Thursday, December 15, 2005

Removing the yoga pickle

Please enjoy this condensed version of a Christie Blatchford article about her recent trip to a hot yoga class:

Remember said the yoga instructor, “While we should breath together and work together, this class is about you. Concentrate on yourself. This is about you finding a place that is challenging. Focus on yourself.”

I was, at that moment, in a room crowded with Lululemon-clad women and three handsome young guys wearing nothing but swim trunks, everyone of them aggressively waxed and gleaming such that they looked like canoes. I have more hair in a single nostril than was on the sum total of the 25 or so bodies in that room.

“Lady,” I yearned to shrill, is there even a snowball’s chance in hell the people in this room have ever not focused on themselves, will not focus on themselves, do not focus on themselves always, to the exclusion of everything and everyone else?”

The class was all of 30 seconds old. I’d been straightened out 10 minutes before it started.

My friend Karen and I had arrived early. We were in the midst of an urgent discussion as we walked into the room, laid out our mats. A young woman approached us and whispered, “Would you mind not talking? I am preparing for class.”

Shocked into silence, I watched her prepare, thinking I might learn something.

She lay down on her back, shut her eyes and appeared to go to sleep. Well, I already know how to sleep.

The instructor said “make sure you can catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, so you can check your position.”

Oh fat chance. Have you ever tried to get mirror time in a room jammed with people who wax themselves stupid? When they weren't’t admiring their poses, they were on the hunt for stray hairs.

I am never going back. I am going to burn my Lululemon pants. I am going to let all the hair on my body grow until it stops of its own accord, and then I think I may make a hat.

The article is hilarious (although I disagree with Ms. Blatchford’s view that yoga is not a workout on par with a spin class) and if you can find it in its entirety, enjoy. (Globe and Mail Oct 22/2005) As I read it I was not only laughing (a lot at myself as I am one of those searching for stray hairs and pushing back my cuticles, when they are so moist from class, they slide right back!) and finding validation for my upcoming class - “Yoga Without the Pickle.”

Why pickle? Two reasons really. First, when you order a burger you can get it with ketchup or you can get it with the works including a pickle on the side. (See most recent Harvey's commercial) To me, the pickle in yoga is the need to have that perfect mat, the perfect clothing and a deep posture - a need that is unnecessary. Yoga is about you and the intention YOU set, not what someone else sets for you. Grab your mat - old and tattered or new - and comfortable clothing and go for it with a SMILE (remember the point of this blog?).

To that point, I feel that yoga is beginning to get a bad name because a few people have a pickle up their butts about it. One bad pickle spoiling the barrel and all that. Do pickles spoil? Once again, remove said pickle and you (and others) will enjoy it a lot more. If it is a spiritual, emotional or physical experience for you, enjoy it for that.

I start instructing in January and am VERY excited (read nervous) and hope I can convey this message. I have been doing yoga for four years and am now making the leap to teaching. While I have made great strides on several fronts (physical and, for me spiritual) I still laugh (yes Christie, in class) when asked to bend a certain appendage this way or that. I think in my first class I should twist into some posture and fart or belch just to set the tone. I hope ya’ll can join me!

6 Comments:

Anonymous Unnamed as of yet. said...

Knowing you, You would NEVER fart or belch in front of complete strangers. Mind you, after you've taught them fro a while and you become comfortable.... well just watch out. Thats when you just throw caution to the wind.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

I have been wittness to a few of these Robert farts, and I must say they smelled only of rose petals, for he is a true lady.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious! You could be like the woman in one of the video's circulating the 'net who lifts a weight and pees herself.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Cj B said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment! Hope you continue reading. I'm going to add yours to my blog list! :D

Adios!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Robert Mitchell L.L. said...

Hey anonymous,
I have not seen that video. Is there a link?

6:04 AM  
Blogger Callooh said...

yoga... I KNEW there was a reason I was procrastinating about going to a class... I'm very flexible, but HATE waxing, and easily embarrassed (why there was this one Christmas I scratched under my nose funny, and my cousins never let me forget it... no, no - wait this ISN'T therapy)

fart and belch away - I wouldn't respect you if you didn't.

9:04 PM  

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