I've always said that if I could have any super power in the world, it would be moderation. Being born with an addictive personality has been an interesting journey -- from alcoholic to diet pill-popper to relentless gym worshipper, I have seen every ugly side of not being able to slow the fuck down, ever. Add being a Virgo to the mix and you've got me: Constantly trying to do fifty things at once, consistently wrapped up in a competition of self and annoying the hell out of everyone with my desire to over-communicate. Basically, I'm a living nightmare for other humans. This is where my obsession with yoga comes in.
I joined the cult of yoga almost two years ago -- though not willingly. I've never been an athletic person; I just like to work out. I like the gym. I am that guy who likes the Stairmaster, though I am not, coincidentally, the guy on the Stairmaster trying to make himself pass out by doing it for 45 minutes while wearing a trash bag. That guy is weird.
Yoga seemed like it would take some serious athleticism and, most definitely, a sound mind. I have neither of those things. But my work out partner, Ted, convinced me to give it a try, and at 28, I took my first hot yoga class. (For the record, the place I go is not a Bikram-associated studio, hence why I just call it "hot" yoga. I'm no n00b.)
One hour of serious body work in a hundred-plus degree room with a bunch of strangers -- all of us in stretch pants and vulnerable, compromising positions for the majority of the sixty minutes -- and I was hooked. And much like love must feel, I wanted to throw up. That's how I knew it was meant to be.
Now I go to yoga almost every day, sometimes twice a day. Why? Because, like anything else my body and mind seem to like, I must do it at least a million times before someone has to intervene. I kind of wish I could tell my story to that TV show, My Strange Addiction, though I don't think an "extreme desire to be in Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimottanasana (that's Sanskrit for 'ass over ankles')" fits in with the program's other subjects, who can't stop eating toilet paper and dead people's ashes.
My guess is that, for normal people, yoga can supply a little meditation in an otherwise insane life of being connected to technology and disconnected from our bodies. For me, no such luck. I am too often in a constant state of trying to do more, be more and out-yoga that stretchy grandma next to me in class to take advantage of a true surrendering pose. Besides, surrendering is for quitters.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And on that note, apologies to the other students sharing their yoga practice with me yesterday. Though I was not the one who farted loudly during final Savasana, I did hold up a double Prithvi hand mudra during tree pose that could have also been construed as "The Shocker." So a big sorry, and an even bigger Namaste to you, motherfuckers.