The Transition Network

New York City Chapter

Yoga….YOU DID WHAT????

(Posted January 31, 2018)

Yoga….YOU DID WHAT????

Last week I got to my yoga class early, set up my mat and closed my eyes as we started chanting “Om.” All of a sudden I felt a stir next to me and heard the sound of a loud “SPLAT.” It made me jump. Here is what happened. A late comer unfurled her mat 2 inches, yes 2 inches away from my mat and then proceeded to WALK ACROSS MY MAT to put her belongings by the window.

When I asked to pull her mat back slightly since she was blocking my view of the teacher she said “No, I am happy where I am.” WHAT IS IT WITH PEOPLE? This entitlement is so damn rude. And then the inevitable happened. HER PHONE STARTED RINGING.  So what does she do?

She walks across my mat AGAIN and says into her phone loudly  “I can’t talk now. I am in yoga class.” Trust me; you could have heard the sound of 39 pairs of eyeballs rolling around the class. Did she care? NO!!! The woman was oblivious! UNBELIEVEABLY RUDE!!!

What would you have done? What would you have said? Let me know. Weigh in with your stories and opinions. Small personal disclosure: I stuck my legs out so that she could not walk on my mat again. Call me passive aggressive. I was and I am not ashamed. Another personal thought: Maybe a well-placed baseball bat would have made an impression on her but I have been told the judge (unless he/she takes yoga) would frown on that behavior. Solutions, everyone?  Email me and I will share them in the follow up story.

Here are some things that I have learned. You are smart. You probably knew these already but it is worth repeating.
  1. TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF BEFORE YOU ENTER THE CLASSROOM. Who knew? Just make sure you do not forget.
  2. NEVER EVER WEAR ANYTHING THAT GLITTERS. I.e. Sequins, shiny beads, flashy decals. Everyone is looking for quiet, personal time and loud clothing is a distraction. No one needs to see your favorite Rolling Stone’s Tongue T shirt in yoga class. Ruins the Zen moment.
  3. BE AWARE OF PRIVATE SPACE. Do not put your mat too close to another mat. So give yourself at least 2 feet away from another person, 2 feet on EVERY side. Extra points if you ask other students if it is OK for you to put your mat in this position or is it someone else’s favorite spot?
  4. DO NOT STEP ON SOMEONE ELSE’S MAT. It is rude and no one wants your dirty feet on their mat. Also take a shower BEFORE CLASS. Your neighbors will notice.
  6. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE A DOOR NOT A WINDOW. If the teacher is demonstrating a particular position and you are just standing there, you will hear a command of “down in front.” Yes, we are talking to YOU and I will come over and tap you on the shoulder if you are oblivious.
  7. DO NOT EAT GARLIC OR MEXICAN FOOD BEFORE CLASS. Yes, we know garlic and beans are healthy but we also know what the side effects are. Do I really want to experience the effects of your lunch as we both are doing a wide leg forward bend with head on the floor? The answer is an unequivocal NO!
  8. COME TO CLASS ON TIME. GET ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED BEFORE THE TEACHER STARTS TALKING. Your fellow classmates cared enough to get to class early, to organize themselves and their equipment. They do not want to be distracted by your rudeness. Please refer again to points 3, 4 and 5.
  9. COMMON SENSE REMINDERS: Turn off your cell phone, do not talk loudly after the class is over (everyone is trying to stretch out the lovely quiet moment), smile, be kind and say thank you to your teacher. Namaste is more than one word: it is an attitude. Please practice it.

Yet another personal disclosure: My tree pose is not perfect. My triangle pose is getting better. My warrior pose is pretty damn good but if nothing else, I know I have respected others in my class. I am still working on the “compassionate self-observation” of my life every day.

Since this is an interactive conversation, please let me know any tips, rants, comments, pet peeves that you may have as you practice yoga in a group setting….or life in general. Just email me at Continue the conversation!

Material from, 21:00:40 September 16, 2021.
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