Since arriving in San Francisco my sister and brother-in-law seem to have undergone a yogic metamorphosis. Jess dabbles in yoga but has never fully committed, whilst Cristiano tried it once (with me as his teacher) and crumpled into a sweaty mess after the cat-cows (we genuinely didn’t make it past the warm-up.) However, put this couple in cool SF, where they live opposite a yoga studio, and suddenly they’re Mr and Mrs Yoga. This new found hobby hasn’t gone without its hiccups though, and it got us talking about the most embarrassing things that can happen in a yoga class.
It’s an embarrassing topic and I’m sure we’d all like to believe that farting is something that happens to other people in yoga classes, but the reality is, we’re all in the danger zone. If you haven’t had your moment yet, it will come- most likely when you’re least expecting it! To make you feel better, I’ll let you know that my ‘moment’ occurred whilst being assisted in a shoulder stand….can’t get more embarrassing than that.
Recently I woke myself up from savasana with my own snoring, or should I say, snorting*. Yes a little, piggy snort that literally bounced off the walls. I was so shocked I froze on the mat hoping I’d imagined it, and then started laughing because, actually, it was pretty funny. In my defence, it’s almost impossible not to fall asleep when the teacher pops a lavender bag over your eyes and gives you a head massage…
*snorting is not part of my normal sleeping agenda. I save up my snorts exclusively for yoga.
GET THE GIGGLES
Too much enthusiastic chanting or a serious ‘Om-mer’ on the mat next to you and there’s a chance you might lose the plot as a newbie. My advice? Make no eye contact with other gigglers and try to think of something categorically unfunny. It won’t last forever and you’ll be prepared for the next time.
FORGET TO SHAVE YOUR ARMPITS
The moment where you catch a glimpse of your armpits and realise you forgot to shave has to pretty high up there. Even worse if you realise you forgot to put deodorant on too.
Need I say more about this one apart from, why, Bikram, WHY?!
Jess’s flexibility leaves a lot to be desired. She’s actually better now than she used to be, when touching her toes was beyond the realms of possibility. It was during these less supple times that she went to a restorative yoga class and the teacher ran out of props trying to make her comfortable. I have an amazing image of this in my mind and wish I had been there to witness it.. funny to think of, but probably not very restorative!
NOT UNDERSTANDING THE LINGO
A pet hate of mine is when yoga teachers only teach using the sanskrit terms or assume everyone already knows what they’re doing. Cri was convinced he was meant to be flowing through his ‘yayasana’, but had no idea what this meant. Apparently one of the teachers has taken him under his wing and now just mimes the adjustments to him across the room.
Headstand… you want to try it but know there’s a distinct possibility that you’ll end up taking out the yogi next to you when it goes wrong. One lesson you think you’ll give it a go- you can do it against the wall at home, so what can go wrong? Tentatively you lift one toe and then the other off the ground and hurrah, you’re still balancing! Slowly the knees come up and then it’s time for the grand finale – straighening up the legs. Feeling smug you try and hold it, and then….oh god, a wobble, shit rescue rescue rescue…. f*ck I’m going down….. and before you know it you’ve cart-wheeled over and landed inelegantly on your neighbour’s mat. And the worst bit of all… the patronising glance from the yoga teacher.
Embarrassing, probably because you don’t know you’re wearing them, or if you do, it’s probably too late.
The number of times we wish we’d had a pedicure during a lesson. You’re constantly looking down at your dry feet and chipped toenails, made even worse when the teacher helpfully comes to readjust your feet in warrior position. Oh the shame.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you in a yoga class?