Having dismissively sworn off yoga in the past, I’ve recently gone crawling back and started taking classes again. The reasons for my about-face: first, the 30 now 35 pound bowling ball problem (discussed here); second, an increasing incidence of disconcerting observations along the lines of ‘Why does my back hurt if I’m not slumped over in a chair?’ and ‘Did I really just tweak my neck while drinking a beer?’ My resistance to yoga has always come mainly from the whole as your lungs gently massage your internal organs, imagine that you are a tiny ant drowning in a giant pond thing– I think the person in the world whom I would be most comfortable taking lessons from would be a high-ranking Chinese party member: somebody who would busily just bark orders and not create this whole parallel new-agey narrative. But, desperate times call for desperate measures.
I will say that yoga classes in Prague are more tolerable to me so far than those in SF for the same reason that differentiates everything here from there: there are less people doing it. You don’t get the same MASSIVELY overcrowded classes that transpire in the Mission where you can’t stretch out your arms without sticking them up somebody’s nose. Also, I’m excited to have an excuse for falling asleep in public once I spread the news that I’m back into yoga these days– ‘Ha ha, no: I was just meditating there for a moment’. But I still have already run into the same essential problem that undermines my yoga practice each time I take it up again: I’m simply not very interested in attaining stillness-of-mind. It’s much more my goal to be entertained. Even when I was supposed to be achieving a calm mental state in this afternoon’s class, I found myself mentally composing this blog post instead.
(Photo: rarely-seen yoga position The Purple Monkey Dishwasher, performed with the aid of a special Indian two-wheel velocipede.)