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.
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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.
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.