Mean Girls of Milan: You Can’t Gym With Us

Continuing with my looking on the bright side series, I offer this essay that includes at least two positive sentences. The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

The Complaint: One’s yoga teacher says he’s skilled in the art of killing you.
The Silver Lining: Namaste at home and downward dog in my pajamas.

I love me some yoga — some sweaty but relaxing, tough but comforting yoga. Shoutout to my YMCA crew in Des Moines, especially Stacie, Kelby, Hortencia and Penny. If you’re not a fan of yoga, I’d encourage you to try different teachers or studios, because those first instructors might have trained with one of the Milanese I’m about to describe.

Italians are not known for being prompt, and I admit I’ve benefited from this cultural norm when I’ve shown up tardy to places. “Whoops! Looks like I’m really assimilating!” But, when you’re paying (too much) for a professional service and that session is timed and booked in advance, my aggravation devours my cultural sensitivity. So, consistently late teachers who still end class on time, boo to you. What’s worse is when they spend the first fifteen minutes lecturing you about their superior knowledge of pressure points and how if they touch you in a certain spot, you’re sure to die.

Skeleton sitting cross-legged

What’s also not great is when that super-guru man then comes over to you during class because you’re not quite doing a pose and asks (I think he asks; my Italian was rougher last summer) if you’re on your period, because then you shouldn’t shove your fists into that ovarian area. Blood rushes to your cheeks instead, and you say something in a half-language like thanks ok got it dead bye.

In my very first Italian yoga class, another instructor made us run in place for five minutes without taking our feet off the ground. So, something like this:

Jimmy Fallon dances awkwardly

Then, we twerked for three minutes and paired each thrust with a forceful exhalation; I guess that second part made it yoga.

Girl from Toddlers and Tiaras twerkingDJ Tanner (Candace Cameron) on Full House sighs

A yoga master may be reading this and recognize, “Ah yes! This is the ancient practice of Whatdafuh Yoga. It is not widely known in the Great Lakes region of your motherland.” Ok cool, you do you; I do child’s pose until this class ends.

My fellow gym members, I’d like to add, are not the warm and welcoming Y crew I’m used to. I’d try to interact with others, and they’d be irritated I was interrupting a sports bra selfie (she was probably an #Influencer). Or I’d occupy a spot in the room, and they’d inform me, “That place is saved for Federica.” Or, as I’m leaving the premises, a woman stops me (Wow, someone is actually talking to me! This is great!) to yell at me for not changing my street shoes when I entered the Zumba area. Guilty, I respond calmly with “Right, I know, it’s just that I was running late.”

Orsola continues scolding me as if I’m her grandchild who dared to sit on The Fancy White Couch in the dining room. I lose my shiz: “Sì, lo so,” I eject. “Lo so! Ho capito. HO CAPITO! CIAO.” I got it, lady. I got it. Bye! I narrate this story to Alberto later and he responds, “Wow, amore, you’re becoming Italian. If you were in Minnesota you would’ve been so polite and apologetic.”

Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen rides her horse proudly on Game of Thrones

Oh wait, silver linings, yes. So, it’s me and a Texan in my living room now; Yoga with Adriene is my current jam. She’s always on time, never threatens me and doesn’t care if I’m showered or stylishly attired. Plus, there’s a dog in all her videos. Check, check, check and check.

#NotAllYogis — I did try out a couple of classes at studios further away from home, and they suited my taste better, but not enough to quit Adriene and spend forty minutes on the subway in sweaty spandex.

Now, you may know me as a whiny American, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, but I’d like to present the following from fellow USA transplants, so you know I’m not uniquely bitchy:

  • J from Chicago: “Yoga here? Oh god no. I do Yoga with Adriene.” Shut up, me too!
  • E from San Francisco: “You just need to accept that people are rude, salaries are low, and there’s no good yoga — then you’ll be happy in Milan.”

A sloth who looks like he's failing at yoga in the middle of a road

6 thoughts on “Mean Girls of Milan: You Can’t Gym With Us

  1. Hilarious as always. You had me at “ the light in me honors the light in you “ I may steal that without attribution.
    Too funny- mean girls everywhere I guess. But why I must ask?
    Good pick on Adrienne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your GIF game is ON POINT. Where did you possibly find a skeleton doing yoga?!?!?

    Supes proud of you for standing up to that B. You should bring some of that back with you when you return home to MN.

    And lastly, I’m glad to hear that a Texas girl has your back 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right; I should retain some of this non-pushover juice. And yeah obvi the universe knew I was lacking Texas girl in my life 💕


  3. 1. ‘Super guru’ man – wtf?????????
    2. Can we rearrange our trip so we do yoga?
    3. I confirm the Zumba story is correct because I heard about it in person from said author.
    4. Have you worn your statement winter coat hood – IN class – like I so kindly suggested? I think that would do wonders for your #influencerstatus
    5. Twerking in yoga is such an embarrassing thought, I’m sweating thinking about it.

    See you for wine in 24hrs!

    Liked by 1 person

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