Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I subbed a Yoga Basics class this morning at the Fancy Downtown Health Club.

Five minutes into class an elder gent in his 60's walked in, got a mat and put it down in the back. He then proceeded to do the opening stretches while wearing weight lifting gloves, gym shoes and socks. Expensive gym shoes. White socks. More than once I said, "If you're wearing shoes or socks, NOW is the time to take them off." Then I'd look over at him. Nothing. No reaction. I started to become annoyed; Who is this man who shows up late and doesn't listen? Why won't he listen? Is he some CEO who thinks he doesn't have to listen to me? Why I oughta ---

But after (or despite) yesterday's China Syndrome-caliber meltdown I was able to start observing what was going on in my mind (all while teaching, mind you) and I was, like, What the hell -- Why am I taking this personally? Maybe Shoeful Joe hit bad traffic this morning, Maybe he has some awful foot fungus that he doesn't want anyone to see -- Maybe he isn't putting his hand on his thigh because he's DEAF.** And then I got over it. And I decided to let it be, and to not go over and say, "Is there any reason you're still wearing shoes and socks?" (and spreading every possible germ imaginable onto the public sticky mat). Nope, I kept my mouth shut (a new one for me) and observed him do each and every pose while wearing shoes. And I didn't take it personally.

Despite my newfound tolerance, three people picked up their bolsters and blankets and walked out partway through class. Three.

Perhaps they'd simply forgotten, until that moment, that they were late picking up someone at the airport.

Yes, I'm sure that's what it was.


*DKNY, a bartender-cum-pilates instructor, thinks the chorus of every Hindi movie song sounds like "Whose shoes are these?"

**This is the same club where I once said, when no one was putting their hand on their thigh in Supta Padangusthasana despite my many pleas and admonishments to do so(including one or two in Spanish), "If your hand is not on your thigh, ask yourself why this does not apply to you." Suddenly -- faster than you could say "blatant sense of entitlement" -- ten hands flew onto ten thighs and pressed down, hard.


  1. I had a couple of older Indian gentlemen in my beginner class that wouldn't take their socks off for anything in the world. They were so prim and proper that I just assume showing their feet was way more than they could deal with. Bless them, they were so sweet.

  2. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Maybe he has that affliction named hyperhidrosis where your hands and feet sweat like crazy?

    Or, perhaps he is just a dimwit.

    And really, why should you care?

    Think like a laywer, you get paid no matter the outcome.