Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Classic One-Liners

If you are looking for a deep, eloquent, and insightful essay on yoga, you will not find that here tonight. Instead, I feel like going for pure fluff and recounting some of my favorite one-liners and bloopers. Because I was getting the giggles with one of my friends before class this evening (ok, and a little bit during pranayama, too...) and it is fun.

Sometimes it's the little things that will set you off. One time I went to an afternoon class with a girlfriend of mine (full disclosure: we had banana cream pie and margaritas a few hours before class) and we were just finding EVERYTHING funny. I thought we were gonna get kicked out! This woman near us gave this big dramatic SIGH and we pretty much lost it. Then in full locust, our adorable Japanese teacher said "745 taking off!!" instead of "747" and I spent the entire pose giggling uncontrollably. That was a GOOD day.

I love it when the teachers tell me off (because they always do it with good humor and love). One of my favorite put-downs ever was from that same, ever-so-sweet teacher, who told me during savasana: "J. Heels should be touching. What the hell is wrong with you. You do perfect standing bow but cannot do savasana. I will throw you out from the studio." Totally deadpan. I LOVED this.

My other all-time favorite put-down was from the owner of another studio. I went back to visit and take her class last winter after winning 3rd place in the SoCal regionals, so I'm in class doing my locked-out, award-winning standing bow, feelin' alright about myself, and she goes, "J, touch your SHOULDER to your CHIN. Now I know why 3rd place!!"

And of course I have a special place in my heart for the time Bikram bitched me out personally in cobra pose, on my 2nd day in LA, while I was taking Emmy's class. "Miss Red! Hands-palms FLAT! You know what "flat" means?!?" (He was across the room and my hands looked pretty flat to me. It was almost a year later that I realized he must have been looking at my shoulders!!)

Of course I believe in a supportive environment, but the beat-downs are all be in good fun, and they are also funny as hell. A collection of a few other REAL quotes (with names omitted to protect the not-so-innocent):

"Open your legs more, use your high school experience."

"I have no idea what you're trying to do, look at everyone else, you're not even close, brother."

"You need to look at yourself in the mirror, because then you will be so horrified at what you see there that you might actually do something about it."

"Sir... we just had a conversation in the lobby twenty minutes ago... you appeared most chipper and buoyant then. I have observed your practice for the last fifteen minutes, and I am rather confident that within that timeframe I did not witness any exertion on such a grand scale that would justify such a lovely rendition of child's pose now. Please stand and re-join your fellow comrades for second set. We will wait."

At end of class: "Good job, boss, You took all of my shit. I appreciate that."

A couple random Bikramisms from last summer..

"I heard Pluto not a planet anymore? What happened?!"

"Touch your H. E. E. L. heel, like in Beverly Heels!!"

"Everybody coming to my disco party tonight?"

When nobody is standing on 2nd line: "What is wrong with this line, somebody shit on it? Everybody move up!"

Sometimes it gets a little political...

Bikram, the day after McCain picked a woman as his running mate: "I heard a Republican did a smart thing yesterday, first time ever!!"

Another teacher, in 2nd part awkward pose (repeated in EVERY class): "Your thighs should shake and shiver... like Jerry Falwell... watching Brokeback Mountain."

(What was even funnier was the studio owner's total exasperation as she told him, "Dude... you can't use the exact same jokes, in the exact same place, every time you teach class...")

And there are always the bloopers, like my friend who tried to say, "These postures are really quick" for spine strengthening series, and instead said, "These postures are really sick." That still makes me laugh.

This one's not even mine, but some girl on a Facebook board told a great story that cracked me up. She's about 2 months out of training, and Craig Villani (TT director) is taking her class. In half tortoise, she gets the idea that she wants to say "put your hands together like you're clapping," and instead she says "hands together like you've got the clap..."

I think the new teachers are totally adorable when they get flustered and just start playing "body part Mad Libs" with the dialogue (if you know what I mean). I totally sympathize. The last time I tried to say the dialogue for triangle to someone (you know, just for fun), I kept saying "left chin" for some reason. I couldn't help myself! I was trying to say "touch your chin to your left shoulder" and just kept going "touch your left chin to you lef- UH OH... Your left chin to your left- 'left chin?!' WHAT am I saying?! Touch... your... *don'tsayleft, don'tsayleft, dont'sayleft*.... CHIN... to your... LEFT... SHOULDER." It was like the hardest thing I ever said in my life. I have no idea why.

Ok guys, your turn... what are the lines that have made you snort water out of your nose during party time? Tell, tell, tell!


Mei said...


I was practicing dialogue yesterday, and this happened during standing head to knee :

"Turn your right leg heel at the face towards the ankle. I mean. Ankle towards the face. Right leg heel face the ankle. DAMNIT! Can I start again?"

Studio director : NO.

totally butchered the dialogue yesterday and killed 3 bikram fairies while at it.

hannahjustbreathe said...

Wow, those are hilarious!!!

Putting thinking cap ON so I can drum up some good ones...

bikramyogachick said...

ooooohhh....hilarious! I love it! here was one from the other day: "toes and heels together. yes, you in the back, pink shirt, put your feet together. no, not apart, what are you married or something?"
Reggi and I snarfed into the mirror trying to keep our laughter in. Good times!

Tarts and Tattoos said...

LOLOLOL. Great way to start my day. Thank you. As a new Bikram Yoga lover (2 months in)I don't have as many lines as your post but I have had two directed at me in one class. Adorable Steve (you always let them get away with so much more when you consider them adorable) was teaching and correcting, he just happened to zero in on me. In first set of breathing "Michelle, let your head fall back, it won't fall off. That's only happened once and she was a blonde. You're ok" Same class in triangle "Michelle, I know you can spread your legs further than that, I overheard your husband at the pub" OMG! I started laughing and just fell out. Got back in and pretty much had the giggles there on in. Afterwards I laughed at him while I was leaving and he told me he knew I could take it and correcting one with a bit of humour helps everyone. Agreed. Happy Day!

lifelonglearner19 said...

This is too funny, J. I haven't been to class in over a week and I'm quite petrified for my first day back tonight...this lightened my mood considerably. Not like the time Brad called me a chicken shit, in class, for not bouncing in awkward. Whoopsy. Note to self: "Bounce, damn you!" :-)

Hope all is well!

Danielle said...

Just this morning, I laid the smack down in class on the only person on the right side of the room. It went a little like this:
Me - "george, what are you doing way over there?"
George - "I like it over here."
Me - "well, I want you to be able to gain some energy and have a good class, so move on over to the other side."
George - "But i like it over here."
Me - "You aren't telling me NO are you??" (accompanied by an oh-so-loving death-stare)
George finally picked up his mat and moved over while saying, "I love domineering women."

So fun!

Danielle said...

By the way "Now I know why you got 3rd place." HA!! So freaking funny.

When new students look at the studio owner while he is teaching at my studio, he says, "I know what you're thinking. Do I look more like Brad Pitt or Tom Brady?" That one kills me every time!

thedancingj said...

BWAHAHAHA - you guys have completely cracked me up this morning, I love it!

Tarts'n'Tats, thanks for commenting and welcome to our crazy world! ;) I agree, we let our instructors get away with absolute MURDER when they are cute enough!

LB, hah, he just took that from Bikram - "no room for chickenshit in this world!!" He's not scary, DON'T BE SCARED, just jump in and enjoy!

Danielle, oh man, you pretty much rock. That's hilarious. And yes, you KNOW who said that to me, don't you? (It may have been a Tuesday morning.) Can't you totally HEAR her saying that? There's no one else who can put me in my place AND make me feel like a million bucks in quite the same way. There were like 4 teachers in that class who all just LOST it over that line. I bet they still are laughing...

thedancingj said...

ALSO... that Brad Pitt/Tom Brady comment is genius. GENIUS. Funny, self-effacing, and the point is crystal clear!

Jennifer said...

Love this post.

One of my favourite teachers sometimes says for half moon backbend: "Drop your head back, all the way back. If it falls off, I will give you your money back."

In Awkward 2, I have heard: "Sit down more but don't let your hips go below the chair. You aren't on a bar stool, and we aren't milking cows." That one cracked me up for the rest of class.

One of the best teachers for straightforward snappiness that is often hilarious is Ida Ripley.

Mei said...

OH OH another one since Jennifer reminded me of it :

Backbend : "Drop your head back, as far as it goes. If it falls off you don't have to do the posture". [cue some beginners looking horrified. Some women have no sense of humour]

And : Don't worry, you're not gonna die. If you die during class you get your money back. And you won't have to do the next set of Triangle. OK SECOND SET!

During pranayam : "inhale breathing full lungs doing... oh doing whatever it is your lungs are supposed to do, I forgot! EXHALE" [cue myself and 2 teacher sniggering during the exhale]

camel : Grab your hips from the inside [Hehehe he mixed up the set up for rabbit and camel]

thedancingj said...

HAH! Love the backbend jokes. Reminds me of a couple weeks ago when a teacher told the newbie practicing behind me - "In your second class you have to do it like THAT." Everyone laughed at that one...

And speaking of HORRIFIED newbies, I forgot my favorite joke ever - when during the final stretching pose, the teacher tells the newbies, "You're doing great! You're almost HALFWAY through the class!!" So mean, but so funny. That kills me every time.

My teachers used to always say: "You are not going to die in yoga class. You are not that LUCKY today."

Danielle said...

I just remembered another one that had me choking laughing so hard. (Again, the owner of the studio... he is just plain funny all the time) Said, "Don't look down. If you drop your head down, you'll cut off your air supply." Then starts singing, "I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you..." (Ummm.. old Air Supply song. Hopefully I'm not hearing crickets.)

Mei said...

Or...during Savasana :
"Great job guys. That concludes our warm up. We now will begin class"

[Once a newbie was so shocked he yelped"WHAT?!"]
Ok so technically that's in the dialogue :P

And my favourite right after rabbit : OK, after this we're gonna do 50 jumping jacks and 80 pushups...

Danielle : I'm alll outta love! I'm so lost without you!!!! Blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

secretmuffin said...

This post has me laffing, thank you after a hard couple of weeks of daily bikram....

Some jokes to throw into the mix:

Studio owner likes to say in third part of awkward "keep your knees together like you have a picture of David Hasselhoff between your legs"

We have a cemetery sort of next door and behind the studio, so a few of the teachers have said "If you die in class, we toss your body over the fence".

A few days ago, I got yelled at for tucking my head too early in the third part of the last head to knee with stretching pose. Teacher said "Are you making up your own rules?"

Same teacher likes to say "Fake it till you make it"
"Your neighbor can't help you"

And lastly, we have this one visiting teacher that likes to refer to toes as pedicure, or painted toe nails, etc. It always makes me smile.

Not so much a one liner but we have one teacher at my studio that always makes at least one Star Wars/Star Trek/Simpsons joke in every class. On Monday, he made at least four or five jokes. Had me laffing the entire time.

Mike Belanger, CSCS said...

The worst part of the Air Supply line was I started singing the exact same song in my head right as the instructor uttered "you'll cut off your air supply."

bikramyogachick said...

Oh I can't resist, here are some more:
Frank likes to say in first forward fold during half moon "shake it out, shake it shake it like a polariod picture. pretend someone you love is behind you, give 'em a show!"
And Kirk likes to say during third part of awkward:
"squeeze your knees together, pretend you have brittany spears tickets between them, if you drop the tickets you have to go to the show".
Tee hee.
These are ALL making me laugh. Great post and great comments!!!

thedancingj said...

You guys are killing me! My new favorite is "toss you over the fence"!!!! PRICELESS. :-D

The Missus said...

I can TOTALLY picture the little Japanese instructor asking you "what the hell is wrong with?"


Charlie said...

Okay, the former owner of Funky Door in SF told this story in TT.

A teacher, a rather feminine fellow, (in SF? really?) wanted a student to get the bend out of his wrists in Half Tortoise.

What came out of his mouth was:
"get the cock out of you hands".

thedancingj said...

OH wow - Charlie, this wasn't a contest or anything, but I think you just WON. I laughed so hard at that just now... it took me like 5 minutes to pull myself together and tell my sister what was funny!!

Anonymous said...

What a great topic!

One of my favorites: "Sit down Japanese style...and if you're Japanese, just sit down." :)

After tulandandasna: "Don't worry, your heart will not break. Only love can break your heart..."

thedancingj said...

Nice. :) That first one reminds me of a time when someone's very pregnant wife was hanging out taking pictures of advanced class. When we got to "pregnancy pose", our teacher said "Ok, pregnancy pose" and some quick-witted person said, "Shelly, you just keep sitting there, you're doing it perfect!"

I got a new favorite this weekend, which is attributed to Juan (who gets away with saying ALL kinds of shit). During janushirasana: "Suck your stomach in. Suck your stomach in. Suck your stomach IN. I'm not getting paid enough to look at your fat stomach!"

I also like Craig's: "Touch your forehead to your knee. My friend, touch your FOREHEAD to your KNEE. Okay, PRETEND that we're friends, and NOW will you touch your forehead to your knee?!"

Geez, I really could do this ALL day...

ActionJoJo said...

J, these are great and hilariously funny!!!

My favorite funny line came last Friday (I just realized after reading this post that my bikram teachers in NYC are totally way too serious and not funny) during full locust, "Legs up higher! Squeeze your butt, lock your legs, shoulders down, kiss the towel AS IF IT'S THE BEST.DATE.EVER!!!!"

thedancingj said...

HAH! Oh, locust pose. I had one teacher who during the set-up would tell people, "hands touching the towel, not touching yourSELF, we're not going to have THAT much fun today." I nearly died the first time I heard that.

And wow, I left out one of my all-time favorites from a posture clinic back in April. This was in response to a student who came up REALLY fast into one of the spine strengthening poses. My teacher went, "WHOA! Never go out of first gear in yoga class!! It's like a 747 taking off?! Your passengers would be SHITTING themselves!"

secretmuffin said...

One more, one more.....

During class on saturday, teacher says

"Poorna - Salabhasana, sounds dirty but its not"

Meg L VR said...

After the guy practicing next to me farted repeatedly and loudly, the teacher said, "It's OK--just breathe deeply." I said, "No, thanks!" and rolled around on the floor laughing.

Also, a very sweet Russian teacher kept telling me to 'step out of the lounge'. I was like, why do I have to leave? What did I do? She meant 'step out of the lunge'.

thedancingj said...

Out of the lounge... heeheeheehee... adorable!

Don't you love those moment when you just crack yourself up in the middle of class?! I try to be well behaved but sometimes I can't help myself!!

thedancingj said...

One more, one more!! A blooper from the lovely Jen W. during standing head to knee (she posted it on facebook which makes it fair game). "If your standing knee IS LOCKED...... *uh*...... that's GREAT!!!!"

jenniferkwarren said...

Yesterday in class I was trying to spit out "As best as you can", what came out was "As BREAST you can". Then I'm all "Oh SHIT did I SAY THAT?? Where did that come from?" I skipped over it so fast I really don't think anyone caught it :) . PS, I relayed from my TT that story that Charlie shared, so Charlie, love, I am splitting your first prize glory :) !
<3 J

thedancingj said...

Hah! Who SAID that, anyway? I swear, I was telling that story to someone else a while ago, and they were like, "oh yeah, so-and-so said that, I heard him tell the story himself." But I forgot who it was... sigh...

jenniferkwarren said...

I don't know who made the flub, but Lynn Whitlow was who told the story at TT. I think that one is *classic* - if it were me, I would want the floor to open up and swallow me!

jenniferkwarren said...

And I'm sure that Charlie heard the story even before I shared it with him, so I'll settle for an 80/20 split of first place glory ;)