Which of These Five Yoga Students Are You?

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You must be the peaceful, fully present woman sitting criss-cross applesauce at the head of the class. Me? Honestly, same. I’m directly behind you, practicing my ohms. This morning I had a green juice and I’ll be eating swordfish for dinner. I’m crushing the #yogalifestyle, just that #blessed. Namaste.

Maybe I’m not really sitting behind you, and maybe you’re not sure what criss-cross applesauce even means. We try, though. Even if we fall short of our ideal #yogalifestyle today, there’s always tomorrow, when I’ve booked a TM session.

Some people never miss a step in their yoga game. I’ve narrowed it down to five types. There might be more, but these five seem to appear in every studio I attend. I wonder: are they the same five yogis? Do they work as a group, hitting new yoga classes together, travelling around in a van like the Partridge family?

Plastic Woman

Plastic Woman’s yoga game is tight—or, rather, loose—so loose she can bend into any shape even a polyhedron. Nobody knows what a polyhedron looks like, so we clap for her rendition. After all, none of us can do what Plastic Woman does. When an instructor gives the choice between option one (“those of you who are beginners might want to stick with this one”) and option two (“for those of you who are a little more advanced”), we always choose option one. Plastic Woman chooses option two. Plastic Woman was made for option two. Rumors abound regarding Plastic Woman’s removal of ribs, allowing her Vinyasa to reach new heights. While we can neither confirm nor deny these rumors, we can salute Plastic Woman.

Embarrassing Sound Guy

Yoga is not for the faint of heart, but that doesn’t explain the sounds coming out of Embarrassing Sound Guy. The sounds begin around the two-thirds mark of class and don’t let up until we are well through corpse pose and solemn reflection. Poor Embarrassing Sound Guy. It’s not that he doesn’t understand some things are better left within the confines of a private restroom or a solid intimate relationship. He just cannot help himself.

Save My Spotter

Save My Spotter drops a mat ten minutes before the start of class and begs you to save her spot, then disappears. You spend your next ten minutes turning away the hordes of would-be yogis who ask about the spot next to you. Oh, I’m sorry, there’s somebody coming . . .. I think, you add silently, unsure. The mat remains empty for the duration of the class, and a back row peopled with rueful eyes stares daggers into your back.

Ms. Overexposed

One yoga fashion brand had a problem a few years back with pants that showed a little more than customers wanted to during their poses. What problem? asked Ms. Overexposed, who still owns several pairs from the recalled line, always with nothing underneath, because “it’s just more comfortable.” I would alert her to this state of affairs, but I’m pretty sure she already knows.

Mr. Stinky

Nobody expects to come out of yoga class smelling like a rose, but this guy smells before he even walks into the studio. He smells in hot yoga, he smells in asana. He smells like things other than body odor and sweat. He has been known to smell of onions. The mechanics of this are elusive.

Did I miss anyone?

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