No gum allowed

It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an exercise junky and I often challenge myself to try new things. Just last year I completed 2 half-marathons and this year, I’m training for a triathlon in May. I also enjoy other torturous activities like yoga, specifically hot yoga, where the average temp is 103-105 degrees.

You sweat, you stretch, you breath, you concentrate – all good things. But, it took me a few times to actually admit that I enjoyed the classes. Initially, I had to get over the yoga ego that many yogis possess, then it was more or less the structure that bothered me…very rudimentary and almost factual. There wasn’t anything overly zen about it, but once I let that go, I now actually look forward to the sweaty release.

However, there is still 1 thing I can’t let go and 1 part of the class that still bothers me – every instructor’s need to call out individuals in an effort to correct them, but ultimately to embarrass them. I’ve been to multiple classes with  multiple instructors and since I’m still considered a yoga noob, I partake in all the noob classes which is of course, filled with other noobs who in turn make noob mistakes.

We fall out, we drink water, we breathe through our mouths, we wipe away the sweat, we try to leave the class.

I’ll admit, I’ve done at least one if not all of the above and it really is a learned discipline to complete a class without mistakes. I get that many of the rules are in place for our own safety or for preserving the concentration/energy of others in the class, but truth be told…I’d rather someone sit down in the middle of a pose to drink water than have the instructor single them out to tell them they can’t drink water just now. In my book, that’s far more distracting.

What’s even more distracting is an instructor coming up to you in the middle of a pose telling you to spit out your gum because it’s not safe. Really? I walk and chew gum, talk and chew gum, run and chew gum, swim and chew gum, bike and chew gum…but you’re telling me I can’t breathe and chew gum? Interesting.

In the overall scheme, I understand that there is a risk in breathing in deep and thus swallowing said gum but…

a. there was no posted sign to say ‘No gum’
b. you’ve now ruined my concentration
c. now I feel like a jackass
d. I like to chew gum when I work out, it keeps my mouth from drying out, damnit!

Who would have ever thought someone telling me to spit out my gum would infuriate me so much? If I hadn’t bought a deal for 5 classes, I probably wouldn’t go back, but I’ve registered for another class tomorrow night, and I’m half tempted to chew gum again…just to prove a point.

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3 Comments»

  crankypants wrote @

I’ve never been to hot yoga per se–some classes were hot because it was summer and the instructor refused to turn on even a fan! But that sounds ridiculous to me. I have been taking almost all beginner classes off and on for at least 2 years and the thing I LIKE about it is you are never made to feel stupid or inept or anything. They will come around and adjust your pose so that it’s the safest and most beneficial for you. They don’t want you to get injured but if you need a drink of water, or you can’t hold your position, you do what you can at your own pace, and they usually offer modified poses for the tougher ones. The only thing anyone should get called out for is if their fricking cell phone rings.

  zigzagmags wrote @

i guess hot yoga is a little different in that way where the moves aren’t mega hard, the hard part is dealing with the heat. it’s supposed to be hot. it’s supposed to be hard. a lot of it is a mind trick telling yourself you can’t finish, but knowing that you can if you control your breathing. i think it’s why i have such a love/hate relationship with it. like you, i like it when people come around and adjust my pose but hot yoga does not seem to work that way. if you ever get a chance, cranky – you should come to a class with me! 🙂 and yes, people with cell phones should just be forced into shoulder stands or something…who even brings a cell phone into a class anyways?? isn’t that what lockers are for?

  sarina wrote @

Maybe because some people are sensitive to the sound and sight of seeing people chewing gum – especially the poppers and smackers – it is easy for someone to lose focus and not be able to relax or concentrate.


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