30-Day Just Say No Challenge Day 20: I Should Have Namaste-d Home

I’ve taken a fair number of yoga classes in my life and have seen all kinds of instructors. Last week was the close talker, which I understand will happen when they’re teaching, but this was before class started. It was a packed class, so as she got closer and closer to my face, I felt trapped. I had nowhere to go. Luckily, she didn’t have coffee breath.

I had the militant one who refused to believe I couldn’t breathe through my nose. I told her I breathed through my mouth and she insisted I could do better. She was the antithesis of zen.

But the funniest one was the one who sounded like Hannibal Lechter. I was afraid to close my eyes out of fear that he’d come up behind me and whisper something about fava beans and Chianti creepily into my ear.

Hannibal Lechter.gif

Yesterday I decided to try a new yoga instructor. My favorite one who usually teaches during that time slot is away for a month. She told me she’d have a great replacement, so I went to check him out.

He was very nice and while the class was more vigorous than I would like, I stuck it out. However, the thing that really struck me was the way he spoke. It wasn’t the intonation of his speech, he didn’t have an unusual accent and he didn’t even overdramatize his words like yogis are wont to do.

“Aaaaaaand bring your hands to your heaaaaaaart.”

It was how he chose to conjugate his verbs.

I know this sounds nerdy. I’m admittedly a grammar geek, but hear me out.

Typically in a yoga class, the poses are called out as a directive in the second person - you.

“Rise up and lower down.”

“Slide back into child’s pose.”

“Move into Warrior 2.”

But this guy who’ll we’ll call Jack ('cause the way he talked was whacked) called out poses in the third person - he or she.

“Rises up and lowers down.”

“Slides back into child’s pose.”

“Moves into Warrior 2.”

Huh? What is he doing and more importantly, why is he talking this way?

I was so confused.

Is he talking to someone else? Is he doing a play-by-play of one of the students’ moves? Is he trying to be creative? Is he just an idiot?

I wasn’t sure, but I found it incredibly distracting and yoga is all about being centered and present.

Not today!

I tried my best to just roll with it, but then this little game went too far. He used a verb that utterly perplexed the hell out of me.

We were standing on our hands and he said, “Frees your hands.”

Because I was hanging upside down and I was trying to take him literally at his word moment to moment, I was baffled.

Freeze my hands?

Because in his language that’s what it sounds like. It was literally the one word that gave you opposite commands.

Then, I saw people standing up and I realized he was saying, “Free your hands.”


I know it’s not worth getting upset over, but I found it annoying.

When class was over, I was DYING to ask him very nicely why he spoke that way and by way of feedback, let him know that some of the commands were confusing. I am very curious by nature and really wanted to know where he learned that, if he knew it was hard to follow and what was his intention was (to coin a yogic term).

But in the spirit of yoga and letting things go, I decided to say no to to saying anything. I figured I wouldn’t return to his class, so what was the point other than to satisfy my curiosity and potentially hurt his feelings. After all, that wasn’t my intention. :)

Would you have said anything or kept your trap shut? Do things like that bother you or do you let them roll off your back? Tell me below and if you like what you’ve read, please share this and subscribe below. Thanks!