Experiment: 1 Yoga Skeptic, 6 Classes to Change Her Mind

We challenged writer Ryan Peacock to crack his girlfriend’s resistance to yoga. Can he sweet-talk her into taking six classes in a week—and actually liking them?
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We challenged writer Ryan Peacock to crack his girlfriend’s resistance to yoga. Can he sweet-talk her into taking six classes in a week—and actually liking them?

We challenged writer Ryan Peacock to crack his girlfriend’s resistance to yoga. Can he sweet-talk her into taking 6 classes—and actually liking it?

On the list of things my girlfriend likes to do, yoga falls below Swiffering her kitchen floor and above listening to me explain “Game of Thrones.” It’s not an activity she gets overly excited about. Kate (her alias, since she only agreed to this experiment if I kept her anonymous) has tried yoga a few times and recognizes the physical benefits. However, she is a science-minded person who looks at the world through analytical lenses. When the yoga classes she’s taken have turned philosophical, she thinks it’s a little too hippy woo-woo.

Having practiced yoga for more than 10 years, I was optimistic that with the right combination of style, studio and teacher, I could find something she actually liked. Don’t get me wrong—I wasn’t expecting us to become a couple that goes to partner yoga retreats, I just wanted her to get a glimpse of what I love about the practice.

“It will be like a science experiment. There is a hypothesis and we are going to test it by changing some of the variables,” I told her, trying to sell it in a way that appealed to her.

“Oh please,” she said, calling me on my bullshit (as she does so well). After steady persistence, she finally relented and agreed to my terms: one week, six classes, honest feedback, and no pressure.

“Are there questions I should be thinking about during class? Is there an outline for the article or is it intentional to keep me in the dark?” Kate asked. I told her the only thing she needed to do was show up.