Why I Hate Yoga

Haters gonna hate. These blog posts are 100% real!

“OMG! I tried it and I was so bored! I’m like, ‘Why can’t we move yet? Can I skip ahead? Next pose, please!’”

“I don’t understand yoga. Is it some sacred ritual where everyone else understands the code words and I am just lost? Why is everyone in a headstand now? Did I miss something?”

“I’m not flexible enough to do yoga. I can’t even touch my toes.”

“If I had a mantra it would be ‘no mantras.’ Listen to this mantra s*it: ‘I bow to the lotus feet of the gurus.’ No thank you. No trickly tinkly sounds coming from a speaker hiding behind a candle and a Bonsai tree for me.”

“I know, I know, I just haven’t tried the right class. I haven’t found the right instructor. I haven’t found the right type of yoga. These days, there’s a yoga flavor to satisfy every taste. There’s breastfeeding mom yoga, beer yoga, supermarket yoga, and even goat yoga. Give me a break!”

“I tried Bikram yoga. Hated it! I don’t need to smell the stink of 50 sweating strangers with my knee behind my head, thankyouverymuch.”

Why do yogis love yoga so much? And why do non-yogis hate it with equal fervor? I have never seen an exercise regimen so polarized between the lovers and the haters.

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As a lifelong yogi and the entrepreneur behind Turbo 26 Studio, I can honestly tell you I agree with every one of these sentiments! There is nothing worse than walking into a yoga class only to find that the class is too hot or too easy or too spiritual. All I can think is “I gotta get out of here,” but I can’t. I’m stuck for a full hour (or 90 minutes for Bikram!) and I’m just hating life right now!

The big problem with yoga, from a business perspective, is that the industry is extremely fragmented. There are very few chains of yoga studios, and independently owned studios don’t have the resources to systematize their yoga offerings. And of course there’s this perception that you should never systematize yoga – that would be very un-yoga-like! Studio owners are mostly yoga instructors who are trained in various formats of yoga teachings. They want to provide a variety of yoga styles to appeal to a variety of yoga practitioners. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But it does not make for a consistent, reliable, scalable business model.

From one studio to the next – even from one instructor to the next – the classes can be very different. When I was doing market research for Turbo 26, I travelled around trying various formats and styles of yoga with a bunch of different instructors. What I found was just all over the place. One class was heated; another was not. One class was restorative; another was challenging. One class chanted Om; another did Breath of Fire. Even with class descriptions on websites, I really had no way to know what I was going to get until I was trapped inside that studio. Many times I was trapped in something wonderful, but just as often it felt like torture to stick it out.

I started Turbo 26 to combat all the things I hate about yoga, because in spite of all this, there is so much to love about yoga! I want to bring my kind of yoga – what I love about yoga – to the world. I don’t need a hundred different styles of yoga. I need one style – one style with lots of variety and creativity, in a format I know will challenge and inspire me! I need to know that when I see the Turbo 26 logo, I can rely on that studio to have the best instructors and the best classes on the planet. Classes that push me physically and don’t make me Om. Classes that motivate me to live my best life – on and off my mat; not classes that relax me to sleep. Classes that are fun and active; not repetitive and slow.

At Turbo 26, we have no long boring classes, no chanting, no Buddhas, no Sanskrit, no incense, no meditation. All you yoga-haters are going to love what we’re doing! And yoga-lovers, you’re in for a treat too! Yoga for everybody – imagine that!

Can’t touch your toes? Bend your knees! You can do this!

xo,

Jo

About the Author:

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Joanna Meiseles is the founder of Turbo 26 Studio, a new concept in yoga coming to the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California this fall. Turbo 26 offers fast-flow heated yoga classes in 26-minute stackable intervals. Designed to deliver inspiring fitness-focused classes, Turbo 26 is demystifying yoga and making the benefits accessible to anyone willing to challenge their body and open their mind.

Prior to Turbo 26, Joanna created Snip-its, a franchised chain of hair salons for children. After building Snip-its to more than 60 locations in the US, Joanna put her skill and franchise expertise to work as a strategy consultant at iFranchise Group, the world's premier franchise consulting firm. A lifelong avid yogi, Joanna is now putting her energy into Turbo 26, a concept that she hopes to grow into a successful franchise across Northern California and then across the country.