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Basic Yoga-Dude Etiquette

How not to be a creep in the yoga studio:

So you've decided to start being the yoga-guy amongst your buddies, setting your sites toward the elite goal of bedding dozens of hot yoga chicks. Not only that, but you can also compliment your tri-weekly CrossFit sessions with some much needed hot, sweaty stretching.  Sick, bro.
 
Unfortunately, you're gonna stand out like a beige suit at a black-tie gala when you walk into the room with that attitude.  The guy in the yoga room who's clearly there to pick up girls is a) not only missing the point but b) also being a total scumbag.  
 
I've been writing about meditation for a few posts now, so I decided to take a little detour to introduce to you, yoga dude, a basic guide on how not to be a creep in the yoga studio:

Rule #1: Don't Be Sleazy

This one kind of goes without saying--or it should anyway--but hitting on every girl who has the unfortunate disposition of laying her mat down next to you is pretty creepy.  You might as well slather yourself in Crisco before class.  Hey, you're only human; there are plenty of beautiful women in every yoga class.  However, they're DEFINITELY not into the guy who's taking every opportunity to steal a glance at her upturned downward dog butt.  If you want to meet women in the yoga community do it by actually being involved in the community.  At least then it shows you're a man of substance, not just a greasy Don Draper in new Lululemon shorts.

Rule #2: Seriously, Take Your Hygiene Seriously

This is not a step intended to improve your chances with yoga girls.  This step is for the sake of everyone in the room with you.  Most people sweat in a yoga class, generally a lot.  For this reason showing up with B.O. Iike you haven't showered since the Obama administration just sucks.  The other thing that people do in yoga class is breathe through their nose  A lot.  This rule applies not only to you, yoga bro but also to you borderline-elderly hippie man.  I know you're old enough to not give a shit, but come on...you stink.

In my experience as a yoga teacher, the guy who has to be at the front of the room is showing off his ego more than his inspiring practice, and it’s usually mostly so he can stare at himself in the mirror.

Rule #3: Don't Be a Showoff

So, say you've been practicing for a while and you consider yourself the patron saint of dude-yoga.  Your practice is flawless, you've been a vegan for six months and you can see the veins on your abs.  That's great...so have a little humility and set up your mat at the back of the room.  Maybe you could argue that your practice can inspire others, and for argument's sake maybe it can.  In my experience as a yoga teacher, the guy who has to be at the front of the room is showing off his ego more than his inspiring practice, and it’s usually mostly so he can stare at himself in the mirror. Concurrently he's also usually an extension of the sleaze-bag from Rule #1.  If you're really an accomplished practitioner of yoga you'll do your excessive handstanding at the back to prove that you're not in it for the glory.
 
Also, if you're in a mirrored studio, it's just plain creepy to stare deeply into your own eyes the whole time you're doing yoga.  Use the mirror to better your practice, not for masturbatory purposes. 
 
**as a little side note, one of my favorite tricks in a crowded yoga class with mirrors is to let everyone get set up, with the narcissists all jammed up as close to the mirror as possible, then to teach from the opposite side of the room.  It gets the noobs in back out of the comfort zone and puts a kink in the raging egos of the mirror-mongers which is never not funny.     

Rule #4: Keep It Down, Jeeeeez.

This can be a tough one for folks newer to yoga, specifically guys.  It should be noted though, that if you're grunting like you've got the world's worst hemorrhoids with every. single. movement., you're probably just pushing a bit too hard.  Back off a little bit.  If you can't touch your toes today, you can't touch your toes today, and no amount of strain and physical force is going to change that.  If yoga is a moving meditation, there is nothing meditative about straining yourself relentlessly for an hour plus.  It's also super distracting to everyone else.
 
And as for you, yoga mouth-breather: zip 'em up.  We can smell that sardine and garlic sandwich you had for lunch all the way over here.  There are a lot of methods of yoga breathing, but to my knowledge, relentlessly (obnoxiously) hissing through your mouth like you're trying to blow out the world's biggest candle isn't one of them, especially during savasana when everyone is trying to relax.  Do everyone a favor and try the nose-breathing method.  Your fellow practitioners will thank you for it.

Show up to class on time, don't double park your mat in two spaces (especially in a crowded class) and for fuck's sake, leave your phone in the locker room!

Rule #5: Respect The Yogis Around You.

Show up to class on time, don't double park your mat in two spaces (especially in a crowded class) and for fuck's sake, leave your phone in the locker room!  I get it if you're a doctor on call or something, but if you really can't separate yourself from your Snapchat account for that long, you have bigger problems than tight hamstrings.  This rule is pretty universal for guys and girls, but consider it a reflection of you as a member of society.  If you regularly cut in line, park like a jerk and text in traffic, bringing that attitude in the yoga studio makes you look like a mega-yoga-turd.
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So go forth and be considerate, fledgling yogi!  As with all aspects of your yoga practice, being a nice person in the yoga studio will carry over into all other aspects of your life.  Remember that yoga is a practice of mindfulness and awareness.  Consider this as a basic set of guidelines for understanding how to become more aware of you in relation to your surroundings. You gotta start somewhere, so if you're guilty of one or two (or all of the above), remember: it's a PRACTICE in every sense of the word.  Hell, eventually you might even meet your yoga dreamgirl/guy. 😉
 
If you want to share some insights about this post in the comments, feel free.  I have a feeling this one could get pretty hilarious...or scary.
 
Namaste.
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