Yoga is taking the world by storm. Or maybe we should say that yoga has already taken it (or that the storm is now ever-present). On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly not only agreed to discuss, but actually approved an “International Day of Yoga” to take place every year on June 21.
The overwhelmingly positive results that these disciplines and practices have ostensibly achieved for its practitioners on a physical, mental and spiritual level have been so profound — and the trials, tribulations and success stories that these yoga-goers have shared about their “life-changing” experiences have been so enticing to those who have yet to attempt it — that all kinds of people have been convinced to at least give this yoga thing a shot.
The key phrase here is “all kinds of people” because basically every single type person you can imagine has, at least, attempted yoga, regardless of whether or not they have fully incorporated it into their daily routine or created a whole lifestyle that revolves around the practice (as many have).
Out of the plethora of characters who have flocked to yoga’s doors, we will discuss the most embarrassing types, and illustrating their odd and uncomfortable behaviors by associating them with certain poses. These are the most embarrassing people you will meet at yoga class.
15. The Unskilled: “I’m Falling! I’m Falling!”
There are many yoga poses that require the yoga-goer to possess some semblance of balance, and there is always one person at yoga who won’t stop falling, and yelling about it. No pose demands the acquisition of balance more than the well-known handstand (as pictured). As many masters say about this particular pose, those who have a fear of falling will undoubtedly have more trouble with mastering, let alone attempting said pose.
Regardless, once someone has either successfully gotten into the handstand position or close enough to where the person can fall, the handstand-attempter who doesn’t have any form of balance whatsoever will undoubtedly fall. If that person who’s falling (or about to fall) is afraid of doing so, they will, without fail, shout out that they are, in fact, falling. Even those who don’t have this phobia will shout something similar just because they’re alarmed.
14. The Person Who Can’t Follow Instructions
It’s one thing to not be physically capable of holding a certain position. But it’s something else entirely when you’re unable to follow a simple instruction that you should be fully capable of performing no matter how inept you may be at yoga.
To explain both failures, we’ll go over the pose dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I (the top picture). After the first step, you should be sitting on the heel of your left foot (which is pointing to the right). This is, in and of itself, already a strange position. Your right foot also needs to be over your left thigh and beside your left knee with the sole facing down. Once this has been accomplished, you’re then told to bring the left side of your waist and shoulder around to the right. Wait, what? We admit, this is tricky.
But if you’re somebody who, when starting the pose, are told to bend your knees and then to put your left knee on the floor, but you bring both knees down (basically going into a kneeling position), then that’s just embarrassing. You should know better.
13. The Ditz With See-Through Leggings
This particular entry will not revolve around people who wear yoga pants. Because, well, everyone wears them for, again, obvious reasons. So no embarrassment is to be had. What everyone doesn’t wear (on purpose) are pants that could basically be described as translucent. Anyone who dons such clothing for a yoga class are bound to embarrass everyone because there are many poses that expose or bring attention to various areas that pants need to cover.
12. The Lurker
The embarrassment factor of the preceding embarrassing scenario is exacerbated when “a lurker” has chosen to grace everyone (including the one wearing the see-through leggings) with his presence (and, yes, the lurker is almost always male).
This person is usually participating in yoga not to increase his flexibility or strength. Nor is he there for any remedial purposes. It’s usually for more inappropriate reasons.
You can almost always identify a lurker by where he chooses to put his mat and pose. It’s normally in an area that will give him the best view of the yoga-goers (and not for learning purposes through mimicry). This almost always is in the far back (the furthest row from the teacher), in a corner. He’s usually alone.
11. The Talker
This particular person might be attending yoga for all the right reasons. But, almost always, this specific yoga-goer is utilizing the space in such a way so that it serves as some sort of social gathering hub. Don’t get us wrong. You can do yoga with friends and talk with others during a class… when it’s appropriate. It shouldn’t get in the way of the actual yoga-ing. These people talk nonstop to either a group of friends they came with or try to chatter it up with yoga-goers who are actually there to, well, do yoga.
The blabbermouth is probably more annoying (especially to serious yoga-goers) than they are embarrassing and they probably won’t feel embarrassed by their actions because that’s why they’re there: to jabber. Still, they’re pretty much an embarrassment to the yoga community.
10. The Person Who Can’t Even Keep Up With The Old People
No matter how much of a noob you may be, it’s impossible to not have some preconceived notions on how things will turn out. For example, if you’re young, relatively fit and there’s someone there who looks like they’re 500 years old, you’re bound to believe you’ll be at least better than them. Heck, pretty much everyone in the room will believe that the athletic person is going to do a million times better than the pretty-much-dead fossil who is probably going to die during the class anyway.
But when you’re asked to do something simple like the big toe pose — which, as the name implies, involves you bending down to your toes and, while keeping your legs completely straight, inserting your pointer and middle fingers on both hands between the big and second toes on both feet (hence “big toe”) — and you find that you’re unable to keep your legs straight while the archaic geezer can, that’s embarrassing for everyone.
9. The Over-Zealous Wannabe
There’s nothing wrong with taking yoga seriously. But like everything else in life, there’s a limit (that is, if you don’t want to embarrass yourself). Some yoga-goers have pretty much adopted practices that yoga tries to bring about: mental, physical and spiritual health. So, they usually participate in an organic, healthy lifestyle — usually flaunting their “superior” dietary choices by bringing foods like kale and quinoa to class (maybe even in blended form, like a smoothie).
But, most embarrassing of all, these people normally perform certain gestures ostentatiously during the actual yoga class. These people love to show off more than they love doing yoga for enjoyment or health purposes.
8. The Ones With The Popcorn Spines
People who have a predisposition to bone-cracking (especially in the spinal region) undoubtedly have some difficulties with the “backbend” poses. Well, maybe they themselves don’t have trouble with them. Those who can’t stand the blood-curdling cacophony that is bone-popping will. These people with spines that are constantly popping will be a distraction for the entire class.
One pose that will most likely induce some “crackling” is the bow pose (the left picture), so named because the person must contort their body into a shape that looks like an archer’s bow. While the pose is said to help mild backache (among a few other ailments, including constipation, fatigue, anxiety and menstrual discomfort), it will certainly bring about the malady known as “embarrassment.”
7. The “Zzzz”
One of the many purposes of yoga is to enter a state of pure relaxation. But too much relaxing can lead to its ultimate form: sleep.
An obvious yoga relaxer (obvious in that it’s regarded as a pose of “total relaxation”) is one whose designation is rather morbid, albeit appropriate: the corpse pose (top picture). While this pose is incredibly difficult (in fact, it’s regarded as one of the most challenging), people are expected to stay in this restful position for five minutes “for every 30 minutes of practice.” That leaves a lot of time for accidentally falling asleep (and, in turn, embarrassment). Those who have a tendency of drifting off to dreamland during yoga don’t just do so while executing a highly relaxing pose, but any.
6. The Clapper
Many yoga positions aren’t easy. The more difficult they are, the prouder you should be if you execute them correctly.The perfect example of a challenging position is the eight-angle pose. Only those who are extremely skilled can perform this pose easily, and there are some people that love to celebrate the completion of each pose.
Regardless of how challenging a pose might be, just because you completed it, doesn’t mean you can clap at the end. Yes, those people exist. Even when a class completes a fairly simple pose, these types of people still put their hands together. Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves.
5. The “Silent” Complainer
For the inexperienced yoga-goer, many poses can be quite unpleasant. We won’t go so far as to say they’re painful, but they “burn.” One pose that creates a burning sensation is the firefly (the top picture). As the “firefly,” your hands became your legs because they hold up your body. Meanwhile, your actual legs are stretched out as far as they can go, outside your arms, which are currently vertical and parallel to one another.
Just from this description alone, the things that your body is supposed to do are not what we are typically used to. As a result, inexperienced “fireflies” can injury their shoulders, elbows, wrists and lower back areas. But it’s all in the pursuit of strengthening your arms, wrists, and mouth-watering abs.
Those who are not used to this position will most likely make strange noises that convey a sense of discomfort. However, these sounds don’t form any type of coherent word or thought (at least, not in any civilized language) that directly express how uncomfortable they’re feeling. Instead, they slip out as gasps, labored breaths and other embarrassing utterances.
4. The Giggler
This sort of person can also be referred to as an immature nitwit, because they have the propensity for laughing at particular poses that put them in rather awkward, and sometimes even suggestive positions.
A perfect example would be the giggler’s reaction to the downward-facing dog, a pose which every yoga-goer has attempted just because it’s one of yoga’s most ubiquitous poses. One reason why someone might giggle at the downward-facing dog is because of its designation’s close resemblance to another type of position that has some form of the word “dog” in it. (That’s all we’re going to say about it).
That said, these gigglers might be giggling not because they find something funny, but because they’re nervous. Laughter and other similar “explosive” forms of expression aren’t solely a response to humor; it can also be a body’s way of expressing discomfort.
A particular pose that is rather fear-inducing is the shoulderstand, which is nicknamed as the “queen” or “mother” of all sitting poses (where the one executing the pose is sitting on their shoulders, or, to be more precise, their shoulders as well as on their head, neck and upper arms—not on their buttocks).
3. The Actual Screamer/Crier
As the title of this particular section implies, these types of people are unlike the “silent” sufferer, in that they don’t hold back their suffering and pain by literally crying out. This scenario usually manifests itself during the crane (crow) pose when the yoga-goers, after starting on all fours and pushing themselves forward, are holding themselves up with their arms, while their legs are tucked in (or held up to the side).
But what really makes the “screamer” all the more enjoyable (in an uncomfortable way) is when they’re a noob and originally came in acting all high and mighty. Maybe they’re body builders who can lift a prepubescent cow. This is especially more embarrassing when these people can’t even perform poses that are relatively easy, like the so-called “easy pose” (the left picture). Oh and then there’s “the crier.” Yes. People cry during yoga when a pose helps them feel completely relaxed.
2. The Religiously Insensitive — Or The Complete Jerk
One of the most misrepresented and, in turn, misunderstood religions of the world is the Islamic faith. Those who choose to jump on the “Islam-bashing” bandwagon are usually quite advantageous, taking the initiative whenever they can to make a jab at this faith whenever the chance arises. These types of people who practice yoga will undoubtedly say something insensitive during the extended puppy pose (the top picture) or, to be more specific, the third step in the positioning thereof.
During the aforementioned third step, the practitioners, who, after first going on all fours, have already begun to spread themselves out. But before stretching themselves into a position that resembles the now thankfully defunct and embarrassing “planking” trend, the yoga-goers then drop their forehead to the floor in a way that looks similar to the prayer position that Muslims take.
At that time, one buffoon will make some remark about how “we’re all Muslims now” or yell out some sort of fake prayer to Allah. That person, however, will most likely be thrown out so you’ll probably never see that embarrassing fool again.
1. The “Ninja” Nerd
We blame this type of person on the anime Naruto. The correlation between the show and yoga is actually not that much of a stretch. In the anime, ninjas perform certain “energy-creating” techniques, such as ninjutsu and genjutsu, by contorting their fingers and hands into various positions, known as seals, consecutively (each technique requires multiple seals). Depending on the sequence of “shapes” that the ninja creates with his hands manipulates a certain amount of inner chakra (which is basically energy) that initiates a specific technique.Turns out, there are literally “seals” in yoga, too. In Mudras Yoga, The term “mudras” literally means “seal” as well as “gesture” or “mark.” The Mudras, like in Naruto, are gestures oftentimes executed with one’s hands and fingers to facilitate the flow of energy.
There are many Mudras, including the lotus seal (the right picture), which requires one to emulate the shape of the lotus flower by contorting one’s fingers and hands in such a way that brings to mind the lotus.
Interestingly, there is also a Lotus Seal in Naruto. Instead of the yoga’s version, the execution of which is meant to calm the mind, remind you of the soul’s natural beauty and inspire purity and perseverance, Naruto’s seal which, once applied, can basically “trap” or “seal” anything within something.
One last comparison. In yoga, the hand gestures are slow. In Naruto, they’re performed rapidly. So you’ll easily be able to distinguish who these embarrassing nerds are from the rest because they’ll be doing absurdly fast (and usually poorly executed) gesticulations with their hands.