May 1, 2012

I Do Yoga. I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts. ~ Anne Clendening

Photo credit: Janell Rardon

OK, I teach yoga. I am an L.A. chick, born and raised, I drive a black Jetta, and I have too many tattoos to count.

I think these things pretty much qualify me to be a little catty about some of the silly goings-on I see in class.

Why does everybody have to do yoga portraits on a huge rock in the desert? Is there a metaphor I am missing? I hate the desert, it is really dry, and I never do yoga on the beach. You think I want sand up my bum? Maybe I am just a city girl, more into urban decay and chaos in the background than peaceful landscapes. I’d rather see someone do a handstand right smack in the middle of New York City. It is a helluva lot more interesting. Or maybe a backbend on the footprints at Hollywood’s The Chinese Theatre.

Oh, wait, I already did that.

What is with the ‘Guru’ thing? We are all human, some of us are teachers, and yes, some of the teachers have more knowledge and wisdom racked up than others. But I am not about to call you my Guru unless it has been confirmed that you are an actual reincarnation of the Buddha himself, which I doubt.

Feed your ego somewhere else, Yoda.

Some people name drop. It is obnoxious, and it really gets on my nerves. Are you really saying you hung out with (insert trendy yoga teacher’s name here) and ‘studied’ with them? Sorry, I do not buy it. I think you just took their class a few times, went home, and Googled Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to find out what the hell they were talking about. I did not ‘study music’ with Jane’s Addiction because I saw them live a bunch of times.

Think about it.

I have mixed feelings about ‘Yoga Athletes.’ You know the type: The hard-bodied Type-A yogi who can push up to a handstand, hover halfway down in a pike, then float down into Firefly, and back up again. What the Hell? I do not even want to jump back into Chaturanga because I am afraid I will hurt myself, so I do not think any gravity-defying tricks are in my near future. It is not friggin’ Cirque Du Soleil. But the truth is that I dig it all. There is nothing wrong with a few disco moves here and there. I say, “Go for it. The rest of us are just jealous.”

Please do not step on my mat. Keep the chatter down during class. And I see you, rogue yogi, busting out in your own moves. Please stop, it is distracting.

If you are a teacher, please do not go off like mean mommy if I absentmindedly forget to take my shoes off when I walk into the yoga room. Once, a studio owner hissed at me for this, and I felt so shamed I never went back to her studio. I am surprised she did not ask me to polish the floor.

After fourteen years of yoga, I still wear all black half the time, I eat meat, and cannot get my ass out of bed for that early morning Sadhana I have been meaning to attend. I am no sage, just an L.A. chick who loves yoga.

Please do not ruin it for me.

Anne Clendening was born and raised in L.A. and wanted to be Farrah Fawcett when she grew up. She writes about yoga, horror movies, and her hot Aussie boyfriend on www.mysweetyoga.com, all at the same time. If you’re not easily offended, her darker thoughts can be read at www.dirtyblondeink.com.


Prepared by Soumyajeet Chattaraj/Edited by Tanya L. Markul

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