Ever wanted to say “nama-f*^%ing-ste” to you too?!!!  Today is one of those days that brings out all the goons and obnoxious students.   I often remind myself what’s the lesson I need to learn from these difficult people? I’ve had 3 of them today but the 3rd one was the last straw!  I barely survived that class when my migrane kicked in because I got a whiff of someone’s stinky perfume. Why?!!  Perfume in a heated room get’s magnified 10x and it’s not a nice scent when you begin to sweat on top of that.  So now we’re stinky, sweaty, and we want to text message in the middle of backbends.  I really really really wanted to kick this student out of class.  Is that appropriate?  Has any one ever done that?  Sometimes I want to put a sign on the door that says “We have the right to refuse service to anyone.  Namaste.”

That’s all.. nothing fancy or clever to say except that I am curious how you teachers out there handle these obnoxious students… you know the ones that moan and groan excessively to get attention, the ones who talk in class, the ones who complain in class, the ones who come in really late, the ones who have body odor problems, the ones who insist on doing their own sequence in class…

I just want to tie their hands in reverse namaste and send them to the corner to sit in broken toes pose for the rest of class… Ommmmmmmmmmm

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15 thoughts on “Nama-F*-ste

  1. I can appreciate the question: Have you ever kicked someone out of class? The short answer is no, I haven’t. I have told students that they simply must stop speaking, and I make it very clear at the beginning of class that there is no cell phone usage in the studio before, during or after class. The thing is this: we are the teachers, and it’s our responsibility to take a measure of care for each person in the room, even those who anger us. The one thing that I’ve realized is this: I am not the teacher for every yoga student on Earth. I am the teacher for the students who very likely need to learn the things I am learning and teaching. I initially wanted to make every student LOVE me (hi, Ego, nice to see you again), but as I teach for more time I realize that I have something to bring to class. If you’re hungry for it, there’s plenty of it. If you’re a meat and potatoes yogi and I’m serving nurturing kale, there’s a class at 4:00pm that’s more to your taste. Through living and teaching authentically, we create a solid foundation that students can depend on, and will come to you when they need whatever that is. If there is someone in class who’s texting, being rude, then I say don’t be afraid to let them know it’s not acceptable (kindly, sans ego), and do what you need to if it continues. I think I could go on forever. I’ll leave it there, but am open to discussion! Peacey, ~Temple

  2. I thought this was funny the first time I read it and then this morning I thought of it again in an over-crowded yoga class at my local yoga studio. When someone walked in 10 minutes late, stepped on my hand and said, “Oh”, I immediately thought of this blog post. I wish I could say I blew it off and powered through the class, but I didn’t. I took a look around, realized how crowded it was and how that made me feel and decided to walk out. I’ve never walked out of a yoga class before. I’m happy to say that I didn’t stay upset for long, either. I came home, made lentil soup, walked on the treadmill for half an hour and did a half hour of Sara Ivanhoe’s Yoga on the Edge at Sunset (even though it was noon). It all worked out fine in the end.

  3. Yesterday, I stood next to a guy whose sweats smell like urine. I almost walked out of my practice and give up the 30-day challenge all together. I tried really hard to calm down my mind and ignore the smell. I felt at peace in the end. But when I got home and found my towel also smell like urine, I got so upset again😦

  4. Hi Nikki,
    Got a good laugh over this one. Thank you for sharing!

    I teach at the student intramural center at Louisiana Tech University. I am the first yoga experience for many. Have had students fall out on the floor laughing when we OMmmm. Serious body odor, many students, many nationalities, different ideas on personal hygiene. Students cursing, BIG drama (football players doing intense hip work), talking during savasana. Women in very little shorts that don’t fit snug, guys in low rise bottoms, butt crack showing, etc..

    I love my job, figure out what gets their attention. Phillip Urso told me to flow them 3-5 times in sun a then sun b FAST. The worst ones, the ones that get under the skin, are the ones that will teach us the most, About ourselves, about how to ignite them all, and sometimes just when to do your best, send them love, and walk away. Journey’s are different.

    Love to you! Have enjoyed practicing to your classes on I-tunes, you are famous!!!!

    Donna Ponder

  5. This is not easy, I don’t teach at the moment but go to others classes. And I have a hard time accepting fellow students in class that don’t respect the teacher by coming in late or do any of those things you describe. Just ignorance and/or bad manners I think.

  6. i’ve been very fortunate to not run into that problem as of yet. it makes it difficult for sure! i’m sure you handled it the way it was meant to be handled at that time. i have had a student that tries so hard (too hard mostly) to deepen her poses to the extreme all while wobbling so badly during them. even though i cue and cue and cue for my students not to push themselves to their extreme limits, she still doesn’t seem to get it. and this student is getting ready to embark on a journey of yoga teacher training. i hope she gets a really good teacher that can help it sink in that she doesn’t always have to try SO hard!! 🙂 hugs!!

  7. Namaste, Devi,

    I feel for you. My Granddad had this amazing ability to trace all the world’s problems to the British Raj, the Mughal Empire, television, and cell phones.

    There was a time (“In my day!”) when people bathed or showered before they went out–even if they didn’t need to. It was just a ritual that showed respect for others. Like being quiet in a movie theater or paying attention in class.

    TV and cell phones made life less about others and more about ourselves. We’re used to talking back to the TV. We’re used to talking to others when we WANT to–not when we NEED to. It’s less about us and more about me.

    I have also been in places where I want to scream :”Hey you: even if you can’t smell yourself–you knew you were going to be around other people. Take a shower for them, if not for yourself. And unless you’re talking someone out of committing suicide, or helping them land a plane, or perform surgery–you don’t have to have this conversation right NOW. It can wait until after class or the movie is over.In fact: it can wait until you get HOME.”

    1. Respect! (Maybe I should play that song by Aretha Franklin in class) It blows me away how we’ve become such a disconnected and reach for convenience kind of beings. I recently read that dry shampoo and body wipes sales have increased because people are opting out on daily showers. What?! Some would rather lather themselves up with chemical laden wipes to feel fresh than the good old soap and water. Unless you are camping, come on! times are tough but geez! We all carry around so much “stuff and crap” already and now we won’t want to wash away the grime *literally* If they only knew what their skins absorb from the environment alone… now they’re creating more landfill from those body wipes! Thanks for chatting!

  8. You know what I do? I share these stories with later classes… in a very no-names way. I just did it today: a guy walked in with his cell phone, talking and late into my class. We had just started centering for F’s sake and he was gabbing away. So I told him quietly to sit and take his shoes off and we went on. Later in class when we were returning to a seated position at the end of class I discussed how we slowly come out of Savasana to make it be gentle and intentional. I shared how three times in the last month someone’s cell phone rang (once at volume 11 with a raucous Celtic song) and how everyone got disrupted and jolted out of their peace. I said it in a funny way and we all sort of giggled, but at the same time I was telling mr chatterbox to keep his Android out of my space.

    If it becomes an issue I think it’s fair game to address it with the person individually. If it bothers you then chances are it bothers the other students. If it gets out of hand you might have to lay some ground rules. One studio where I go there are signs that say NO cell phones in class. to have them in you have to get permission.. special needs or something. I’m not sure that’s bad. (ditto goes with bad b.o…. definitely permission to talk to the student or have your studio owner do it!)

    The only thing that’s hard to get rid of is the grunting, moaning and “i’ll have what she’s having” kind of noises. Those people really drive me crazy and I find that I am completely distracted as both a student and a teacher by them. However it might just be their true response to your awesomesauce (;-) ) teaching and thus you might have to deal. Again, it’s a thing you can address generally in class : “sometimes when we practice emotions, sensations and sounds arise because we are moving energy around in our bodies and this is really natural. A student asked me about this recently and I realized it might be something you remind you all of periodically.” then they all will take less notice of it the next time it happens.

    When I taught at a community college I told my students they could have their phones on but if it rang I was going to answer it. They didn’t believe me until I did it once and damn if no one ever got a call again! Perhaps you could try that tactic?

    nikki on the horn and cracking the whip.. this was a great great post!! yeee haw!

    1. I once threw a bag out of the studio (into the lobby) when a cell phone rang non stop. I asked, “if that’s your phone, please just go turn it off.” No one moved. The ringing stopped and then went on again and again… so I listened for it, grabbed the bag and threw it out. I’ll have to remember your approach of answering too LOL I don’t mind the sighs and letting the energy out as you say if it’s all natural (in fact, I queue it often in class)… but you know when it’s done on purpose to be annoying and draw attention to yourself… naughty! naughty!

  9. If you could freely walk around and still suffered from this person’s stinky perfume, imagine being the 2 students doing downward facing dogs next to this stinky. I’m sorry that it happened. I once stood next to this dude who was smelly and moany. During the entire class, all I wanted to do was kicking him in the nuts, told him to shut up and take it as a man. May be you can try reminding everyone not to wear strong perfume in class and if he/she does it again, have a little talk with that person after class. I’m sure your boss would rather losing 1 smelly customer than having other students skipping your class due to the smell.

  10. Oh, Nikki! Your post really made my day!! Haven’t we all come across challenging students in some, shape or form? I had one just last week! It was a first for me that, during class!, she kept going on and on about how much she loved her previous yoga teacher and, at one point, even had the audacity to offer me an option on how to teach! I was, like, WTF?!?! One of my regulars brought the student with her. I almost wanted to look at her and say, “Really?! Seriously?!” I was definitely fuming inside, did my best to stay calm and respond in a firm but gentle manner. It was later that I reflected on the evening and knew there had to be a lesson for me there. Thankfully, I had just recently taken a workshop on the different personality styles out there and I could definitely plug her into being an Auditory person. She was saying what was on her mind and while everything about it seemed inappropriate I knew it wasn’t a personal attack on me. Students come to us from all walks of life and with all their “stuff” attached to them to boot. I do my best to remind myself to meet them where they are with compassion. It ain’t easy, that’s for sure, but I guess that’s why they’re called Lessons. How do I handle challenging students? It really just depends on the situation. Sometimes when they’re verbally complaining I just look at ’em, give ’em a big smile and walk away. Sometimes I ask them to try and quiet their mind and focus on their breathing. Sometimes I ask them to see me after class. And when all else fails… girl, put ’em in the corner!!

    1. “all their stuff” is definitely true! I’m seriously laughing up a storm now. (note to self: reread my own last post on laughter before leaving the house LOL)

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