So I spent a good part of winter break convincing my fiance Drew that taking a yoga class at school was a good idea. Yoga could help his flexibility, and had helped me relax during midterms and finals. Usually the teacher was the typical hippie-Eugenian with a few facial piercings, but overall pretty nice and laid-back.
Little did we know, the first day of class we had come face-to-face with The Yoga Nazi. “EVERY MAT must be exactly three floor squares apart and there can only be three rows of mats,” said a middle-aged lady with high-water yoga pants caught between being capris and actual pants. Only three rows of mats in an overflowing class like this? That meant every time someone came in a few minutes late the entire row had to scoot over and reposition their mats EXACTLY three squares apart to fit the new person in, when there was plenty of space behind the third row.
“Well maybe she will get better once we actually start doing yoga,” I said, trying to reassure Drew. Instead of meditating and starting our poses, she had everyone gather around her at the front. Then the chanting began. She handed out sheets to everyone with five different chants in Sanskrit. “I promise my other class wasn’t like this,” I reminded Drew.
The first 20 minutes of a 50 minute class were wasted on positioning our mats and chanting in Sanskrit. When we finally got to the yoga part, the nazi emerged in full-force.
“You have the hip flexibility of a crippled old man!” she exclaimed at the poor guy in the third row. She paced around the room, searching for her next victim to critique into oblivion. “Shoulders back, MOVE your hips up, COME ON!” her voice boomed throughout the rec room. To make matters worse, I had a heavy-breather right next to me. I know doing yoga is all about coordinating your breath, but there’s no need for ALL of us to hear your over-the-top hyperventilating breathing pattern.
I don’t know where this teacher thinks we are, but this is supposed to be Hatha Yoga I at a university campus recreation center. Who could relax and actually get into the stretch of a pose, or even meditate, with this crazy lady with her grey hair piled in a bun yelling at everyone and imposing her OCD tendencies on us? If I actually wanted to repeatedly chant in Sanskrit and become a yogi master I would have signed up for Ashtanga Yoga III.
After attempting two classes, we dropped that yoga class and never looked back.