The yoga spiel, if you will, is one with which I am very familiar. It's your time, your practice, and all that. But sometimes, despite even our most valiant efforts to block out the rest of the world and the thoughts that come with it, things happen in yoga class that readily flood our consciousness with that dreaded and familiar feeling of "oh crap." And then, we put ourselves through that horrible ringer of trying to convince our minds that no one else is feeling this way, while still knowing that everyone really is. It's like asking your kindergarten teacher which of her students are her favorites, and listening when she says she doesn't have any, but knowing that she's lying to your 5 year old face. Because we're told over and over again that yoga is a personal and private experience, so we shouldn't ever feel awkward or self-conscious...but just like your kindergarten teacher shouldn't have any favorites, the things that we should do and the things that we do do have never really been the same thing. So yeah, I am here to admit that yoga class can definitely feel awkward.
And here are the times I notice it most...
8. Arriving first to a class you've never been before.
All I'm asking for is a simple "Place Mat Here" sign. It's not that easy to just guess which direction a class usually orients itself, and for some reason, NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU. It's become some sort of unspoken yoga code to haze all class newcomers by watching them spin around in a circle like lost puppies before finally placing their mats down, and then setting up your mat right next to them in the completely different (and right) direction without acknowledging them or the fact that their misaligned mat is facing the wrong way.
7. Falling onto someone (and vice versa)
Now, this has never actually happened to me, but I’ve watched it happen to other people, and it does not look fun. The faller usually looks incredibly embarrassed and possibly slightly injured, and the falled-upon just looks pissed.
6. Being the only student that comes to a yoga class.
I didn’t always think this stroke of chance was an awkward turn of events. I used to revel in my good fortune that I was simply ticking off a class in my 20-pack for what some people would pay good amounts of cash. It was really just like getting a free private class. But that was until I worked in a yoga studio and had to listen to the groans of the teachers when their class numbers dipped below 3. Apparently not all yoga teachers are very appreciative of this special one-on-one time…
5.Falling asleep in Savasana.
This one has a caveat. Sometimes no one notices. If you can manage to wake yourself up before it’s time to roll over, you’re golden. But, we all know that’s a rarity. If you fall asleep in Savasana, chances are that you’re out. It’s even worse if you’re a snorer. No one’s fooling anyone if that’s the case. If you don’t snore, you could try to brush it off like you were just in such a tranquil and relaxed state that you decided to continue to lie there until students from the next class started to file in around you. But, if your teacher has to nudge you to wake you up, game over.
4. The boundary-less touch of certain teachers' assists.
Ah, the joys of assists. When they’re good, they are goooooood, but then there are the other times – the awkward slip of the hand or when you wonder if your teacher knows what he or she is touching. There’s really no good way to describe it other than AWKWARD. It becomes especially uncomfortable if your teacher fumbles afterwards and whispers an embarrassing “sorry” before sidestepping out of view. This usually only happens with two members of opposite genders, but I’ve been party to it all.
3. Walking into class late and having to ask everyone to move over so you can fit your mat somewhere
What makes #6 even worse is that you know it’s your fault! You’re the late one, so maybe you deserve all those nasty glances thrown your way by the already very crowded class onto which you just stumbled. But, some of those stares are so icy you would think you had just asked Patrick Swayze to put Baby in the corner, instead of the “calm and forgiving” yoga student that you asked to slide her mat over three-quarters of an inch.
2. The guy next to you farts really loudly in Prasarita Padottanasana (wide-legged forward fold) - a.k.a your head is directly behind is butt.
I think this one has a pretty self-explanatory awkward-factor. Especially if you happen to come down with an uncontrollable case of the giggles…or if you’re “the guy.”
1. The guy next to you farts really loudly in Prasarita Padottanasana and then apologizes for it.
There are some things that should just not be addressed. Farting within close proximity to someone else’s head is definitely one of those things.