Where You Place Your Yoga Mat May Say More Than You Think

colorful yoga mats

September 13, 2010

I recently wrote a blog about yoga mat fêng shui and the fact that where you place your yoga mat can have a big impact on your yoga class experience. It got me thinking that maybe where you place your mat in class says something about your yoga personality. So, after extensive scientific research*, here’s what I came up with.

Front row: There are two types of people who willingly pick the front row in class. The first group comes from the experienced yogini camp. They are givers, ready to share their well-honed yoga technique with the class. They possess no fear, are totally comfortable in their own skin and their great-fitting black stretchy pants. The second group is made up of teacher’s pets and needy people jockeying for the yoga instructor’s attention and sucking up all the chi the instructor is sending off.

Midcenter: These yoginis are fully present, centered, and ready for the yoga instructor to bring it on. The center of the classroom really is the sweet spot as far as I’m concerned, and if you are lucky to get a spot in center stage, you are going to rock that class. These people are organized, disciplined, never late, and the kind who are willing to show up four hours early to get in line to nab the best seats for a show.

Against the wall: These folks just need a little extra support to help them through class. They are sensitive, conservative, and actually very wise to put themselves in a place where they’ll get the support they need.

Back row: Again, there are generally two types of people who pick the back row. The back row is a refuge for the beginner yoga students. There’s no pressure that anyone is looking at you, and they’ve got plenty of other people to look to for guidance during class. I think there should be a rule that the back row is always reserved for beginners. If you are an experienced yogini and pick the back row, you enjoy people watching, are a tad shy on the leadership skills, are too cool for school, and may be having a bad black-stretchy-pant day. If you’re an experienced yogini taking up prime real estate in the back row, please think twice before settling down your mat, and give us beginners our safe haven.

Near exit: These yoga students have either not fully committed to their yoga practice or just can’t let it all go and leave their troubles off the yoga mat. The door serves as a reminder that they can make a quick exit back to reality.

The desert island: Finally, we have the situation where a class is not full and one student decides that placing his or her mat in Siberia is a good thing. These people are afraid of cooties, sweat, and, in general, are germaphobics. A few heart-opening poses and a little love is all they need to bring them back into the fold.

So, where do I put my yoga mat? Well, I forgot to mention that there are a few other people up there in the front row. They are the ones who did not choose to be there, but have placed their mats there as a last resort because they got to class late. I am a charter member of this group. We have great intentions but just can’t our act together to make it to class on time.

I have to admit that I’m still fond of that back row, but I’m building up my mojo, and you’ll be seeing me in that rock-star center row position very soon.

*I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that absolutely no scientific research went into this—it’s just my own funky freudian observations. Let me know where you put your yoga mat and what you think it says about your yoga personality.

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