“1-2-3-4 chaturanga to the floor! 5-6-7-8 Shut your mouth and meditate!” Introducing the Yoga Drill Sergeant: Prepared to whip those vrttis into submission! It’s the second coming of The Yoganator! No really, according to the New York Post, America’s new pop yoga rag, Otto Cedeño, is not afraid to unleash his Vishuddha chakra to bend you past your edge, and yell at you! (throat chakra if you hadn’t figured). Mr. Otto, a former Broadway dancer, owns Bikram Yoga Union Square (oh Bikram), and has built a solid reputation as the “meanest yoga teacher” in NYC.
Like a drill sergeant — only dressed in tiny black shorts that he designed himself — he screams into his headset at a young woman with sweat dripping down her legs, “Pink shorts. Yes, you. Crotch down!”
It’s 104 degrees in the studio and a middle-aged woman is trying heated Bikram yoga for the first time. “If you’re not going to get your knees down, you might as well be eating pizza down the street!” he yells.
There we go with more crotch talk again, though you can’t hide much in those Bikram booty shorts. Anyway, this “meanie” title hasn’t come by accident, and we get the feeling he’s rather enjoying this.
“My friends call me the yoga Nazi,” said Cedeño, 46. “I laugh.
Allrighty. But it’s not just his bark. Says a returning customer:
“He goes around and kicks people’s feet into alignment,” said Romero. “He doesn’t say anything and just shoves his foot into your heel.”
Cedeño often singles out people in incorrect positions — even bullying students lying on their backs in the purposefully restful Corpse Pose.
Ha. Uh… to some of us dorks this may seem a bit overboard on the roughhousing yoga scale (which we just formulated a few moments ago!) but we can imagine there are plenty of practitioners who appreciate the manhandling and too-close-for-comfort “Savasana!” in their ear. Right?
The article goes on to mention the gross price tag of said yoga berating, which is 30 smackeroos per drop-in class. yowch! Really though, if you’re a super meanie Yoga Nazi you’re gonna need that cash for your super fancy website!
Seriously though, someone get this guy a lozenge and a cup of chamomile.