Here’s the health reform we really need: 90-minute yoga classes should be banned.
Everywhere I look—whether in my ClassPass app, which is like Blue Apron for exercise, or in MindBody, which is like Uber for your glutes—too many yoga classes on offer are 75 or 90 minutes long. Most classes, blessedly, stop there, but I’ve occasionally even seen two-hour-long meditation classes—for the woman who has everything, I guess, except a job.
Make no mistake: I love yoga. I would simply like to do less of it when I go. I have been “coming to the mat,” as the most annoying among us say, since I was a Texan teenager, sending my “sitz bones” skyward on the lonesome prairie. I have taken yoga classes of all different lengths in various countries. Never, ever have I left one that lasted 60 minutes and thought, “dang! I wish that had been longer.”
I say this, in part, for the obvious efficiency reasons. We live a fast-paced digital lifestyle, yada yada. But even if this were the sleepier time of typewriters and Seinfeld, 90 minutes would be too freaking long to spend regretting your recent furniture purchase while throwing your legs over your head (unless you’re on your moon cycle!)
We can all recognize the calm desperation with which yoga instructors try to fill the extraneous minutes of an hour-and-a-half stretch-a-thon. In one class I took while living in Los Angeles, the instructor padded things by having us choose “partners” who would physically hold us in some of the trickier poses. Then we switch, and the holder becomes the holdee. Leaving aside the fact that if you’re getting grappled by a silver-haired arty man in Los Angeles, you should at least be getting a long-awaited launch to your acting career for the trouble, this “partnership” was completely unnecessary. Under other instructors, these are poses we would do anyway, all by ourselves.