or Why Everything That Is Good For You Sucks
I remember the old days when only hippies did yoga. People who looked like they smelled bad and had dirty feet. Swamis and whatnot. Kooks, weirdos. John Lennon. Ralph Nader, probably (I have not researched this). People who drove VW Bugs, and not the hip, cute VW Bugs that are out there now. These were Bugs that always had at least one fender scraping the tire.
I’m not sure we’ve actually progressed that far, the only difference being that now the hippies wear Lululemon and Jo Malone perfume. And, of course, there’s the fact that everybody and their sister “does yoga.”
(whiny voice) I want to do yoga, too.
I eat yogurt and take probiotics. I almost understand what “eating clean” means. I have the mat. I have the pants. I have the subscription to Yoga Journal.
And God knows, I need to do yoga. If a stranger dropped a check for a million dollars on the street in front of me, I would have to keep walking and console myself with the thought that I’m a millionaire where it counts, in my heart. Alternatively, I could get down on the sidewalk and then be rich enough to pay someone to pick me back up. Kind of like Puffy’s umbrella guy.
So, what’s stopping me?
Let me introduce you to my friends, inertia and entropy. I’m also running into a little something called “lifestyle”. When I was a kid, we were too poor to have a lifestyle. Actually, no one had a lifestyle back then. Lifestyles were invented in the ’90s by bored housewives whose husbands were riding the tech bubble, and consumerism took it from there.
Maybe I would do yoga if I didn’t feel so pressured to also live the lifestyle. Because it’s just not me. (Not that I know what “me” is, but I’m pretty sure that ain’t it.) The inner peace. The meditation. The mindfulness. My inner workings are driven by an angry, hyper-caffeinated hamster that bites. I’m a hippie, but only in the sense that I am often too lazy to bathe. I recently threw away a bottle of Jo Malone perfume because it smelled like pickled artichokes and wood moss, or something. I can’t even describe it.
Which brings me to another hurdle blocking my quest for both enlightenment and being able to touch my toes.
Now, I took Tae Kwon Do as a teenager (my mom eventually made me wear pads on my arms and legs because I was getting beaten black and blue by grown men in bad marriages). I know what multiple bare feet in a small room smells like. I know what sweaty nether regions smell like. Suffice it to say, it’s not my cup of matcha. I look back on those days in the dojo (which was in an attic above a Rite Aid) and I shudder in horror.
If I could pour bleach on my memories, I would.
But sure, I could do yoga at home. In fact, I could be doing it right now. Instead, I am actually writing, which just goes to show you how badly I do not, in fact, want to do yoga.
Because like everything in life that would actually make you feel better, or that actually serves a purpose, yoga is hard. It requires that we learn something new, that we focus, that we take time out of our spuriously busy lives.
Everything that is good requires us to try.
It’s why we don’t eat healthier or care about the environment. It’s why we don’t volunteer or take up knitting. It’s too much like work. If saving the rain forest was easy, we’d all be in Brazil taking selfies with howler monkeys. But we’re not. We’re laying/standing/sitting staring at… well, things like this.
I’m still convinced that one day I’m going to seriously take up yoga. I like using my weird crystal deodorant. Yoga pants are super comfy and basically a cheat for wearing sweatpants to work. I eat Larabars.
We’ve all got to start somewhere.