Saturday, September 19, 2015

My Impressions of Yoga

I like yoga.

I think … until about three-quarters through the class … when I’m once again peering, upside down, from between my legs, the sweat dripping down my face …

And I’m not even doing “hot yoga,” when the room’s kept at 100+ degrees.

One thing’s for sure: it’s not your mother’s yoga. Back in the ‘70s, I recall yoga being gentle stretching, then lying around.

These days, my doctor husband says his fittest patients say they do yoga.

I'm surprised to find that people compete at yoga, like this man, the 2012 world champion:

Incidentally, me doing yoga looks nothing like this.

I tried to read about yoga, but even the Wikipedia summary made my eyes cross.

This dust-up, about whether the physical practice of yoga started out as a sex cult or not, was mildly interesting.

For me, yoga is exercise that has been carefully staged to be enjoyable.

When they direct you to pay attention to your breath, it does distract you from your screaming thighs.

And I am proud of my new ability to stand on one foot without falling over immediately.

I like the aesthetics, too: the outfits, the gear, even the yoga-mat “sling” you use to carry your rolled-up mat over your shoulder like some folklore hero wandering into the village.

I like my instructors’ playlists.

I like my instructors, all beautiful and impossibly limber.

I like the names of the poses – warrior, dancer, happy baby, eagle, tree.

I even like the “Om” part. Sounds cool.

The incense I could do without.

Also, the lingo, where we all pretend to know another language, like speaking Klingon or ordering at Starbuck’s.

I’m not going to say “Nameste,” especially not while putting my praying hands up to my supposed “third eye, I’m just not.

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