Share this article Share A few years ago, a couple of friends of mine were invited to attend a yoga class with a yoga teacher from a nearby college.
She introduced them to the term “gym.”
The idea was simple: We’d spend a few hours at the gym, and then we’d meet up for a quick coffee at a nearby coffee shop.
The idea of yoga classes with people of the same sex was nothing new to me, and I was thrilled to find out that there was a growing community of people who wanted to join.
“That was pretty awesome,” one of my friends said to me.
It was also very weird.
As a gay man, I didn’t have any experience in this space, so I was pretty nervous about the idea.
And so was my friend.
She was very comfortable with her own body, and didn’t seem particularly bothered by the idea of going to the gym together.
But my friend was confused.
When I told her that I’d heard of the word “gymnastics,” she said, “Oh, that’s really great!
“Oh my god,” I said.
“You’re a straight woman?”
“What do you mean?”
“That means you’re a gymnast!”
“Well, that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Well then, I guess I’ll go see what the yoga class is about.”
“No no no, you should definitely go see the classes.”
We sat there for a while, watching her and my friend exchange pleasantries, and our friend started to get a little uncomfortable.
“Oh god, are you going to come here and see me?”
“I’m going to see you,” she insisted.
“I love you so much, but I want to know what this class is.
What’s the difference between a ‘gym’ and a ‘yoga’ class?”
“Yoga,” she repeated, with a smile.
“Yeah, well I know there’s a difference.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
Oh, yeah, well you know, it’s a pretty important difference, so you need to go find out.”
The following day, I was walking around New York City when I got a call from a friend of mine.
“Are you a gay yoga teacher?” she asked.
I was surprised by the question.
The answer was yes, and so were the questions that followed.
I asked her why she had joined the community of yoga teachers, and she explained that she had been studying yoga for years, and that she loved the idea that she could be her friends’ gynecologist and just have a good time together.
When she said she was excited about it, I could tell she was in love with the idea, and asked her if she was open to working with people with disabilities.
She smiled and said, Yes, I would be happy to.
She told me that she was interested in working with a wider range of people with different body types, but that she didn’t want to teach just any group of people.
She explained that they needed someone with a certain skill set, or someone who could teach the basics, and this would give them the confidence to pursue more challenging exercises and yoga poses.
“I am very excited,” she told me.
“What are you interested in doing?”
“A lot of people are interested in finding out more about the different types of people that come through the doors, and they want to understand how different people can benefit from having a partner in the gym.”
The first day we met up, my friend and I took a yoga instructor for a spin, and we talked about the differences between the gyms and the yoga studios.
My friend was a little nervous, and said that she’d probably be the first person she’d seen in the yoga studio if she ever got her own.
“It’s really good to have someone who can help you,” I told my friend, “and someone who doesn’t mind if you don’t like what you do.
We don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
I told our friend that I had some ideas about how we might be able to help our friend with her desire to be a gynecological doctor.
“So how are you getting into this?” she said.
I told him that I was a yoga-trained surgeon, and the two of us discussed the risks of surgery.
I said that I knew that there were some people who didn’t like the idea and were afraid of surgery, but it was definitely something that I could understand.
“Well I don’t know about that,” my friend said.
But she added, “It would be nice if you could tell me a little more about it.”
“Okay, so what’s the plan?”
“There are so many different things you can do with this.”
“But there are