Hot Headed About Hot Yoga

As a social media manager for a company, I often find myself thinking, ‘don’t some people have anything better to do,’ than to negatively comment on a social channel or thread of an article. But I came across an article today, and after rewriting a few comments, I figured I’d take to my own space to share my thoughts, but I was very frustrated by the article.


First things first, my frustration started because of the source, the blog that I read it on used to be one of my favorites. I read everything on the site when I first discovered it, took every word as true, and checked back every day to read new articles. Then, there was an article describing how very terrible olive oil was for you, and being an avid user of olive oil from cooking to moisturizer, I did some research of my own to find out that the author was misleading readers quite a bit. I took it as the author’s mistake, saw a bias and just noted to check facts on my own next time.

But now there’s another case with the blog sharing a very bias opinion to it’s readers, and what is bothersome is that it seems very contradictory to the usual tone of the blog, and many of the other contributing writers. I couldn’t believe my eyes while I was reading an article this morning. The title of the article was, “5 Things I Wish People Would Stop Doing in Bikram Yoga.” I honestly thought it was going to be one of those funny articles like, ‘Things Yogis Say’ and I would get a little laugh on my Monday morning. Instead this instructor included ‘rules’ such as not sitting on your mat, or shooting dirty looks.

When I read these, I was incredibly appalled that MindBodyGreen would condone this attitude. The attitude of an instructor who asks, ‘Check the schedule again. Did you sign up for a yoga class, or a mat-sitting class?’ Wow, sorry, I didn’t know it was such a hassle for you to have someone sitting in your class. I have taken hot yoga a few times, and yet one time, not my first, I had to sit for a majority of the class. It was an early morning class and my body was just not hydrated enough, it was an off day and unfortunately I had to sit out. But I have always had instructors who encourage you to only do what you can, because it is YOUR practice; not too injure yourself by pushing your body too far beyond its limits. I did check the schedule, I didn’t want to pay $25 to sit, but sometimes, it just is what it is. Her negative tone in her article seemed to go against everything I’ve enjoyed about yoga; a welcoming community that respects everyone no matter what level or part of their journey they’re at.

Also, I’m a pretty animated person, and I like to enjoy my classes when I go to them. I know for a fact I have looked at someone practicing around me and my face probably expressed my astonishment at their level. I would hate to think someone would view that as ‘shooting a dirty look,’ and I would hate to think the first person who would assume such, would be the instructor. Often students are looking at someone else doing a pose to see how they are doing it, not to judge, but just to learn. Sorry if we don’t all control our facial expressions.

I think it’s really sad this instructor seems to believe there is a ‘pure’ way to practice yoga, or that she at least has that tone, and I also think it is sad that MindBodyGreen is condoning this article. I think a lot of the author’s complaints are of beginner yogis, for example, having a frustration with someone leaving the room. There is a better way to say this, and I have read articles giving such, positive, advice. Encourage your new yogis to stay for the class, even if it is too hot, or you’re sitting, because you’re practice has started and it is a time for you to accept everything about your practice, good days and bad. I have received the advice before that one of the worst things to do is to leave the room, but it is worse to push your limits to hard, it is ok to stay and take in the practice even if your are just sitting. And that advice has made me much more comfortable than this author’s. I believe a lot of MindBodyGreen’s readers are probably yogi’s just starting out, seeing their advertising focuses on online classes and tips and advice, so I hope this article doesn’t discourage some people on their journey.

I already saw some negative feedback on the article after I read it, and I hope MindBodyGreen takes it into consideration before posting in the future. The article was incredibly rude, offensive, and seemed like an instructor had a bad day and took to her blog post to rant it out. I would hope they check articles in the future.

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