those poses that only yoga masters can accomplish, and 100% are male. You see a few of these guys come in and know they have no chance of survival just from the sheer look of terror in their eyes. A few are blissfully ignorant like sheep being lead to the slaughter house but most accept the fate that awaits them and revert to the fetal position around the 2nd or 3rd pose and spend the next 87 minutes trying not to die.
The “Weapon of Mass Destruction” Yoga Poser
I think it was the 3rd yoga class I ever took I was in a forward bending position and a momentary lapse of strategic “clenching” resulted in the escape of a nano sized package of poisoned air from my backside. I was mortified and immediately tried to pass it off on the cute girl next to me who probably has never farted a day in her life and if she did it would smell like plumeria. WOMD Posers laugh at that. They live in a clench-free world where whatever escapes from their body is as its meant to be and typically park themselves in the first row of class to more efficiently distribute their fermented concoction to the already hot room. And they take pride in their output capabilities. The first time I experienced this I thought it was a joke until I saw the guy directly behind the culprit taking a direct hit and was mere seconds away from passing out due to oxygen deprivation. It was anything but a post yoga meditative state in the mens locker room after class when he confronted the violator who clearly forgot to check his weapon at the door. The only thing keeping this guy from body slamming guru McNoxious and put him in a savasana like coma were me and my posse of fellow posers holding him back.
The “I invented this pose” Yoga Poser
For every sport and other discipline that requires time and effort to master the craft there’s always the poser that wants to take the short cut. “Nice new impulsive $5000 road bike purchase bro. I’m sure that’s going to be the motivating key to finally getting rid of your beer gut” Yoga is not immune to these kind of swaggy bros. I’ve seen a few deviations but the proper recipe for this kind of yoga poser is 1 part loin cloth, 1 part male ponytail and 98 parts chutzpah. These posers walk into the studio like they are Bikram Choudhury himself, the pioneer of hot yoga and the reason you willingly plunk down $100+ per month to sit in a hot box for 90 min straight. As a IITP poser they flaunt it like they have mad flexibility skill(z)s and could literally bend to kiss their own ass if they felt like they wanted to, but they don’t. The move is to work the room like they own it and slyly chant to themselves using sounds like resemble a 1st century ancient language that only 3 people currently alive in the world can speak. Then they find a spot in the back of the class so they can minimize exposure on the fact that they really could care less about class, can’t hold the positions and spend the majority of the class transfixed on the hot girl they have strategically parked their mat behind.
I look forward to more yoga observational adventures once I come up for Yoga parole in 2020.