I’ve recently jumped on the hot yoga bandwagon. After seeing all my “trendy” NYC friends’ excessive Facebook updates and tweets about the glories of Bikram, I decided I would find a studio in D.C. for myself. Although I’ve maintained a flexibility comparable to that of an 80-year-old woman for the majority of my life, I enjoyed the prospect of losing five pounds from sweating.
I decided to buy a five-class deal on Groupon with a girlfriend. Despite the fact that we’re lazy, don’t enjoy sweating, and the studio was a 20-minute drive away, it seemed like a great idea.
The first experience was a curious combination of tortuous hell and pure ecstasy. The actual act of doing hot yoga in approximately 98 degrees made me feel like I was simultaneously burning in a fiery pit of hell and drowning in my own sweat sea of nasty. But the aftermath was amazing. Not only did my mind trick me into thinking I was skinnier and prettier, but the tingly sensation in my body felt like a great high.
A few days later, still high off our last experience, my girlfriend and I tried it again. Although the aftermath of this experience was just as wonderful, we encountered our first warning signs that things might not end all that well. In addition to being greeted by a pool of sweat on the studio floor from the previous class, we were welcomed by a man named Sam. Long hair, skinny glasses, yoga hipster gear in pastel colors, spoke with his hands, complete yoga elitist. A person that encompasses all I despise about today’s yoga culture.
Before the class began, Sam gave a speech. Something about how we couldn’t touch the blinds on the windows of the studio because he didn’t want to replace them over the next two months. He ended the speech with a Namaste and enjoy.
It wasn’t what he said that bothered me. It was HOW he said it. Speaking to a class whose average age was 35, Sam’s condescending tone was similar to a grade school English teacher chiding her students. You could tell in his own mind he thought he was all Zen but in reality he was extremely uptight.
Class three. I knew we were destined for disaster before we even got to the studio. We were running late, we hit typical D.C. traffic, and made it to the class with one minute to spare. Upon entering the studio, we were greeted by Sam, sitting at the desk. When my friend started to speak, Sam instantly shushed her with a sharp sound and pointed finger.
Sam proceeded to berate us for showing up late; he seemed to be under the assumption this was our first class and that we required paperwork and administrative processing. After we eventually got a word in – through his rant – that we had signed up for the class online, he grudgingly went to his computer and started checking us in. And when my friend let out an exasperated sigh at that moment, Sam’s fingers abruptly stopped typing.
“I can no longer let you in because you have bad energy.” Sam said.
HUH? Bad energy? As I tried to calmly negotiate with Sam and explain our situation, his face got redder and redder and he became angrier and more flustered. This was HIS studio, he told us, and he could do whatever HE wanted. He didn’t want people like US in his studio. After approximately eight minutes of unresolved negotiation, Sam tipped me over the edge when he told us we had to leave. I snapped.
“Whatever! Karma is a bitch Sam! I hope you go to hell you glasses-wearing DOUCHEBAG!” I yelled as we stormed out.
Did I really say glasses-wearing? Yes. I have nothing against glasses. In fact, my girlfriend was wearing her black rims as we stood there. And even though it was about as prophetic as a southern sorority girl’s drunken rant, it felt great.
From that moment forward, my friend and I repurposed our getting fit crusade into bringing Sam, the evil hot yoga man, down via passive aggressive Yelp reviews. Success was found several weeks later when we found out Sam was let go due to “poor customer relations” and we received a formal apology from the nice owner of the studio. And in the end, I realized that hot yoga rage is greater than hot yoga high.