Angry Yogi

Angry yogis are a mystery to me.

I volunteer for a humongous yoga gathering at Grace Cathedral every Tuesday night. Humongous as in 700-yogis-humongous. An amazing evening of live music, gentle yoga, community. My job is to organize the bodies, which are stuffed in every corner. So we always put out empty mats to establish a pattern on the floor so people can follow that pattern. These aren’t for claiming. 

That night I was helping a guy find a space among the 700 bodies when I saw one of my empty mats which I pulled it away to give him the space. A woman appeared out of nowhere, bristling.


It wasn’t her mat. She'd just walked in and claimed it. Resentment was oozing from her pores. I was knocked sideways by it.

Me:     What…oh… sorry. Did you rent this mat? 

Her:    Of course, I did.

She hadn’t. She continued.

Her:    Would I use a mat if I didn’t rent it?

A magnificently manipulative and derailing question. Touche.

Me:    I uh no…you might have gotten confused…

Her:     I’m not confused.

We’ve been counseled to not engage in conflict in the space so I wished her a good practice and walked away (as she aggressively stabbed at her phone, probably about the asshole who touched her-but-not-actually-hers mat.)

I’m fascinated by people who practice “the best defense is a good offense.” It’s so far from my own perspective of the world (“the best defense is to hide behind the nearest rock”). Attacking instead of taking responsibility. If this happened on screen or stage, it would be the stuff of comedy. Misguided anger, extreme narcissistic reaction, masking her own unknown stuff. 

The art of compassionate comedy understands that her behavior isn’t her fault. (Her responsibility, yes.) We have no idea what has happened to her to give her this rather insane perspective of the world. And yoga might even exacerbate things. With this distance, we can see how absurdly comedic this poor, struggling woman is. (We're surrounded by this illness. Just watch the thousands sharing the same struggle at the GOP National Convention?)

Anybody want to make a comedy about angry yogis?  I’ve got an opening scene.