Why I Don’t Like Men in My Yoga Classes
After a very long break from practicing yoga I attended a “Yoga I” class at my local YMCA. A little nervous, but determined I arrived about 10 minutes early. Some women were already in the room, stretching and generally getting situated. I walked in, briefly looked around and headed toward the rear corner of the room and settled my plain blue mat next to an unoccupied floral-printed yoga mat.
“Plenty of room between the mats,” I thought as I settled in and began to try to loosen up 12 months of tightness before the instructor began class.
Just as class officially began a man walked into the room and over to the floral yoga mat next to me; the mat belonged to him.
Breathing deeply and evenly and “Om”-ing my heart out, I focused on the instructor, my breathing and trying to get my body to obey me as I down-dogged, planked, sun saluted, lunged, twisted, turned and sweated my way into a semblance of calm. It pretty much worked. With about 5 minutes left of class we were in a relaxed, seated position, eyes closed, “Om”-ing our last Om; immediately after we finished, I opened my eyes, turned my head to look at the clock and my glance caught movement from the man on the mat next to me. . .he was calmly sitting there picking his big toenail.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a yoga class is the appropriate time to clean real or perceived debris out from under fingernails, let alone toenails. Call me sensitive. Call me whatever you want, this man was sitting there picking his toenail in front of the whole rest of the class, calmly, methodically, and thoroughly. I couldn’t look away. For me, it was fatally, grossly fascinating. Kind of like when I’m on the Garden State Parkway and I pass an accident and have to look-see as I pass by, even though I know that it could disturb me deeply, and maybe forever.
Okay, maybe you think that I’m fairly easily grossed out by “body function behavior.” Maybe it was the way I was raised: with a can of Lysol in one hand and a long list of “don’t do in public” in the other. Maybe I’m just weird. I don’t know. What I do know is that I almost started to gag watching that dude pick his big toenail.
I got up and left, quickly.
Because I didn’t want to see him “flick” anything he found under that nail.
Because I would never again be able to put my yoga mat on the floor in the spot where that particular piece of debris landed.