An Open Letter To The Douchebag In My Yoga Class


Dear Yoga Douche,

My first question is, why? Why have you chosen to sit in double-pigeon in the middle of the reception hallway? I get it. Meditating is important. Maybe you don’t have space to meditate at home. Maybe you have five screaming kids and a nasty ex-wife and all you need is a few moments of mindful peace and quiet. Maybe you just had the worst possible day at the office. Maybe your boss screamed at you and your secretary forgot that you hate mayonnaise and you realized that you had been drunk-messaging one of your interns on OKCupid the night before. Maybe, Yoga Douche, you need some space to breathe.

But this is not the space. Your knees are stacked perfectly on top of one another, and I can tell you’re about to sink into that forward fold. There are 23 other people in this tiny Manhattan studio, and we are all stepping over you. There are maybe about 6 inches on either side of you that we can occupy. Are you so deep in Obi-Wan mode that you can’t feel our mats smacking you ever-so-slightly as we squeeze past you into the classroom? Class is starting. You haven’t moved. Are you going to hang out here in the hallway, or eventually come inside for some Vinyasa?

You enter the classroom last with a large cup of sickly-sweet pomegranate tea. I know, because I tried it last week and it stained my upper lip red. Yours is getting there. You spread your mat at the front of the room near the teacher. Does she find your Ethan Craft haircut attractive? Is that why she’s cool with you wearing your Nike’s during Sun Salutations?

We begin our practice, and all eyes are on you, Yoga Douche. Not because you skillfully transfer from Warrior Three into Standing Splits, but because you are wearing a bright green t-shirt with the words READING SUCKS emblazoned in all capital letters across the front. Who are you, Yoga Douche? Why are you dressed like a 90’s bully? Did you just completely miss out on the entire Harry Potter series? What happened when all of your friends were studying for their AP Lit exams in high school? Did you just proclaim your signature phrase, steal their lunch money, and proceed to meditate on the floor in the middle of the classroom? What do you even do on airplanes? The subway? The Internet? Do you carry around one of those mini DVD players like the one my grandmother got me and my brother for long car trips? Are you attached to a Nintendo DS? Do you play a lot of Solitaire? (I’m assuming you don’t meditate in those places, or you wouldn’t feel the need to do it here.)

When you finally remove your shirt, the whole class breathes a sigh of relief. Or maybe that’s just the exhale transitioning from Plank into Chaturanga. Whatever. We move as a class unit through another Sun Salutation, pausing at High Lunge.

“Begin to lengthen your leg, transferring your weight into the ball of your foot.”

I know where this is going. Half-moon. I twist my torso and you’re just barely visible ahead of me and to the right. I extend my arm and flex my foot. You follow suit. You’re not supposed to creep on other people during class because it throws off your own practice, but I make a special exception for you. I watch you lower your arm and transfer your weight into your hands. You kick up into a handstand, wobble, and come crashing down on your cup of pomegranate tea, spraying the entire front row in sticky, red liquid.

“Yo,” you say, standing up. “My bad.”

We finish our practice. You’re the guy who leaves early during Savasana, like you have somewhere better to be. I don’t mind. If you’d have stayed, I may have thrown one of those squishy Pilates balls at you, or at least have made a snarky comment about your iced tea ‘stache. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your bookless ride home on the N train tonight, that you got all that you needed out of those 20 minutes of inconvenient hallway meditation, and that your handstand brought you the exhilaration and peace you needed to face the rest of your day.

Namaste, Yoga Douche.