Yoga teachers are psychos
By Kirk Hensler
As much as I hate yoga, I love yoga. As much as yoga people creep me out, they creep me out much less than normal people. That being said, I spend a lot of time practicing yoga and hanging out with other people that practice yoga. It’s all gravy in the beginning with yoga people, especially yoga teachers. They are trained to harness all their beeswax and keep the red flags from flying. But hang in there long enough, and good lord are these people fucking nuts.
Get them around some alcohol or other substances and you’ll think you’re witnessing a teenager’s first buzz. Although that would imply it could be slightly entertaining and light-hearted. The truth is, it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. Horrible thing to experience.
Years of bottling up emotions and force-feeding sutras don’t look so pretty when the mascara is running a marathon down your face and you’re balling about “the one that got away.” And the yoga dudes… the dudes are busy trying to spark up a soul-gazing session with any poor young female that will hold their stare. It’s creepy, all that intense eye contact.
But they’ll pull it together the next morning for the class they are teaching.
The problem is, they keep trying to teach me bullshit. Telling me what I need to do in order to be happy and enlightened, as if they have a clue what that feels like. I’m pretty sure if they were in a good state, they wouldn’t have needed to seek out yoga in the first place. And I know that they took three drops of Kava tincture before class, so don’t go there.
You see, I love the yoga. The teachers just keep trying to ruin it for me.
I remember learning something about balance from a teacher awhile ago. She kept saying “You have to find the balance.” OK, then what? Get fucking bored out of my mind? It’s way less exciting than pushing the boundaries on each edge. Maybe the spectrum gets smaller with time and there’s no other place to be than the middle, but maybe not. Maybe you’re just really lame and then you die and nothing sweet happens after.
But they aren’t in the middle. They are taking Percocets before workshops so they can maintain that glued-on smile look.
One minute they are telling you to be the observer of your thoughts and not to judge them, the next minute they are talking shit about some girl’s boots on the other side of the room.
They tell you yoga has really helped them find themselves; they’ve overcome all their bullshit. And then they have a breakdown; they haven’t been fucked right in years because their partners are too busy trying to retain their semen in an attempt to impress them.
They tell you that you should meditate in the morning and the evening. It will help you gain access to the inter-workings of your mind. The judgments will slowly slip away. First of all, that’s total bullshit, I’ve meditated for years and the second I see a guy in an Ed Hardy T-shirt driving a Range Rover my mind screams DOUCHE before I get a second to react. But secondly, this isn’t communist China or dirt poor India, I’ve got a computer and shit, I’m checking Facebook before bed, maybe streaming The Office on Hulu. I’ve been dealing with assholes all day and the last thing I want to do is sit down with myself and figure some shit out. Just let it be over. You want to pretend you meditate, good for you, you’re fucking weird and socially awkward, congrats on all your hard work.
The point is, let’s not be hypocrites.
This is America people, sorry to say. We were conditioned to grow up ignorant, out of shape, lazy, judgmental, entitled, inconsiderate, and — most importantly — free. I’m all about improving myself as a human and becoming more conscious of what is happening within me and around me. But I am who I am and I don’t need some blissed-out, full of shit, 200-hours-isn’t-enough-time-to learn-shit yoga teacher telling me otherwise. Because I know they are doing the same damn things as me.
Yoga is the drug that replaced the other drugs. Yoga is some powerful shit. Instead of having these people posted up on street corners hustling for crack, they are pillaging the aisles of Whole Foods looking for superfoods. The yoga has brought them a long way and it’s ultimately great. Cocoa over crack all day.
Now, hopefully, they will stop trying to convince me that they’ve got it all figured out.
About Kirk Hensler
Kirk Hensler was raised in metro Detroit on a steady diet of meat, potatoes and team sports. As a competitive athlete, he relied on his speed, power and dominant attitude to excel. Years later, when he took up martial arts, he was tossed around a sweaty dojo for months by various women and children. One day, while horizontal on the mat, he had the profound realization that their patience and finesse quietly trumped his strength and aggression. This led to an exploration of ancient Eastern philosophies, which, in turn, led Kirk to Taiwan, where he taught English, studied martial arts and ate a lot of delicious and strange street food. When Kirk returned to the US, he began applying what he’d learned to his Western, urban life and to his career as a wellness coach, martial arts instructor, and yoga teacher.