Why I Will Never Marry a Yoga Teacher

Women crave commitment, stability and encouragement in partners. It’s in our nature. So then why would any woman get romantically involved with a male yoga teacher?

A man who practices yoga breathes attraction. It’s true. I can’t deny a man who is in touch with his sensitive side; a man who is capable of sharing deep feelings. Physical strength isn’t that bad either. But my personal favorite, a dude who can barely touch his toes continually going to yoga on his own, trying and trying and trying. Totally adorable.

But a yoga teacher? Be cautious. The general stereotype is that they are over-sexed players. Imagine it, hundreds of post-yoga glow women in tight pants praising and pleased. It’s gratifying. I know it’s not easy out there for heterosexual men and that there are always exceptions to stereotypes. Some of my best friends are male yoga teachers. They are wonderful humans and far from being players. But I’m not going to marry them.

I need stability. The life of a yoga teacher is filled with variety, very few things are certain. Many are attracted to a life in yoga because of its freedom and they thrive on it. I need certainty. I would love a man who is consistent and constant. Having one yoga teacher in a partnership provides enough ambiguity. Could you imagine two?

Has your partner ever gotten upset that you brought work home with you? Well, yoga is not only work (and yes, there is a business aspect of yoga that I’m just learning) but yoga is a lifestyle. There are no breaks. But sometimes I just want to watch Ironman 3 and have buttered popcorn and not over analyze things or worry about my carbon footprint. Sometimes I want a break from all the mindfulness and just live life. Is that awful?

Don’t shit where you eat. Sorry for the crass phrase, but in the event that things don’t go well, I could end up divorcing myself from not only a single person but a whole kula of people. Students invest their emotions in their teachers. Just thinking that my actions with someone could cause my students and colleagues to feel disappointed in me, already breaks my heart. And yes, being a disappointment is a big fear of mine. I’m human and I’m working on it.

I know that there are many incredible, inspiring and committed men out there, many of who teach yoga. Someone could write a blog about why I must marry a yoga teacher. But ultimately I’m seeking balance. Yoga is all about balance. And no matter how people are defining marriage these days, I believe that marriage requires two complete people balancing each other’s flaws and strengths.

Sarah Girard

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8 comments

  1. “…sometimes I just want to watch Ironman 3 and have buttered popcorn and not over analyze things or worry about my carbon footprint.” Made us laugh out loud!

    One of our bloggers did a similar article a few months back after dating a spin instructor… and molded into a top list of “5 reasons to think twice before dating your favorite fitness instructor”…here’s a link. http://blog.rateyourburn.com/blog/post/2012/11/23/5-reasons-to-think-twice-before-dating-your-favorite-fitness-instructor-1.aspx

    Enjoy! You might empathize with a few of these…

  2. Engaging post. I don’t disagree. After dating a few yoga teachers, I came to much the same conclusion when choosing my wife. However, I think you have made some over generalized assertions about male yoga teachers. Is it really gender specific? I know of a few high profile female teachers who ended up having marital issues after they got big. I’m just saying that there are probably a few stereotypes about female yoga teachers that if some guy wrote a piece about why he would never marry a female yoga teacher then you might feel compelled to take issue with being painted in such a manner.

    For whatever its worth:
    http://www.abhyasayogacenter.com/essays/ethical.html

  3. Many things you say are true. i have seen two yoga teachers divorce and one gets the school and the friends and students and the other becomes the Fallen one. Look at Rodney Yee.
    Perhaps they found the yoga path easy they became famous young. For me yoga itself was a big process .As a elete athlete I was so stiff.It took me many years to become at all flexible and to get deeply into Yoga. I had to really be committed and work hard at it. That is why I think when I fell madly in love with my wife also a yoga teacher we have worked hard at our relationship ever since. We teach together and do the office side together. The only thing we dont do is adjust each other in poses.My wife always says no don’t do that. We have been playing together now 28 years and two son’s. So with work it can be done . Yes our life is very unpredictable and we love it

  4. Roman · · Reply

    From this piece (maybe meant to be a little provocative?) it sounds like you have very specific ideas about what the ‘yoga lifestyle’ is, and what a male yoga teacher would be. There are folks like you describe out there, but I’m a male yoga teacher. I don’t think this characterizes me, but is a repetition of a stereotype about my profession. I agree with J Brown’s comment on this.

    You’re obviously going to date, marry (or not) whoever you end up going for. But to explain that the reason for this is that someone who does the work I do is going to have distasteful character traits (distasteful to me too)–and to treat that as a given–is unfair. I do enjoy a lot of privilege, and it’s not the end of the world when I’m inaccurately stereotyped, but I just wanted to put this out there.

  5. Susan · · Reply

    OMG are you serious? Do you even practice yoga? This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. You are projecting some future state that had no basis in reality and on top of that you are selling yourself short by making judgements about who and how you would be in a relationship. No offense but I can see now why you are finding it difficult to find a yoga job. You are not a yoga teacher. To say that male yoga teachers lack commitment, stability and encouragement makes you sound like the kind of person that no one should get involved with in the first place. And to blatently stereotype male teachers is just plain wrong. Do you really think all yoga teachers male or female go home and sit in lotus meditating the remaining hours of the day? Yogis are just like everyone else who have a life and interests. It sounds like you don’t and actually need to practice more. Perhaps then you will find your yoga job and a real relationship.

  6. Great post! I’d never really thought about this issue, but your perspective is really interesting. I think many of the issues stem from the basis of equality on the relationship level. We want an equal partner and not a “teacher” we feel may judge us. I’m glad I have a partner that helps me to be my best, but eats buttered popcorn with my every once in awhile.

  7. YogaIsAboutLove · · Reply

    Do you actually feel so threatened by other women that you can’t even be in a relationship with a man whose job happens to include interacting with other females? Would you refuse to date a gynecologist then, too?

    Your writing is lovely, but this is one of the most sexist, least thought-out op-eds I’ve ever read. I completely understand the value of balance, and I agree that I sometimes prefer to date non-yogis who won’t judge me if I eat a slice of cheese or sleep in past sunrise. Deciding not to date/marry yoga instructors because you seek balance and would like somebody to balance your yoga personality is completely understandable and justified. But to refuse to consider men who share your passion just because you think that they’re flakey players who can’t commit is pretty ridiculous, not to mention sexist and judgmental.

    Yoga is all about commitment. That’s why we call it a practice. It’s about showing up to your mat as much as you can, confronting yourself as you are, and patiently sticking with things even though you know that tangible progress can feel slow. And given the amount of competition in the yoga world, anybody who succeeds as a full-time yoga instructor must be committed enough to have persistently stuck to their goal. I don’t know why you would perpetuate a myth that yogis are flakes who can’t commit when the opposite is clearly true.

    Also, female yoga instructors have the reputation for being vacuous sluts who have no skills or knowledge other than their tight pants and flexible hips. I am a female yoga instructor, and yoga feeds me spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. Yoga has taught me discipline, non-judgment, compassion towards myself and towards others, and commitment, among many other things. I actively try to fight the stereotype that female yoga instructors are nothing more than slutty girls in spandex, because none of these stereotypes serve to improve our community. I find it very offensive that you published an article that perpetuates the false stereotypes about male yoga instructors, and I’m quite shocked that YogaCIty even published this piece.

    My yoga practice has taught me patience, kindness, and discipline. It is through my yoga practice that I have learned to support myself and to support others. I can only hope to marry a man who understands these values, practices svadhyaya, and shares my belief that yoga has the potential to change lives. Many of my best friends – males and females – are yoga instructors, and I hope that I’m lucky enough to one day fall in love with someone who embodies all of the qualities that I value in yoga.

  8. K. :) · · Reply

    I think the reflection that the author of the post shared is perfect for her at this time. There is nothing wrong with it, as such.
    A true measure of growth is the clarity of seeing what is there. And we are all growing in that all the time.

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