Yogic Pet Peeves

Fun article in the New York Times today (that also quotes the fabulous and funny Yoga Dork) on pet peeves in the yoga studios.  [An article in FitSugar is also cited in the NYT but not linked, so if you’re interested, here’s the direct link.]

The article poses the question: is there such a thing as yoga studio etiquette?  What are the common mishaps and pet peeves that yank both students and teachers right out of their flow?

Because I can’t resist adding fuel to this particular fire, here are my:


1) Late arrivals
Nothing is more distracting or more off-putting than late arrivals.  I’m not talking a few minutes late, but those annoying people who come into class 10 – 15 minutes after the warm up!  Not only is it distracting to the teacher and the students, but it’s just downright unsafe.

2) Mat-Snappers
Roll out your mat softly.  This isn’t a high school boys locker room.

3) Gross feet
You don’t need to spend big bucks at a salon getting a weekly pedicure, but for the love of all that is clean and holy PLEASE wash your feet, cut your toenails, and if you have yucky dry callus, buff ’em off.  A pedicure stone can be bought at any drug store for a couple bucks.

4) Poor/Boring Sequencing
This one’s specifically from a student perspective but boring or disjointed sequencing is a big pet peeve.  It shows lack of creativity on the teachers part as well as being a sure-fire way to kill any positive energy built up inside or in the studio.  [This is also the reason I don’t do Bikram yoga.  Only 26 poses?  All the same?  All the time?  No thanks!]

5) Pushers
This one is more teacher-specific, but it really gets to me when I see students pushing themselves way beyond their limits.  The struggling, grunting, panting and straight up UNSAFE places they go are distracting to me as a teacher.  There’s a place in yoga for challenge, but not listening to the physical cues I’m giving or listening to the modifications, or even continuing the unsafe posture after I come over and physically assist/show a safer way is just plain stupid.
OK students and teachers?  What are YOUR biggest pet peeves?  And yes, this is all in the spirit of letting go of attachment and coming into a place of non-judgment ::wink::


6 responses to “Yogic Pet Peeves

  1. In defense of gross feet (or at least callouses), often yoga isn’t the only activity students are involved in. Callouses are a necessary part of my sport. If I didn’t have them, I’d be blistered and limping. Mind you, I hate it, but they are necessary nonetheless. I hate the look of feet in general, even so called pretty ones, so I suppose callouses don’t make me hate them any more than I already do.

  2. Advanced practitioners who essentially start practice before class, showing off while others are gathering and settling in. I call them “yoga posers”.

    Most likely it’s about ego, vanity or attention-seeking. They are in the right place to find inner peace but they haven’t quite heard the message yet.

    • Love the term “yoga posers”. I always shake my head at those who, in their “warm up” bust out headstands or forearm stands. Really? You’re body’s ready for that? Oooh-kaaay then.

  3. My pet peeve is the nearly-naked yogis I ran into when I did Bikram. It’s hot (duh), and yes, your pecks DO look amazing, but really dude? A Speedo? This is not the beach. It’s distracting and makes me feel like some kind of prude in my shorts and tank when there are folk in my class wearing what is basically beachwear.

  4. I don’t have many pet peeves on the yoga front but the worst is an unsupportive/uncaring teacher. I took a class at a new studio and when we got to inversions this teacher actually yelled at the lady next to me for using the wall! She said “We are not using the wall this week! The wall is cheating! Why do you think we worked so hard last week on leaving the wall?!” YIKES. Sometimes you just need to use the wall crazy lady. Boot Camp yoga teacher is not for me. Never going back there!

    • Oh my gosh! Sounds like that teacher needs to take a chill pill … and maybe work on releasing some of her attachment to her student’s progress/ability. I had a similar experience in a Bikram class … hence never going back to Bikram.

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