Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Mat Stinks (and Other Embarassing Yoga Faux Pas)

Before yoga class started tonight, I decided to rest in Child's Pose. But when I let myself melt into the floor, third eye resting blissfully upon my mat for a few moments of silence, something unpleasant happened. I took a deep breath in, ready to take in the moment, when I suddenly realized... My mat smelled like old, sweaty gym socks. I sat up. I looked to my left... and to my right. Can they smell it, too? I made eye contact with an older gentleman. He smiled politely.

A yoga studio may be a place where people gather to find balance and bliss, but, let's face it, there are opportunities for embarrassment everywhere you look. Have you ever slipped on a puddle of sweat in Tree Pose? I have. Here are a few other ways I've embarrassed myself in a yoga class.

1. Stinky, Sweaty, Disgusting Yoga Mat. By the time I noticed my mat spelled like stinky gym socks, it was too late. I just had to play it off like it wasn't a problem.

2. Getting Kicked in the Head. You know those studios where they cram the mats so close to each other you stick your feet in each other's faces in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)? Well, it's particularly dangerous during jump backs. Once, I got kicked right smack between the eyes. It hurt... but I think the girl who kicked me was more embarrassed than I was.

3. No Partner for Partner Poses. In yoga class, we're usually all adults, so when your teacher suggests you "grab a partner" it shouldn't feel like you were the last poor kid picked for the kick ball team... and yet, it always stings a little.

4. Body, Um, Noises. It happens to everyone. In yoga, you use your body in new ways. You create tension in your muscles so you can let it go... but sometimes you might let more than tension go.

5. Holey Pants. I once noticed there was a hole in my yoga pants during Happy Baby Pose. I quickly aborted the mission and chose a more conservative modification.

OK... now it's your turn. What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you during a yoga class?