Why Your Yoga Instructor Hates You

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courtesy of lululemon athletica via wikimedia commons

Whether it's for a meditative de-stress, a quiet sanctuary, or better ass, yoga-goers have their own reasons for ending up on a paper-thin mat in tight black (please black!) pants.

But yoga students often overlook that the moment they inside, it becomes all about them ... and their favorite sanskrit-spewing, (seemingly) eternally happy instructor who, with a quick bow of the head and a sweet "namaste," seems to be unfazed. Oh, how wrong they are.

This week, we provide you with yet another reminder that people out there -- including your flight attendant, cocktail waitress, pizza delivery guy, and Starbucks barista -- really do despise you. And yes, even your yoga teacher falls gracefully into that category.

The instructor we spoke to loves her job guiding people to enlightenment through tons of sweat and a few good downward-facing dogs. But there are just a couple (or 10) things about you that tend to really throw off her chi ...

1. Excuses, excuses.
You come in and give 101 reasons why you're not going to work hard today: "My back hurts, I went hiking, I lifted weights, I'm sore, I pulled a muscle, I have a headache, I might be pregnant, I'm feeling under the weather, I'm on call, I might have to pee, I didn't get much sleep, I'm scared, hold me." Unless you have a serious acute injury, I don't want to hear it. Do the best you can -- not for me, for you. If you are assuming I am judging you for what you are doing or not doing, remember it's yoga. It's not like the gym where you run faster or pump 20 pounds more just to prove to the person next to you that you're tough.

2. Skip the smelly stuff
No wonder you have trouble breathing: You are wearing enough cologne or perfume to fumigate a small house. Believe it or not, you may think you smell amazing or that your new Beyonce perfume will somehow cover up the sweat you're about to induce. But there are other people around you that may be sensitive to, or even allergic to, what you've so liberally doused yourself in before attending class. Deodorant is great and will do the job -- cologne and perfume will likely cause people to scatter from your general area or sneeze and swell up like a balloon.

3. You're gonna regret that...
You chug water like a banshee, then complain that you can't do the posture because your stomach hurts. This might not be obvious, but it's a recipe for throw-up in your mouth when you down an entire liter of water before a posture. Especially when you're about to do a pose where your head is going below your waist -- this causes what I call the teapot effect: All the water you just chugged exclaims, "tip me over and pour me out!"

4. You're a drama queen.
Grunting, scowling, wiping off, flailing around. Save the drama for your momma, or anybody else -- just not me. Making an exhibition of yourself because you aren't made of rubber like the gal in the front row is not making it any easier and isn't giving me any sympathy for you.

5. I would rather not bear witness to your Britney.
For not only my sake but for your fellow students as well, please do the once-over for holes in the crotch, see-through material, and underwear. Please don't forget the underwear. Recently I had a very athletic-looking male student shirtless and wearing swim trunks in his first yoga class ever. About halfway in, he strips off his swim trunks to reveal a pair of fitted bicycle shorts in the glorious color of white. It might not have been that bad, but his skin was really dark and the moment he started to sweat I could see all the ladies become distracted with thoughts of dolla bills being tucked in those shorts.

6. The bottom of your feet look like you walked through a Walmart barefoot to get to class.
This is one of the biggest pet peeves for a yoga teacher. First of all, you take your shoes off to enter a yoga room to keep the floors clean -- if your feet are dirtier than the bottom of my shoes, this defeats the purpose. Second, once you begin sweating, your nasty blackfoot is going to rub all over your mat and towel and cause a weird situation for you as you try to avoid putting your face or any other body part in the black tar spots. Third, it's not that hard to just rinse off your feet before class.

7. Welcome to the lion's den.
Like a territorial animal, you are fiercely protective of your "spot" in the room. You know the saying, "don't poke the crazy?" Well, yoga brings out a sort of weird ritualistic behavior in some people, resulting in what can only be perceived as territorialism. Yoga is a practice that is much about becoming unattached to things and letting go. So watch out, I'm gonna come and take your spot and help you on your way to becoming unattached to your place in the room.

8. Put down the crackberry.
You think you're so sneaky: You hide your phone under your mat and try to send off a text while everyone is laying down in Savasana. This astounds me. Mothers and fathers: If you could kindly come to realize that we live in a digital world and it is becoming even more important for your children to know that there are appropriate times to use and not use a cell phone. I know they insist on having their phone surgically attached to their hands at all times, but seriously -- educate. Don't send them off to yoga class unprepared and expect me to be the one teaching this lesson. Unless you are an emergency room surgeon on call, there is no reason your phone should be in the yoga room or in use at any time during class!

9. You're a buzz kill.
You leave the room at the end of class in a whirlwind of huffing, crackling water bottles, jangling keys and slamming doors. Congratulations, you've just ruined final meditation for everyone else.

10. You look better in your little yoga shorts than I do
Just because you have amazing genetics and don't hold an ounce of body fat doesn't mean you're better than me. You have to do the posture just the same as everyone else and don't expect praise from me just because your tiny shorts fit your perfect little booty like a glove.



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44 comments
Flora333
Flora333

Oh, and let me guess. You're an arrogant, militant Bikram 'teacher' with the empathy of Hitler.

Flora333
Flora333

Three words for you. Borderline Personality Disorder.

yogi
yogi

boo! leave it to New Times to bring negativity to yoga

Saratierney2009
Saratierney2009

I saw some dirty feet in class the other day. Like me, she had probably been gardening over the weekend!

Alexandra Marier
Alexandra Marier

A young girl (of about 17, I'd venture) was texting once during my class (we were preparing for a spinal strengtening series, lying on our stomachs). I was so shocked, all I could do was give her the evil stare - words failed me. I still don't get why anyone wouldn't want to get as far away from their phones as they can during a yoga class! It's such a great opportunity to switch off, and focus on yourself. I'm old school, me.

Nancy
Nancy

Interesting perspective on the path for yoga teachers to practice; compassion, non-judgment, patience and non-attachment! Thank you.

Shellsandmohawks
Shellsandmohawks

This is why we don't like to pay over ten dollars a class. We know you think these things!

Ttrahrac2010
Ttrahrac2010

Where's the article for the Yoga students who have just wasted their money on a LOUSY instructor?? I found this article on Lex K's Facebook page. She is one of the worst Bikram teachers out there. My whole first year was almost a waste of time and money. It wasn't until a talented teacher replaced her that I was able to make TONS of progress in my practice. Memorizing the dialogue and pacing back and forth is NOT a teacher. I have seen many students making serious mistakes and these LOUSY instructors don't care enough to help out.

CMG
CMG

I think you all need to spend a little bit of time off your mat and find your sense of humor! Good luck, hope you find it soon... This is hilarious, well written and so true!

Sand Sock Girl
Sand Sock Girl

Aww! Good points but I hope as a yoga teacher, he/ she has to be very patient with his/ her students. But thanks for sharing this anyway, this will serve as a guide so everyone would know how to behave well so yoga teachers won't be mad at all LOL

Zumbalicious
Zumbalicious

This is why I Zumba! Who needs this *attitude*?

Kittens242
Kittens242

I'm not sure why everyone is being so negative about this posting, as a student, not a yoga teacher I can definitely relate to many if not all of these 'yoga don'ts'. The point of this posting is to come into the room with respect for the environment your in and for the teacher and students. If you go to someone's house and leave your shoes on, it's a sign of disrespect no? And it's also about respecting yourself and taking care of your 'drama' and issues outside of the room. I like the humour in this posting as well, very well written, even if it has more of the 10 things I hate theme going on it worked well for me.

Kim A Winnick
Kim A Winnick

I found this tongue-in-cheek view of yoga participants funny and I appreciated the over-the-top commentary for it's ability to remind me that "people are people." Just just because you're a yoga instructor it doesn't mean you're above or beyond responding like the rest of us mere mortals when faced with the occasional student whose lacking in social graces and hygiene. But what's really funny is the comments where readers are taking this so literal.

Elissa Joy
Elissa Joy

How awkward is it when your friend posts this link to your facebook page because you're the person in the picture? super awkward.

I recognize the humanity in us all - it's impossible to not have feelings like that towards others, yoga teacher or not. We're only accountable for what we do with those feelings.

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Shirley
Shirley

I thought it was meant to be a joke actually........maybe taking it a bit too seriously some of you! And admit it..........haven't yo just once thought, sheesh, that perfume (or BO STINKS) whilst smiling sweetly not letting it bother you at all? Or having done a fabulous meditation that the wifey with the keys/bag/flounce does INDEED charge out and kindof spoil it for everyone........I laughed anyway :-)

Terra
Terra

Was this article dipped in dog poop?

Most Hated Yogi
Most Hated Yogi

Gee whiz I could add to your list from personal experience.1. bring a thermometer/hygrometer to your Bikram yoga class.2. fall over out of headstand3. come to yoga three days after surgery4. Practice without a mat5. Do AcroYoga before or after class6. practice with your hands not on the mat7. take photographs in class8. do Acro inversions with some gal another yoga teacher in class is trying to hit on.

MichelleScarafile
MichelleScarafile

LOL... I'm an Ashtanga teacher and I thought your post was hysterical. Especially #7... I've asked the entire class turn their mat a different direction just to send a message to that one person who thinks they own the back corner of the room. HA, Now you're the front row!

Sgt_Jake
Sgt_Jake

The passive aggressive and condescending nature of most of these comments is, frankly, disgusting. All I'm seeing are a bunch of yoga instructors upset at the author for pointing out a litany of bad behavior. As if the students should automatically be forgiven for having no sense of common decency or respect, or that a YOGA instructor should be above things that are irritating. What you're all missing, in your massively self absorbed attempt at telling the author to be more "zen", is that it's not just irritating to the instructor, it's irritating to everyone else in the room. Someone bathing in perfume before I have to sit next to them for an hour while they sweat it out? Please... it's rude, inconsiderate, and makes me want to grab a bucket of mop water half way through to help hide the stench.

This list was spot on, fun to read, and should be nailed to the door of every gym - NOT just yoga classes. So stick that in your peace pipe and smoke it hippies!

JulieVeiluje
JulieVeiluje

This is absolute crap. This supposed 'yoga teacher' who is seemingly trying to be funny, just has a bad New York attitude. Compassion , not sarcasm. Not very entertaining.

Kessa_81
Kessa_81

you know.... as a yoga instructor, students that affect my emotions and bring little things like that up, are there to teach me a lesson. Maybe a lesson in patience, or a lesson in communication,or maybe it's just something inside of me that makes me affected by their actions or body language. There's always someone better then you, there's always someone with a "better " body then you. You are a yoga instructor ... it is your job to not only educate students on their postures but as well as yoga philosophies and etiquette of a yoga room. That's the responsibility you took when you went to teacher training... So check your self and if you don't want to teach all aspects of the yoga maybe you should stick to teaching advaced classes where your just a guide...

Ahmad
Ahmad

Well for me over all it is really discipline and respect without this I despise you. LOL

Satan
Satan

Yoga is so fucking stupid. Sounds like whoever wrote this is taking the position of "yoga teacher" a little bit too seriously.

Ashley Grable
Ashley Grable

Stick a fork in my eye. If any of my yoga students ever believed I was capable of thinking these things, I hope they would run for the door. There IS a way to do funny and yoga in the same breath: "I am the serenest!" Monk gloats over yoga championship. from the Onion shar.es/0oB1D

Jay
Jay

Why Your Readers Are Starting to Hate This Paper

seriously? a bitchy yoga instructor? a pizza guy who wants to get stoned and drive around all night? this installation gets worse every time. let's call it a day, huh guys?

hailtothekingbaby
hailtothekingbaby

Gurn that is so right on. I keep coming to this website to see if they post anything interesting on a daily basis. When they do post something it is usually negativie, or it is written by a 17 yr old intern. Just go through their articles and view how few of them actually have comments. That means that their subject matter doesn't inspire their small website audience to comment on them.

Gurn
Gurn

Getting closer and closer to "Why Your Readers Hate You". Time for a new shtick, folks.

wendy
wendy

funny. of course this is all tongue in cheek...and a bit heavy handed...but the under lying truth is there. be courteous, be clean, be respectful. side bar: i reserve the word "hate" for war, poverty and environmental destruction.

Shanna Small
Shanna Small

Yes. Totally didn't like that. If a yoga teacher hates their students, they are in the wrong profession.

Xrayspex69
Xrayspex69

Shouldn't you just be grateful they come back next week?

Even if I don't find nirvana, a dose of your yoga booty will do me wonders.

Teri
Teri

If you hate one student you need to turn around and face the mirror, practice your yoga, then practice your yoga when you teach, you must make the choice to love every student until they love themselves then we will love them even more. Its our job as yoga teachers to believe in them when they don't believe in themselves.

ARC
ARC

ewwww. I did not like this at all. I have been teaching for years and as a teacher if you aren't a little beyond this much negativity and judgement then maybe you should stop complaining about the students and go back to your matt a bit more. as a teacher I do not hate a single one of my students for anything...and when I get that surge of OMG with a student I turn it back on me and look for the lesson. Everyone is on their path and has their issues to deal with...and to end with jealousy about someone looking great in shorts? sounds to me like this teacher isn't ready to help anyone. :(

Info
Info

Agreed. As a teacher, I didn't relate to this at all. And my feet are not always clean in the summer!

justayogi
justayogi

Maybe, just maybe... it was meant to be funny. Whatever stage you are on your journey, please do not lose your sense or humour, or the fact that you, I and everyone else are never going to be perfect. Please save your virtue for somewhere else, relax, laugh and let go. :)

soapboxkiller
soapboxkiller

What are you talking about? Let's play out one of your scenarios:

Yoga teacher thinks: "Oh dear, that person's feet look like Fred Flintstones's."

Yoga teacher pauses for a moment of self reflection.

Yoga teacher concludes: "I guess this means I don't like dirty feet. WAH I'M SO NEGATIVE!"

How about realizing that pretty much everything in this article is pointing out how clueless and selfish some students can be? Are yoga teachers not allowed to wish their students would be more considerate of others? Since when is that negative?

Poompoom9
Poompoom9

What is the big deal with dirty feet? I'm an avid yoga practitioner with chronically dirty feet. so what? I am on my mat and don't mind lying on it....Being annoyed with someone's dirty feet is as pointless and being annoyed at someone's chipped nail polish. How does it affect you? Because it's not so pleasant to look at? Well neither is back fat, but we don't judge students for having that.

TheDancingJ
TheDancingJ

The negativity part would be the bit that said: "Your feet are dirty -> I HATE YOU!"

Of COURSE we know that our students are clueless and selfish and generally just a hot mess sometimes. That's what we are here for - to help them be a little better. Not to get mad at them for it! The crazy students are the ones who REALLY need yoga. How could we hate them? That's like a doctor saying, "Damn, I HATE all these SICK people!! Why are they bothering me?!" (That approach only works for Dr. House, and only then because Hugh Laurie is an awesome actor. But I digress)

soapboxkiller
soapboxkiller

Look, DJ, there are tons of lists out there that have "10 Things I Hate About [X]" in their title. Maybe if you were a staunch literalist who couldn't pick up on a common, colloquial kind of article I'd see your point. I have a feeling you're not a staunch literalist, you're just more than a little indignant at what's ultimately a silly piece of yoga fluff that plenty of teachers and students can relate to.

I'm not saying this article isn't blog fodder. I'm saying it's NOT negative; it's candid and sarcastic and humorous--traits I appreciate in any yoga instructor. (I'd also argue this constant "be positive and understanding at all times" replaces personality with blase relativism, but, hey that's just me.)

And, actually, you're analogy is off, unless you're arguing all yoga students are perfume-saturated, tar-heeled dudes with transparent moose knuckle shorts. It'd be more like doctors complaining their patients cough in their faces, or randomly "drop trou" for a colon check-up.

Anyway.

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