I so enjoyed this article by Lee Anne Finfinger (see http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/10/the-10-things-youll-do-once-you-start-yoga-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-yoga-lee-anne-finfinger/) that I simply have to re-post it on my blog. It made me laugh out loud at myself and I am sure that all of you that are in any way involved in yoga may also find it amusing. It is such a breath of fresh air to find someone who is clearly passionate about yoga (and especially how it has transformed her life), yet able to do without the worthiness and seriousness that can so often accompany any musings about the subject.
In the same vein, I am currently reading a book by Claire Dederer called ‘Poser’, which I am thoroughly enjoying, even though I am only a few chapters in. I confess: the sole reason I bought the book is because of the photo on the cover: a woman in lotus with a glass of wine in her one hand and a baby’s juice bottle in the other. Finding myself constantly challenged in the daily balancing act of my many ‘jobs’ (frequently grumpy and stressed-out mother of two children under the age of four, not-very-good wife, yoga instructor, to name but a few), this resonated with me enormously. Dederer, a highly self-aware, smart book critic who has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, makes some extremely powerful social commentary about the challenges of being a mother, a wife, a woman in our current society whilst being very honest (and incredibly witty) about how yoga helped her to fight her own demons. I have just put my own two children down for a nap and so I am keeping this blog post short so that I can dash off and get back to reading!
So, to finish off this post, enjoy Lee Anne’s ten points about what you’ll do once you start yoga…
1. At least once, you will force yourself to try to be vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free (insert any over-zealous diet here)/ drink Kombucha/ buy bottled water before class and pour it into your sustainable water bottle before the teacher/students/Whole Foods cashier next to you sees. (If you’re craving meat, just eat it! On your deathbed, will you really be glad that you didn’t have that steak on your 30th Birthday?)
2. Your iPod will now include a heavy serving of Kirtan music that you will listen to on your very long commute to your yoga studio (It’s cool; if you want to listen to Kirtan occasionally, go for it! When you start listening to it while driving and falling asleep — time to go back to your old playlists. Do NOT switch over to NPR!)
3. You will pretend not to notice that your ass now fits in a size 6 instead of an 8, but you’re secretly thrilled. (When you get down to a 4 though, watch it. People will talk.)
4. You will go back to your natural hair color/ remove your hair extensions/ cut your hair short in an attempt to stop paying so much attention to your vanity. (Try not to cut it too short — the growing out process is a bitch and then you’ll just need more hair extensions. I did.)
5. You’ll attempt to read the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Upanishads while your stack of fashion magazines calls to you from the next room. (Really, why can’t I like Rachel Zoe and yoga? Now that I’m thin enough to actually wear her clothes, why should I pretend I don’t want to?) (See #3.)
6. You will take a retreat. Hello, Kripalu! (It’s ok — those other people probably are weirdos. So are you. Eat your breakfast and shut up. No really, shut the fuck up – it’s a silent breakfast.)
7. You’ll start taking photos of yourself in yoga poses. Often. And you’ll think that other people care. It’s like the modern-day version of the vacation slideshow. No one gives a shit, but they’ll pretend like they do so that you do the same when they whip out their own photos.
8. You will at some point wear mala beads, which will break all over the floor of your 6:15am class. (Basically, it’ll end about as well as when I wore my Grandmother’s rosary beads to dinner at age 6. Silver Lining: The company was kind enough to re-string them for free, and now I just wear them like a really cool wrap bracelet. It’s very hippie chic. Thank you September Vogue.) (See #5)
9. You will become a cheap date. Remember, you just dropped two sizes and you continue to spend at least an hour a day sweating and twisting and breathing. You’ll be buzzed from one drink!
10. You’ll get over yourself. If you teach yoga, you’ll hope that people show up because they like taking class from who you really are. If you practice yoga, you’ll keep showing up and you’ll realize that the other shit doesn’t matter.