Wherever I am, I feel like many people at yoga studios are super snobby. I find that highly ironic and wonder why that is? Why are people who consider themselves open minded and free thinking so narrow minded and lame? Steve S.
Hey there, brother. I’m so glad you asked this question, because I feel as though it gives me the opportunity to say how I feel about this subject, so thank you! I’ve recently had a conversation on this topic with one of my great friends, a studio owner and fellow yoga instructor. I’m sure we’ve all walked into a yoga studio before and were able to sniff out the “yoga snobs” right away. They often give out a “yogier than thou” vibe, and yes, it’s rather unsettling and confusing. I came up with a few reasons why these people may act the way the do, and on the flip side, why you may feel like they’re acting in this way.
1. Yoga Is About Acceptance And Being Comfortable With Who You Are
For this reason, those who are confident in their practice often have a lot of confident in their own skin. Many times, this assertiveness can be translated in negative ways and seen as pretentiousness as opposed to positivity. Sometimes it’s easy to walk around with your nose high up in the air, so try to be aware of when you step into the “know-it-all” territory. Instead of ignoring the person who looks like she needs a little help, reach out a hand and show some love and compassion.
2. Going To The Same Studio With The Same People Weekly Often Creates Friends Groups
A few weeks ago, I attended a studio I had never been to before, and didn’t know anyone around me. People were talking and laughing, and I felt like the odd one out. I found myself rolling my eyes at things I overheard, and even sighing with frustration just because I felt alone and excluded. On the other hand, I’ve made so many amazing friends at the studios I regularly attend, and can now imagine how the “newbies” might feel. If you’re part of the “cool gang” at your favorite studio, make an effort to talk to someone who looks a little lonely or new.
3. Wearing Name Brand Yoga Clothes Does NOT Make You Better Than Anyone Else
It had to be said. I think a lot of people believe that if you slip on a pair of Lululemon pants you’ll become a yoga goddess, and that is 100% not true. You can wear the newest, fresh off the market, $80 stretchy pants, or a pair you pulled off the sale rack at Target, and it’s not going to change anything about the way you practice yoga. What is important is feeling comfortable and confident in the clothes on your back. So yes, if WunderUnders make you feel amazing, wear the heck out of them. Just the same, rock your hand-me-down pants with pride and poise.
4. On that Note, Standing On Your Hands Does Not Make You A Better Yogi
People seem to have the notion that the more advanced and prettier and impressive your poses are, the better you are at yoga. I don’t think there is anything more false. Yoga isn’t about being able to fold perfectly down your legs or touching your nose to your toes. It’s about being aware of the present moment and accepting it and loving it. On the flip side, those who walk around the studio, bragging about a ten-minute headstand they just held aren’t any less “yogic.” Although their actions and words may not seem so meditative, their love for their bodies and what they can do is great, and that’s okay. Try to find a balance in yourself that allows you to be content with who you are and what you can do, and share that fondness with the people around you.
I think we all need to try to eliminate the line that separates the “good” yogis from the “bad,” the snobby from the kind. Allow your yoga practice to let you notice and appreciate and accept. With that sort of kindness, I don’t believe a problem such as this would exist.