OK...Someone's Popping Their Gum In Yoga Class? REALLY?!

Every year at the first of the new year, people flock to the gym in droves.  I suppose it's New Year's resolutions and all.  And, believe me, I think everybody should get fit if they want to, but HEY!  There ARE some rules those rookies need to learn.

I dread the first part of the new year at the gym for several reasons.  One, the parking lot is absolutely full, therefore, one has to leave home even earlier than usual to search for a spot.  Two, all of the "newbies" are on the cardio machines, so one doesn't even know how to time things so that they can find a vacant machine to use.  And three, there are some "unspoken rules" that need to be learned by these "newbies".

I like working out mainly in the mornings for several reasons.  It starts my day (and metabolism) off right and the gym is not quite so packed at that time of day either.  EXCEPT at the beginning of a new year.  This year has been especially bad.  I mean, some classes will always be full, but for the most part, morning classes always have  lower attendance. Which, by the way I like!  I attend a couple of late afternoon classes and I must say that the afternoon crowd is a bit more aggressive than the morning one.  If one plans on attending an afternoon class, they must come early, hover outside the classroom door and when it opens rush in (push a few people if necessary...) and jump into a spot quickly.  If you don't go by those rules, you will be shoved to the back corner and never even know what happened.  Anyway, the one class that I REALLY enjoy is yoga.  Yoga has even been filling up like crazy; with people I  have never even seen before.  And in yoga, we all have "our spots".  There is a group of us who have been in this class for years and it's sort of like having your special spot you sit in, in church.  One day (before I realized that yoga was going to be taken over by newbies too...), I walked in to find my place taken...ugh!  I had to go to the middle of the room and when class was over, the instructor told me everything seemed to be out of balance because she just wasn't used to seeing me there (See!  Even she knows where our "places" are...).  So, the next day, as she was walking to the class, she ran over to me and grabbed my mat and said, "I'm just going to go ahead and put your mat down in your "place".  I know I may seem to be rambling to some of you, but this REALLY IS going somewhere.  It's going back to the "unspoken rules".

The thing about yoga is that it is supposed to be a relaxing experience.  It is cool, dark and quite in the room.  Only very soft music is playing and the teacher has a voice that is calm; almost a whisper.  We have our own little mats and hey...come to think of it, I probably like it so much because it reminds me of being in kindergarten!  And THAT is why NOBODY chews gum in yoga.  Except today!  The room was quite crowded (for some reason, the newbies were still coming...and it was almost March!) and the instructor turned the lights down and soft music began to play.  I could feel the stress leaving my body as I closed my eyes and began to relax.  And then I heard it..."POP!"  And my eyes flew back open as I thought to myself, "Was that gum popping?  SURELY NOT!"  I took a deep breath as we made our way to lay flat on our backs to complete the class.

As we stretched our bodies into spinal twists and happy baby poses, I began to find myself unwinding again...and then KAPOW!  There it was AGAIN!  Opening my eyes, I turned my head toward the sound, trying to locate the guilty party.  I found her...a Newbie Yogi (I should've known...) and she was not only CHEWING gum, she was also POPPING IT; a double infraction!  Forgetting the purpose of my class, I kept my eye on her for a while.  I thought perhaps if she felt my eyes on her, she might look my way and I could give her the proverbial "evil eye".  No luck there, but the gum popping stopped and I turned back around and closed my eyes.  As the class ended, we settled down for the relaxation phase.  "Close you eyes, take a deep breath, let you body relax..."  POW!  OH NO...How could she?!  Popping gum is NOT relaxing...well, at least not for those of us listening to it.  I gulped in another HUGE breath of air to relax myself as we finished up.

As we rolled our mats up to leave the fitness room, I thought about how lucky that Newbie was.  Had this been a couple of weeks ago, I may have gotten up during class, gone over and jerked that gum right out of her mouth (OK...I was just a LITTLE hormonal that week).  However, I had been nice enough to simply take into consideration that she WAS indeed a "newbie" and didn't know those "unspoken rules" of yoga.  She got a free pass today, but look out...if she returned, I might have to give her the low down on the rules of yoga; which include NO GUM POPPING IN YOGA!

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