Q:There is a woman at my gym who is always grunting and yelping during yoga classes. Sometimes, she even starts crying. I know that downward dogs can be emotional, but it’s hard to focus on form when someone suddenly groans. My friend says that I am being intolerant and un-yogi-like. Should I ask this loudmouth to pipe down?
Gyms are the new barnyards. People stink like wet hay and bellow like bulls in the throes. Just last month, a New York man was acquitted on assault charges after he hurled a grunting goon at his health club into a wall. The grunter had refused to zip it.
I assume that you would be more apt to suffocate this groaner with your yoga mat, but let’s try a more civil resolution. First of all, know that the yelping yogini may be unintentionally loud. “Groaning and grunting happens when someone isn’t breathing properly,” says Nathalie Croix, yoga advisor at YogaWorks in Santa Monica. “The teacher should be able to show this person how to breathe smoothly and softly.” In that case, I recommend that you ask the instructor to approach her.
As for the sobbing during sun salutations, let it go. According to Croix, certain deep stretches trigger a psychological reaction that can cause tears. At YogaWorks, there are no rules against grunting or crying jags.
Perhaps these lines from a Hindu saying by Ashtavakra Gita will serve as a mantra:
Ridding my mind of distraction,
I shut out sounds and all the senses,
And I am here.
And if I am truly enlightened, I will find a spot to roll my mat out on the other side of the room.
Q:A guy asked me out to dinner last week via text. I had given him my phone number at a party. I thought it was lame, but I accepted -- via text, of course. Maybe it was a red flag, because the date didn’t go very well. Do you think it’s appropriate for a man in his late 30s to text a woman he just met for a date?
4COL -- for crying out loud. Did this “man” pick you up on his 10-speed and high-five you when dessert arrived too? Yes, it’s inappropriate for a grown-up to text a woman out on a date. It’s also disrespectful and rather cowardly. Can you imagine his idea of a marriage proposal: Q4U -- GET WED L8TER?
Professional matchmaker Samantha Daniels agrees. “A guy who does that seems lazy and it says that he didn’t give the date much thought,” says Daniels, the founder of Samantha’s Table, an exclusive dating service with offices in New York and L.A. She doesn’t suggest that you upbraid him early on for his SMS habit because you may seem “bossy.” Instead, she advises that you reply via text that he should call you to confirm. “Tell him that you don’t always get your texts, so he knows to call. If he continues to text anyway, he’s sending a clear message.”
And I suggest that you text back -- 2BZ4UQT.
Do you have a social woe or an etiquette issue? Send questions to The Mannerist at firstname.lastname@example.org