I’ve frequented many a yoga class off and on for the last ten years or so. It’s a pretty good work out, decent way to relax and you’re almost guaranteed to walk out with some amusing stories to share with anyone who’ll listen.
Here’s a step-by-step analysis of what happens in a yoga class.
When you first walk into the yoga studio you’re usually greeted by a blast of incense followed by a “Oh hello there!” from the instructor who is most likely doing a head stand alone in the studio. Her name is probably something like, “Flo” or “Jade” and she’ll jog over to greet you at a tiny little wooden desk topped with an appointment book, business cards, a little bowl of mints and giant potted plant and ask you to sign in. After this you’ll move into the waiting room where you’ll place your belongings into a little cubby and remove your shoes (I’ll get to the no shoes in a moment) then you’ll probably get a cup of water and stare at the bowl of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Mini’s on the counter in front of you and ponder eating some, but refrain because you are here to exercise after all, that would be as counter productive as drinking a beer before you begin your sun salutation.
Next, you’ll walk into the studio and decide on a spot to lay down your mat and situate yourself for the duration of the class. This is a very important decision that should be carefully executed as to avoid frustration and embarrassment. First you want to avoid being too close to the one person in class who is way better than everyone else, as is demonstrated by their mastery of the most difficult poses before class has even begun. Don’t be intimidated. Just stay away. Avoid the middle-aged bros that are clearly there to try and hit on girls and stare at their butts in those form fitting yoga pants. Don’t put your mat down right in front of the instructor if you don’t want to constantly be touched and made an example of and whatever you do stay in front of any grandmas, you don’t want that ass bending over in your face. Go for a spot somewhere in the second row, off to the side. Trust me.
You’ll probably see a tall stand in the back corner of the room holding weird blocks, straps, mats and other foreign objects. Just to be safe, grab one of each, if you don’t use them, you can always build a fort with them later or throw them at the way-too-good-to-be-in-this-class lady to stop her super loud guttural breathing techniques. Gross. Also, bring your own mat. It’s nasty enough that no one is wearing shoes, but do you really want to walk, touch, roll around and lay down on a mat that a hundred other people have sweat all over? Again, gross.
During the class, there will be moments when you’re holding a pose and the teacher will offer you a proposition: “you can either stay here or make the pose more challenging by extending further…” When this moment happens, prepare yourself and look around, because someone, maybe even multiple people if you’re really lucky, will turn into a human twister game, eat shit and quickly revert to child’s pose. They’ll be quick, but it will live in your memory forever.
Be sure to keep your ears open for the mid class fart the lady in the back lets out, but try to avoid laughing out loud. It’s like an unwritten rule of yoga that if someone rips ass you just have to power through and remember to laugh about it later.
The teacher will walk around and tell you to hold poses for like 100 full breaths in and out through the nose and out the mouth and tell you to “listen to your body.” Like you’re body isn’t saying “FUCKIN’ OUCH!” Just keep breathing. You’ve got this. Then she’ll put you in some crazy position with your feet up in the air balancing on your pinky finger or something and then tell you that “this position is super good for your thyroid and really opens up your chi.” Oh really? Is it??? Then you’ll get to end the class with a chant or two “OOMMMMMMMM” It might seem strange, but just do it. You’ll feel zen AF. Promise. Finally, you get to lie down, close your eyes and listen to a sweet lullaby from heaven for like 15 whole minutes. Nap time involved in an exercise class?! SIGN ME UP.
There are plenty of entertaining moments involved in a yoga class and probably many more yet to be discovered, but all in all, yoga rocks. So go forth and tree pose my little warrior 1’s. You’ll make me a very happy baby indeed.