If it’s Thursday night, you must be a failure at motivating people.

Nathan Johnson does Humble Warrior. (Click picture to go to his site.)

“Come on, people, Humble Warrior!” she said irritatedly.

Here’s the only way I can characterize my relationship with the woman who teaches yoga Thursday nights as a love-hate one: She loves to be a lousy instructor, and I’ve decided I hate her classes. Apparently I’m not alone — last week her class had less than a dozen people, which is crazy-low for a group fitness class at the L.A. Fitness at 20th and Camelback and easily less than one-third of the attendees of the Monday-night classes.

I long ago joined a smaller, friendlier gym but have held onto my L.A. Fitness membership solely for the yoga classes. Even if I hit only two a week, that’s still $25 for eight classes, which yoga-only places can’t beat. The tradeoff is that you get what you pay for: For every wonderful Yoga Patrick and Raquel (who teaches Monday nights), you can be saddled with a faulty human interface like this Yoga Bee-yotch.

I try to avoid her classes; I’ll skip Thursday nights for a month or two, hoping that in the interim they’ve noticed that attendance has plummeted and realized  it’s because of the teacher. Last week, when I saw how spartan the room was, a dread crept over me and I almost bolted, but I thought: “You’ve already driven all the way here. Just block her out.” Then she pulled the Humble Warrior act.

Humble Warrior isn’t that common of common pose, which is partly why we had all sort of frozen in that, “Uh, what?” moment after she called out that as the next move. And we had no visual aid, because she often doesn’t perform the poses as she calls them. “A good instructor doesn’t need to,” she announced once, semi-defensively, when she realized that we were trying to figure out WTF she had just asked us to do and were looking to her — literally — for guidance. Here’s a heads-up, ma’am: You aren’t a good instructor. You’re an awful one.

At first I thought Yoga Bee-yotch was awful because she was new, but after a few classes I realized that she’s awful because she’s just sour. I took Big Booty Judy to a class once and she berated him for leaving his socks on — not just once but multiple times, constantly saying things like, “I don’t see how anyone can do yoga with their socks on” whenever she wandered nearby him. What I thought about saying: “Why don’t you shut your damn mouth and watch the guy to my right, who seems to be doing just fine?” [What I did: Deep inhale, deep exhale.]

And a few weeks later, when Raquel started her class by saying, “It’s a little cold in here, so if you want to leave your socks on, feel free,” I wanted to say, “Could you tell that to the Thursday-night harridan?” [What I did: Texted Judy after class: “The awesome teacher at tonight’s class started by telling people they could leave their socks on.”]

You leave a good yoga class feeling energized, if a little wrung out. I leave YB’s classes wishing that someone had punched her in the face. (“Or the baby maker,” Judy suggests.) That is not very OM of me, but I can’t help it — she inspires not namaste, but nastiness. She’s brusque, she’s haughty and an hour with her is an awful way to wrap up a day.

So I won’t anymore. A cursory search shows that there’s a yoga class at the same time at another nearby L.A. Fitness in (shudder) “the Avenues.”* I suspect that I will be switching my Thursday destination soon, just to get away from her.

* I live in “the Avenues” (but the near-Avenues!) so this is used semi-ironically.

WHAT SAM WORE: 6-21-11
The shirt: Washed cotton button-down shirt, from the J. Crew outlet store at Anthem.
The pants: Dark-denim skinny-fit tapered jeans from Uniqlo, New York.
The belt: Leather handcrafted belt by Bill Adler Design,
from Estilo Boutique in Austin, Texas.
The shoes: Loafers by Rush Gordon Rush, from Last Chance.
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3 responses to “If it’s Thursday night, you must be a failure at motivating people.

  1. Very funny. I live in Tempe but I have a h orror of the avenues over single digits.

    • I don’t want to say it’s warranted, but when I went to renew my driver’s license photo and foolishly opted for the one closest to me — 51st Avenue and Indian School — I was quickly reminded how awful of an idea that was.

  2. I know Grand is supposed to be cool n ow but I was once riding with three friends, one of whom was a west-sider. When he said he was taking Grand, the rest of us screamed, Noooo, not Grand Avenue!

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