The Arrogance of Enlightenment: Ugh, Yoga

Yogis can be such arrogant assholes.

This whole enlightenment bullshit, this holier-than-thou attitude of some dude just because he can stick his foot behind his ear is just sooooo aggravating. I mean, come on, I’ve got a ballerina’s hip flexors and could pick my nose with my pinky toe but you don’t see me charging everyone 20 Euros an hour and flashing my taint. Sorry, that’s gross. I shouldn’t say that.

But is it any grosser than being in a carpeted room filled with barely-dressed people sticking their asses in your faces while sweating profusely? The only thing grosser is going to a totally normal yoga class wanting to get your stretch on and having to deal with some balding, pot-bellied guy who hasn’t shaved in a week and ate onions for dinner last night putting his hands on your hips to “deepen your stretch.” I’ll deepen your stretch, bub, now get your filthy hands off me.

I’ve been into yoga for half my life. And by into, I mean I have done it on and off, treating it like the whim it should be and not the life-devotional practice a lot of people experiencing life crises treat it as. I am not by any means ready to join the cult that requires you sell your belongings and only wear white pants (literal, not metaphoric, blrrrgghhh) and chant to whatever goddess has a dozen hands. I am not going to accuse my kid of having done wrong in a past life to have been born to me, as one of my bat-shit acquaintances from yoga class has done. And I most certainly am not going to talk about chakras and healing with you because even if I do get a little esoteric at times, yoga is and will forever in my brain be affiliated not with religion but with fitness. An old-person’s tumbling class, if you will.

A couple years ago, long before diva was born, I somehow got it into my brain that I should bone up on my yoga speak and maybe try to earn a few bucks with my ability to do backbends and whatnot and so I tried to get active in the local yoga scene and  get certified to teach. At first I thought yoga teachers could only be people who know something about anatomy (like med school dropouts) but then my sister, the artist, got certified and I realized anybody can be a yogi if he or she just pays enough money. It’s a giant fucking scam, I tell you, but anyway…. a traveling yogi from San Francisco, in town for a yoga conference, popped into Cologne a few days early and ended up staying at our house for like a week. He and Herr Lederhosen got ludicrously stoned for two days straight and he regaled us with tales of wintering in Brazil, where, he admitted, he only taught because the women were beautiful and wore next to nothing while crouching down on all fours and they worshipped him because he could do a turtle pose and spoke in platitudes. A misogynist boner’s heaven.

And one that a number of dudes seem to have found in recent years. Because while the majority of the participants in my classes are women (like 99%), more than half the time, the teachers are now men. I think they’ve been clued in due to the success of one guy who grew up in India and moved to Germany and has garnered a reputation for his tantric undertakings.

At risk of sounding like a man-hater, I just have to say that this is something I can no longer tolerate. I can no longer tolerate these dudes who put on flute music and speak softly and then come over and stick their faces too close to my chest while I’m doing a wheel or who say that I look stronger than I think I am and need to puuuuush myself (I know I have nice, toned arms, asshole, but I’m not pushing this stress because my shoulder hurts and not because I’m a wussy girl but thanks for pigeonholing me, jerk… now shove off). And I certainly can not tolerate the insecure blonde at the front of the class who’s always trying to get the dudes’  attention and whose shorts are so tight, everyone else is betting at how many minutes into class before she has a lip slip. It’s almost making me contemplate going to the studio run by lesbians but they only have one shower there. Instead, I’m trading in my yoga mat for some boxing gloves. At least there, I know what I’m in for: I’m going to be surrounded by grunting men who like to take their shirts off. But they won’t touch me, and I appreciate that. The gym is not a pick-up joint.

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One thought on “The Arrogance of Enlightenment: Ugh, Yoga

  1. BerLinda January 6, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    Ugh, I hated yoga – I’m just not meant to bend that way! Boxing sounds like way more fun 🙂 In Latvia, there were women who went to the gym in amazingly skimpy sports wear – I never did see them do any exercise… 😉

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