Practice Are You Too (Up)Tight for Yoga? Moment of truth: Take this 5-step test By Elizabeth Crisci Are you too tight for yoga? Too uptight that is. Yoga is for every body, but a lot of people find themselves greatly limited in their practice because of their minds. Lucky for us, we can always cultivate mental openness as well as bodily flexibility. And we can always choose a new perspective on our mats. Here are 5 ways to know if you’re an uptight yogi: You show up to class 25 minutes early every week to ensure you get your regular spot. If someone is set up there, you have no qualms letting them know that this spot is always yours, and telling them to move. On the off-chance that they remain, you park your mat uncomfortably close to them and shoot them dirty looks in every down dog. As class fills up, your teacher asks you to move a bit to the right, you glare at her and pretend to be deaf. You spend your practice brooding. Whether it’s about the parking, the desk staff, or your teacher talking too much; you find yourself easily and intensely annoyed, something must be done. After practice, you march straight up to the offender and share your criticism opinion, bluntly. You show up to your regular class. There is a sub you do not know. The new teacher introduces themselves and asks everyone to take a comfortable seat. You roll up your mat and march out. Your yoga teacher hands you a block in Triangle Pose. You look at it, look at her, and smack the block away. You continue hunching forward, wincing and grunting. You get your hand to the floor and the spend the evening icing your hamstrings. After class, you head to your car. The busy parking lot is full of people exiting and entering the studio, moving at a zen-like meander. You wait a few seconds before you start honking maniacally and sending cuss words in all directions. The startled yogis scatter and gaze at your bumper, zooming off into the distance. This list is written with lots of love and humor. We are all on our own yoga journeys, physically and mentally, and we are all welcome on our mats. Move consciously through your yoga studio as well as your practice, and forgive yourself for any “tight” moments along the way. Photo by Ali Kaukas. — Elizabeth is a yoga teacher and artist in Fairfield County, CT. She is the creator of Love by E, handmade gemstone mala and jewelry. She teaches in workshops, special events and trainings in the North East in addition to a range of regular, weekly classes. She teaches smart and accessible yoga designed to make you feel good. She loves every minute of her work. You can find her writing and her teaching schedule on her website.