First off, be aware that like the Yin and the Yang, the Alpha and the Omega, you will be confronted with the polar opposites of students in the Yoga scene. These are affectionately known as the Yip and the Yog. Simply put, the Yip is the Yogically hip; the purveyor of the cool, tight and trendy pimp chic look of contemporary Yoga. Fed by the Yoga Industrial Marketing and Merchandising Complex (YIMMCo), these Yogis have evolved the simple needs of Yoga into an alt Yogic lifestyle. Too hip to read Yoga magazines (though they tend to sneak peeks from time to time to verify how ahead of the Yoga curve they are) they seek out their too cool and post-mod ideas on Buddhist web sites.
The Yog on the other hand is “not”. They, most likely, are beginner Yogis that have not been tainted by the YIMMCo as of yet. In certain urban Yoga studios, the Yog will be made to feel unwelcome and may even be discouraged from pursuing Yoga. They may, however, be given the advice to check out the Yoga Fashion page of the YogaDawg website before coming back to a Yoga class.
To help guide you on your path to Yoga Yipness, the following is a handy guide to refer to when confronted with choices in the Yoga world.
Anything with singing bowls, temple bells or gongs
Style of Yoga:
Iyengar, Anusara or Generic Vinyassa
YogaDawg Gear or anything designed by independent, gay Yoga clothes designers living in the East Village of NYC.
Lululemon, Gaiam or any other Yoga clothing line that is advertised in Yoga Journal.
The Black Manduka or the YogaDawg 'It Ain't Lavender' Men's Yoga Mat
The Purple Manduka or the YogaDawg Natural HempYoga SuperMat
Note: The YogaDawg MyPodSouthParkTripleLatte Super Mat is also acceptable to Yips of a certain age (see Yoga Mats).
Gaiam, any other mat advertised in Yoga Journal (excluding the black or purple Manduka) or a Pilate mat.
Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu symbols or any symbols from an obscure Eastern based religion.
Om symbol and anything other then the above.
Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu or any obscure Eastern religion.
Wicca, any Judeo-Christian religion or New Age belief.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and EternallyBlissfulYoga Super Magazine.
Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar and Yoga Journal.
21 through 32
Other then above
Special Note: YIPs can morph into YogaDawgs after the age of thirty-two. Though not considered as hip as a YIP, YogaDawgs are still quite respected in the YIP community.
Special Note 2: YogaDawgs will continue to maintain this designation and respect from the YIP community as long as they refrain from any of the following:
1. Moves to the suburbs
2. Works in an office
3. Works as an accountant, engineer, programmer or salesperson
4. Lives with a partner that does one of the above
Now that you know how to spot and become a YIP versus a YOG, let’s explore the types of Yoga students that you will no doubt meet in your Yoga journey