Bikram Yoga: How NOT to be a douche in class

I found this drafted blog which I never posted and thought I’d share it.  For reference, we’ve been doing yoga now for over 4 years so I wrote this over a year ago.  I haven’t come across this type of experience in a long time but we’ve all been there and it’s funny to be able to look back and see what my experience was in the past…  After reading it, I cracked myself up so had to share it!


OK, so yoga is supposed to be all about zen, accepting things, letting things go, yatta, yatta, yatta.

You’d think that after practicing for almost 3 years, you’d get to a stage where your focus is like a laser beam, your mind is empty and all you do is “feel the (life) force” every time you’re in the room.

Well, in a recent class, I proved very much the opposite.  I found myself getting angrier and angrier and repeating “What a douche!” a whole bunch of times… more than I care to count and they were probably the gentlest words popping into my head among the many more flowery superlatives hanging about and decorating my mind at the time.  They were very colourful thoughts.  The scowl on my face was so tense I could’ve used it to hold up my leg in standing-head-to-knee.

“Let me guess… the teacher was on your case?”

NO my friend, it was not the teacher.  I’ve never thought anything like that about a teacher… well, maybe once but douche wasn’t the word I used and it was only temporary and momentarily and I forgot about it once my legs stopped burning.  It’s also never happened again since.

NO, the bane of my life that day was another student.  A newbie… new as in first 5 classes new.  I know, I know… I need to exercise patience…. they don’t know what they’re doing…

But seriously, EVERYTHING she could have possibly done to piss me off in a class, she did.  One or two things?  I can let them go… I am a patient person, it takes quite a bit to get me riled up but once it happens……

The rant begins…….

This lady did every. single. one. of my pet peeves and to top it off, she even gave me some new ones.  Got to hand it to her, if there was a “Douche of all Douches” trophy, she’d get one.

Here is a list of everything she did.  It makes a pretty definitive list of everything you shouldn’t do in a class if you don’t want someone giving you a death stare the whole time.

1.  Attend with your friend and have a chat during and between postures
Talking to each other like you’re having a picnic… is a big NO NO
If you wanted to lie on a towel and have a chat then go to the beach… douche!
Most likely all you want to say is “OMG look at how much I’m sweating!” or “OMG it’s so hot” or “OMG this is hard” That’s it… there’s nothing else for you to say while you’re in there and guess what?

Sweating? Hot? Feeling like it’s hard?  WE’RE ALL FEELING THAT WAY!

Saying it out loud, distracting everyone in the process doesn’t help anyone.  Saying it over and over every few mins because you think your friend might not have heard you the first time… doesn’t work either.  I’m farther away than your friend and I can hear you.  Douche.

You’ve got the rest of your life outside of that room to talk, surely you can keep your mouth shut for 90mins?
Etiquette:  Observe Silence

2.  Spread yourself out like you own the place
This lady had a face towel about 20cm from the top and about 20cm away to the right of her mat.  Her water bottle was standing up to the left and half way down her mat about 10cm away also.  Therefore, the amount of space she took was pretty much 1.5 mat widths and we were in a class that wasn’t packed BUT it had enough people there to be crowded so that others in the room were only about 10cm away from each other.
Really?  You couldn’t move your things closer to you to make space for other people?  What a douche!
Etiquette:  Observe your space and allow others theirs

3.  Treat your space like a dance floor
Having her items placed so far apart meant this lady had to keep walking from one end of her mat to the other every time she wanted to wipe her face or drink water.  Back and forth, back and forth…. back and forth… for the entire standing series.  First she’s on her towel then she’s off the mat to the left taking a sip then she’s walking across to the right to pick up her towel to wipe her face, then she’s on the mat but decides she doesn’t want to do the posture and sits down, then she changes her mind and stands back up to attempt the posture but realises she has to walk to the right again to wipe her face AGAIN even though she just did that half a minute ago…  Do you know how distracting this is for someone practicing right behind you?

Etiquette:  Observe Stillness

4.  Keep trying to make your towel flap like a flag in the wind
If she wasn’t wiping her face, she was drinking and if she wasn’t doing that, she was moving her towel up and down the mat, she kept lifting it up and laying it down like you would do when you put out a picnic rug.  First she’d move the towel to the top of the mat, then she’d move it to the bottom of the mat, then she’d move it to the middle of the mat.. then she’d sit on it but after she sat on it, it had creases so she’d stand up, pick it up and she’d lay it out again…. over and over…. and over….. didn’t she realise that putting her foot on it would crease it?  If she wanted it straight, flat and pristine why did she keep walking on it??????!!!!!!!  Why not just lay the f*cker out and leave it!!! It’s not like she was doing anything anyway… just get off the mat and go home!  Then the towel would be straight and she  wouldn’t have to keep flapping it about so many times!!

I bet she’s one of those people at the beach who picks up their towel and flaps it about when the wind is blowing so everyone next to them gets whipped in the face by the sand that’s come off her towel…
Inconsiderate Douche!!
Etiquette:  See 3

5.  Stand directly in front of the person practicing behind you so they can’t see anything except you and your fat ass
Yeah I said it.

There’s a mirror for a reason and it’s not so you can check yourself out for 1.5 hrs.  The teacher always says “make sure you can see yourself in the mirror.”  but they also say “make sure the person behind you can see themselves in the mirror, even a little bit”.

Considering I chose that day to practice at the back, it was my responsibility to choose a spot that allowed me to see myself in the  mirror…. and I did.  I chose to place my mat, not directly behind her but to the side, and I had a person to my right and the mat racks to my left… I didn’t have much space to move.  She however, given how she spread out her mat, bottle and face towel had plenty of space to move to either side.

However, when it came to practicing, she moved her mat directly in front of mine and then stood right in the middle of her mat which was right in front of me, I couldn’t see anything except her.  She could have stood a step to the side and that would have been fine but she stood right. in. front. of me.

After set 1 of the breathing exercise… I moved my mat so I was right up against the mat racks but at least I could half see myself…. you know what she did??? SHE STOOD OFF HER MAT and again, ended up right in front of me.  What the hell was she doing off her mat anyway?… and  why didn’t she move to the right or stay where she was?

When half-moon came, I moved to the right of my mat, couldn’t see a thing and thought to myself… “just let it go, you chose this spot, now you just gotta deal with it.”

After first set half moon, a guy at the front, saw how crowded it was so he moved himself to make more space for those behind him to see themselves.  Thank you considerate human being…
I moved to the left at the start of the next posture, this time grateful that I could see at least half of myself.  SHE sees that he’s made space and moves her entire mat so AGAIN she’s directly in front of me… On the next posture, I move to the right and see….. NOTHING… just the back of her.   Again, I tell myself to just let it go.

Just accept that she’s…  A DOUCHE!
Etiquette:  See 3 & 2

6.  Drink in between postures
Drinking in between or during postures is not only distracting to others but is equivalent to eating a steak in front of a hungry meat eater who has just started being vegetarian.  Nuff said… what a douche.
Etiquette:  Show some Goddamned respect and consideration for others

7.  Lying down with  your feet facing the mirror 
Firstly, if you’re taking a break in standing series, you’re not supposed to lie down.  They say, take a knee or sit…. nobody said lie down!!!
Secondly, when you lie down, it’s with your head towards the mirror not your feet.
So of course during balancing stick… I was dripping sweat from my fingers and trying to avoid dripping on her face…  Didn’t do too well for my balancing and if she was sitting, I wouldn’t have had that problem.
Etiquette:  Your bad juju flows out of your feet.  Show some respect for the teacher and face that bad juju away from them.

8.  Moving off your mat

If she was tall, I would have forgiven her but this lady was on and off her mat non stop.  When she lay down, in the correct direction, her feet would extend off her mat because she’d place her head half way down the mat.  She moved her mat in front of mine, that meant when she lay down, her feet were in my face.  Did she move up?  No… instead she looked at me, lay diagonal and looked as if I’d inconvenienced her.  My mat was right up against the wall and her mat (where she placed it AFTER I’d moved my mat away from hers in the first place) therefore I had nowhere to go.  All she had to do was move her body up on her mat….
Etiquette:  See 2

9.  Making owy faces and massaging yourself, drawing attention

Yes she did.  She’d keep mouthing “OW!” shaking her hand or her foot or massaging herself in between all her moving around and her towel fluffing, drinking, face wiping.  I don’t even know where she found the time to fit all that in but just like a parent who yells at their kid “STOP CRYING OR I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!”  I found myself having to hold back so much.  All I wanted to do was give her something to say ow about… “Don’t you realise that everyone else is ALSO in pain and discomfort?  Nobody moans about it so we can keep going until the end.  YOU however are a whiney little douche who hasn’t done anything to be in pain!! So what’s with all the owy faces?  I’ll show you fucking OW!!!”

What. A. Whiney.  Douche.

Etiquette:  You’ve got the rest of your life to be a douche.  Just STOP IT for once in your fucking life. 90mins.  It’s not that hard.


Needless to say I never saw this person back in class again, EVER.  Glad to say I haven’t seen this kind of person in the studio since.  Thank God.  And, my practice now remains quite calm and peaceful 🙂  What a difference a year or 2 makes! LOL


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