The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece on the increasingly crowded conditions in NYC’s studios, and mentioned Yoga 216 as an exception to the rule. Crowded Classes Test Zen of Yoga is a must-read…
The ancient art of yoga is supposed to offer a path to inner peace.
But in this age of anxiety, many yoga classes—which teach poses and breathing designed to quiet the mind—have become so crowded that finding a spot on the floor is becoming a competitive sport.
And that’s leading to some very unenlightened behavior.
Consider my recent morning in “Strong and Calm Yoga,” a class offered by the Equinox gym in Palos Verdes, Califirnia. Stressed, harried and rushed, I arrived only two minutes before the start of my favorite class. It was packed. There wasn’t a single space on the floor large enough for my mat.
Spotting an empty mat in front, I moved it—just a tad—to make enough room. But then, worried about the mat’s owner coming back, I repositioned it. I was frantically trying to fit myself in at a perpendicular position to the rest of the class when the woman returned.
“Why did you move my mat?” she asked in an angry tone. I explained. “And we don’t wear shoes in yoga,” she said, glaring at my running shoes. (I knew that and was about to take them off.)
As the class started, feeling attacked, I rolled up my mat, leaned over, and in a truly uncharacteristic outburst said, “You win. I’m leaving.” I then walked across the room, out the door, and left the gym in tears.