As students of yoga, we work on becoming comfortable in our own skins. Part of this is not really caring what anyone else thinks about our lifestyle choices, including what ignoramuses have to say on the subject of yoga. Yet most of us aren't yet so blissed out that we can't be annoyed by the insensitive comments that occasionally come our way. Here are five things NOT to say to people who do yoga, and a few snappy comebacks you can use if you find yourself on the receiving end of these remarks.
1. You Don't Seem Like The Kind Of Person Who Does Yoga
Really? What kind of person does yoga, in your expert opinion? Hippies
, gymnasts, the spaced out, the unwashed? This comment passes judgement on both the yoga student and the entire discipline of yoga in one fell swoop. There is no "type of person" that does yoga. Yoga meets each person where they are and can offer great benefits to tightly-wound business people, athletes, stressed-out moms and dads, and average folks of all stripes. Yoga is no longer on the fringes of anything. It's right here in the middle.
2. I Bet Your Husband/Wife/Sexual Partner Likes That
You had to go there, did you? While there is ample evidence that yoga can improve your sex life
, it's really not about getting all Kama Sutra. Most of the changes are on a subtle, internal level, and may even be more mental than physical. Besides, get your mind out of my bedroom. Ug.
3. I Can't Do Yoga Because I Can't Even Touch My Toes
Can't touch your toes? You're just the person who needs yoga the most. All the people who can already touch their toes are bored out of their minds during the 90 minutes that we spend touching our toes in yoga class. Kidding aside, there is minimal toe touching in most yoga classes and it's certainly not a prerequisite. We also spend a lot of time stretching the hamstrings
in other ways so that one day, eventually, with a lot of practice, you will be able to touch your toes. Also: straps
4. So You Get All Sweaty in a Jillion-Degree Room While Some Man Yells at You?
Have you been watching Nightline
? That's just Bikram
. Yes, it does look a little nuts, but lots of people dig it and if you don't there are many, many more styles of yoga
done at room temperature with no yelling.
5. Show Us a Headstand/Handstand/Backbend/Crazy Arm Balance
This most often happens at parties. You may be tempted, but don't do it. Public displays of yoga are beneath you. Your yoga happens on your time, on your mat. It's not circus tricks. Also, this is a good way of injuring yourself
. Invite the people who want to see your asanas
in action to join you for a class sometime.
6. BONUS: So Are You Like, Totally at Peace and Enlightened Now?Nope, still working on that. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to exercise my improved tolerance of clueless comments, however. 'Preciate it.
7. BONUS: More Things Not to Say
Turns out there are things not to say about any number of health issues and fitness lifestyles. Read lots more What Not To Says