Oh god, so now I’m a whore? I don’t know if I deserve that

Oh man. Yoga wars? What the fuck?

Okay, so I’ve written before about this one really awesome studio before. We shall call it for the purposes of this story Studio A, but I mention the actual name in the other post. It’s a hard-core, small, low-overhead studio. The teacher I saw there is the owner, and a hard-core teacher, a bit wrathful, a bit kind, but definitely about pushing one towards one’s edge. It’s about growth, according to me. And yoga–just yoga. The time you spend there is precious, and you don’t waste it.

And there were no other studios in the neighborhood. Until a couple of months ago.

Kali_DeviSo Studio B was far away. And Studio B, well. It’s a really New Agey place. It has Tibetan Prayer flags and expensive brass Indian statues for sale, and some of the teachers do a sage smudge for a class–there is no culture they will not appropriate in a well-meaning but slightly tacky way. You know how New Agers do. It’s not out of malice at all. They’re really looking for something out of reaction to fill a hole in their lives, and they don’t want what they came from (i.e, Christianity). But there are only so many times I can be invited to a “Native American” sweat by people who don’t live on a Reservation before I start to get turned off. You can’t keep taking from people without devaluing them. You’re not adding reverence, you’re cheapening their religions (yes, there are different religions among the different tribes. There is no such thing as one religion among the American Indians). Curiosity is one thing. Co-opting is another thing entirely.

Anyways. Studio B really appeals to people! They can’t get enough of Studio B. It has a lot of workshops on applying Ayurveda to your hips and stuff. There are really easy classes, harder classed, and medium classes. A lot of the teachers come from the Forrest yoga line. It’s not my favorite, but so many people love it. I’m not knocking it–it works really well for so many people. It just isn’t my thing. It seems more about the individual and the body than about the spirit, meditation and compassion. There are eight limbs of yoga. Asana is only one of them.

I go to both studios on occasion. There are a couple of teachers at Studio B I like. And it works for me location-wise. I’m not taking their lives on, I just need to get some yoga into my life.

So Studio B decided to open a second location. I knew it was near Studio A. Their rationale was that they “really aren’t going for the [Studio A] student.” I heard the manager say this, so I’m accepting this is their stance. It has a couple of rooms for yoga and two massage rooms. It also sells yoga merchandise: mats, towels, clothes, and those statues.

I really wanted to take a workshop that Studio B was offering–at their new location. Which I didn’t realize was two doors down from Studio A. Two fucking doors. If you cross the street at one point, you have to walk by Studio A. Thank god, to get to Studio A, you have to go down a dark alley and up this weird brick staircase, and it’s a floor above the street, so you can’t look in at the class while you’re on your way to the ritzy Studio B. So they can’t witness your shame, you traitor. Your defection includes complementary tea while you wait for class.

I was leaving the fifth week of seven of my workshop last Thursday and was on my way to my car and who do I see taking in the sign for Studio A? The owner and teacher of Studio A.  And he looks right at me in my eyes. I’m wearing yoga togs, and I’m carrying a mat bag. I haven’t been at his studio in months and months. But the last time I was there he remembered my fucking name. So I’m pretty fucking sure he recognized me. And I had to walk by him while he’s looking at me like I’m a dirty slut. God, it burned.

Oh, then I had to wait on the corner for the light to change! And he walked by me again. And he’s still looking at me. I think I may have even shrunk up a little. Usually, I enjoy uncomfortable situations. But usually, I don’t feel like I just got caught on a date with someone else.

Fuck man. Fuck. If Studio A goes out of business, I’m never going back to Studio B. We’ll see how run by codependence, loyalty, shame, and embarrassment I am soon. Will I be able to show my face in Studio A again? Will I bring him a banana as an offering? Will I be the best I can be? Will I only go to his studio from now on to make it up to him?

Oh, and he’s really attractive, too. A good-looking man is disappointed in me.

Let’s just sew a scarlet Y on all my tank tops now.

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