I picked up yoga on a whim about a year and a half ago. With a background in dance and a job in a city more focused on politics than pas de chat, I thought I’d give yoga a shot since they’re kind of similar, right? I ended up getting hooked and going to classes on a regular basis. I also noticed that yoga studios lend themselves to great people watching opportunities. I got hooked on this, too. After practicing at several studios across the city, I noticed several archetypes who are present in every yoga class.
The Yoga Bro
Yogis will agree that classes are predominantly female, so when an attractive, straight man who’s good at yoga comes along–a “brogi”–the ladies flock to him faster than they flock to a pair of 50 percent off pants from Lululemon. Broga instructors are similar. Half of their students come to class to exercise or zen out, while the other half pay $18 for 90 minutes of eye candy and a grope adjustment from the instructor, if they’re lucky. Ladies, just so you know, renting “Magic Mike” is cheaper. The brogis and the broga instructors may be cocky due to their constant attention from the ladies, so I’d advise you to stay at least one mat’s length distance away. If one takes interest in you and isn’t actually just trying to sell you a yoga mat (this is real, this happened to me) hold on for dear life.
The Type A Yoga Mom
Usually an excessively fit woman with fake breasts, the Type A yoga mom seemingly embraces the calming aspects of yoga–until class is over, when she rushes to the coatroom to gather her belongings, knocking over anything or anyone in her way. This kind of woman makes taking yoga classes feel more like shopping doorbuster deals on Black Friday. Your best bet is to let this woman pass. She really needs to get going so she can make it to Whole Foods before picking up her kid from private school.
The Yoga Newbie Who Makes Sure Everyone Knows (S)he’s A Yoga Newbie
This individual shows up to class either overly confident that yoga will be a walk in the park or absolutely terrified. The former is much more entertaining. During his or her rude awakening, this individual will huff and puff and make it clear to everyone else in class that “this is extremely difficult and I’m trying to keep up but it’s just so hard.” My personal favorite is the person who shows up to hot yoga and makes a scene about the heat halfway through class when he or she gets tired. It’s not like this person took a surprise heated class–it’s called HOT yoga for a reason. Regardless, most regular yogis see this individual and are reminded of their struggle during their first yoga class.
The Person With No Concept Of Personal Space
Classes during peak times get extremely crowded, but there’s always one person who still insists on stretching his or her limbs as far as humanly possible. This inevitably leads to you getting slapped in the face or playing a nonconsensual game of handsie or footsie. If you’re really lucky, this person will sweat on your yoga mat, too. The person with no concept of personal space is usually a class regular and repeat offender, so make sure to arrive early next time to put your mat on the opposite side of the room.
The Teacher’s Pet
It’s easy to spot the difference between a regular student and one who hangs out with the teacher outside of class. The teacher’s pet is not only awesome at yoga, but makes a point to reference that happy hour last Thursday or when she and the teacher went out for Michelle’s birthday dinner–you probably missed the invite. Similar to the teacher’s pet is the student who the instructor is clearly hooking up with. They’ll talk before class and the instructor will try to avoid him or her during class, but will often glance in that corner of the room. This person will linger after class, too, since he or she has plans to practice downward facing dog at the instructor’s apartment later tonight.
The Flower Child
This is who I used to imagine as a typical yogi before I moved to a city full of Type A fitness fanatics. Probably a vegan, she usually wears “earthy” attire, like bracelets or a sarong. She might have smoked weed before class, and she definitely knows what “namaste” translates to in English. Make sure you catch her after class so you can talk about your raw food cleanse and whether or not Mercury is in retrograde.