I hate yoga.
When was the last time I tried it? 1969.
Progressive thinkers that they were, my parents made me take yoga when I was ten, believing it would help me to become more focused and improve my grades. I may have told you this before. Every Saturday morning, they drove me into the city for class. While my friends were eating Cocoa Puffs, drinking Tang and watching cartoons, I was saluting the sun and hating every minute of it. I decided then that when I finally had complete freedom to make my own decisions, I’d never go within 10 feet of a yoga mat. Forty-one years later, I’ve held to it. I also remain one of the least flexible (and least focused) people I know. Such is the price of freedom.
Many of my friends and acquaintances do yoga and love it. Being barefooted, moving slowly in a quiet room, is not my cup of chamomile tea.
However, I am aware that yoga has changed vastly in the decades since I first experienced it so unpleasantly.
For example, I recently read about something called “Laughter Yoga.” I might be able to warm up to that. Also called hasyayoga, this discipline involves self-triggered laughter that spreads among people in the class. I assume this enhances the workout in some way.
I’m a fan of contagious laughter, though perhaps not enough so to combine it with exercise forcibly. I laugh plenty in Jazzercise, as my friends and I make faces, exaggerate our dance steps and share dirty jokes on the floor. But that’s genuine, not contrived.
I know there’s also “Hot Yoga,” which involves exercises performed in extremely hot and humid temperatures. Sounds like weeding the yard in July to me.
We have a friend who’s into all sorts of other kinds in a big way, so much so that he recently took a break from his career to focus on yoga full time. As part of a side project, he recently invented something called “In Sink Yoga.”
Setting aside my overall clumsiness and lack of muscular flexibility and strength, I might also find this doable. Here, take a look:
I love this for so many reasons. Did someone say “cleaning fetish?”
Maybe for his next video project, he’ll do Om on the Range.