6 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Does Yoga

Students of yoga work on becoming comfortable in both our lives and our bodies. Part of this is practicing non-judgmental awareness and compassion towards others, who may not agree with or understand our lifestyle choices.

As our practice and belief systems continue to expand and evolve, it is important to handle others' opinions with as much grace and equanimity as possible. This is what can be referred to as "practicing yoga off the mat." Here are six things to avoid saying to yoga practitioners, along with a few mindful comebacks to use if you find yourself on the receiving end of these remarks.

1

You Don't Seem Like the Kind of Person Who Does Yoga

All types of people do yoga
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This comment passes judgment on both the yoga student and the entire discipline of yoga in one fell swoop. As a response, you can say, "That comment feels a bit unkind. Yoga is for everyone."

2

I Bet Your Husband/Wife/Sexual Partner Likes That

While there is ample evidence that yoga can improve your sex life, most of the changes are on a subtle, internal level, and may even be more mental than physical. As a response you can say, "I find your comment inappropriate. I hope you get to practice yoga to better understand the true benefit of the practice."

3

I Can't Do Yoga Because I Can't Touch My Toes

There actually a minimal amount of toe touching in most yoga classes, and it's certainly not a prerequisite. You might reply, "That should actually be a motivator for trying out yoga. We spend a lot of time stretching the hamstrings and other parts of the body so that one day, and with a lot of practice, you may be able to touch your toes. But whether you eventually do or not, it doesn't matter. How yoga makes you feel matters most."

4

You Like Getting Sweaty in a Jillion-Degree Room While Someone Yells at You?

There are many opinions, misconceptions and even some scandals connected to hot yoga. However, this form of yoga also has many benefits that practitioners around the world enjoy. As a response you can say, "If only you knew how amazing it was. There are many benefits to hot yoga. Let me know if ever you want to join me."

5

Show Us a Headstand/Backbend/Crazy Arm Balance

This can often happens in group settings or at parties. Never feel tempted to go into performance mode. Do what feels best for you. Your yoga happens on your time, on your mat. It's not circus tricks. Also, if you're not warmed up you could injure yourself.

Invite the people who want to see your asanas in action to join you for a class sometime. You might say, "My practice is personal; however, if you want to take a class together, let's schedule it."

6

So Are You Totally at Peace and Enlightened Now?

There is a misconception that while practicing yoga you will reach enlightenment. Although this can be an intention as we devote ourselves to the practice, enlightenment can also be experienced in fleeting moments throughout the day. As a response you can say, "That is always the goal, my friend."

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