It’s not that I like to see people fail…

17 Jul

… it’s that I like to see braggarts get punished for, well, bragging.

I’ve been practicing yoga regularly for 2.5 years and continue to see value in a Flow 1 class, though I routinely hit more advanced classes. The beauty of yoga is that you can challenge yourself at any level.

So I don’t announce to the Flow 1 class that I’ve been practicing yoga for 2.5 years, that I’m capable of relatively sophisticated arm balances, and that – if the teacher were to abandon us – I’m relatively confident I could step into her place and deliver a class that ran almost as smoothly. I don’t do that because – on any given day, I *am* a Flow 1 student. My body doesn’t always cooperate. Some days I’m more exhausted or weak than others and plugging through a 90 minute class even doing the minimum is a challenge.

Anyway, back to my point: Apparently not everyone has learned humility. I say this because last week I hit a Flow 1 class at my local yoga studio and – as I grabbed my mat – I overheard a girl signing in say, “I’m a yoga teacher, visiting from out of town.”

I did a double-take because her body did not seem to fit the mold of a person who was so dedicated to yoga that she had logged the requisite hours to get certified as a teacher. I know, that sounds mean, but let’s just agree that there’s a “look” common to most yoga teachers. And while most are svelte, even those that aren’t tend to have some pretty obvious biceps and triceps. This girl looked soft.

She continued on with her conversation, and I mentally rolled my eyes as I went into the room to get set up for class. Of course, about two minutes later she walked in and rolled her mat out next to me. When the teacher arrived – a tough instructor named Terrance whose classes all provide a fairly brutal work out – he asked if anyone had any injuries he should be aware of. Most people passively shook their heads, but Eager Beaver to my left piped up. “I’m a yoga teacher!” she announced.

Terrance looked at her with a blank expression along the lines of, “And your point is?” before recovering and saying, “Welcome. I hope you enjoy the class.”

As it turns out, I’m going to say that “enjoyment” is not exactly the word for what she took from the class. It became obvious early that she was in over her head. While the rest of us pushed through some fast-moving vinyasas, she collapsed onto her mat in Child’s Pose.

I know yoga isn’t supposed to be a competitive endeavor, and you shouldn’t judge anyone since every person’s “edge” is different. However, when someone marches in repeatedly announcing to the world that she’s a “pro,” then promptly has her ass handed to her – well, I guess that’s just human nature to take a little pleasure in that. And I’ve never claimed I’m a true yogi. Unlike this dude:

This is disturbing on so many levels. Let me assure you that when I practice yoga, I: a) wear a shirt, b) do not put my (figurative) ball sack on display, and c) don't look like I'm about to seduce someone while listening to Yanni. But I hope you already knew all that about me.

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