Okay, my mother would say you’re getting fat, but most polite society won’t. And with good fucking reason. It’s none of their goddamn business. Maybe you have a thyroid condition or a metabolic disorder. Or perhaps, you are tired of dealing with all of the calorie counting bullshit and said fuck it.
The problem for me is if no one says you’re getting fat, I don’t notice. Until I see a picture of myself. You fucking know it.
You know it. Someone has told you, “You HAVE to try yoga! It’s GOOD for you!” Fuck that noise. Yoga for everybody is bullshit. Don’t get me wrong. I love yoga. I hope so; I’ve been practicing it for over 30 years. I don’t love this sing-songy, oozing bullshit I hear when someone is talking about yoga. Yes, I eavesdrop. I’m a writer, of course, I am.
This crap is everywhere. The top ten reasons you should try yoga. Yoga will change your life. Seven reasons you shouldn’t try yoga. Snort, like that, isn’t a shady bullshit move. Every single one of these articles tout the same malarkey if not the same angle. Oooh, we love yoga and so too shall you.
Not Everyone Is Going to Love Yoga Right Out of The Gate.
It makes me want to slap the shit out of someone. Preferably some slender, young, hyper-flexible yoga junkie who has drunk the hippy kool-aid and is so far left a yoga nut that they give ISIS members a run for their money in extremism.
Yoga isn’t for everybody. It’s fucking hard. It isn’t all stretching and sunshine. There’s a lot of thinking involved so that turning off your mind line, yeah bullshit. The first time you try yoga find a beginning yoga class. BEGINNING.
Go early and talk to the teacher. There ain’t no shame in admitting you’re a newbie. A beginning yoga teacher should ask about your injuries and your limitations. If they don’t, walk out. I fucking mean it. You can injure your body doing yoga. I really fucking mean it. Healthy alignment is critical and not all yoga teachers know healthy alignment.
Gear your brain up to feel some serious distress. Yoga is intimidating as hell. For most of us, it’s a completely different way of dealing with your body and your brain. Which is to say, we typically don’t.
Once you step on a fucking yoga mat, all attempts to ignore your body and quiet your mind fly out the fucking window. All you’ll be doing is thinking and thinking and thinking. That whole quiet mindfulness, yeah that doesn’t happen for MONTHS.
It’s entirely valid to hate yoga.
You’re gonna hate it. You many NEVER love it. I have a love/hate relationship with Indoor Cycling. Doesn’t stop me from doing it.
That first class is going to suck eggs. If the teacher doesn’t help you find a safe and healthy way to be in a pose, don’t go back. Find another beginning yoga class and prepare to hate it.
Yoga is a process. In fact, the first few classes are going to suck eggs. There is no instant in yoga. It’s awkward as fuck. It’s confusing as fuck. You’re never as flexible as you’d like to be. Hell, thirty years I’ve been practicing yoga, and I’m still not bendy like a pretzel. I don’t have any desire to be. That’s yoga bullshit.
Some things you’ll hear about yoga are just wrong. Seriously, in writing The F*cking Yoga Book I’ve done a shit ton of research. From yoga history to current medical science, there are benefits to yoga, again . . . proven by science, but some poses aren’t beneficial to your body under any circumstances.
Yoga doesn’t detoxify anything except a crappy fucking attitude, and that won’t be instantaneous. It’s likely to spike your frustration and rage at first. A lot of yoga teachers don’t know shit. They don’t know shit about yoga, they don’t know shit about anatomy, and they don’t know shit about you.
It’s okay. You can say it. Yoga isn’t the end all be all. There is no divine yoga lightning to strike you down.
Yeah, I think every fucking person on the planet would benefit from yoga. Truth is not every yoga offers benefits. If something about the yoga class doesn’t click for you, you are not a failure as a human being. Find another class to try. A BEGINNING class.
It’s not about chakras, chanting, or detoxing. Scientific studies prove yoga can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, manage chronic pain, and aid in the treatment of depression TEN times more efficiently than medication.
And you might not want to fucking punch that slender, young, hyper-flexible yoga hippy asshole. Maybe.
She’s been in my head for a while now. The F*cking Yoga Goddess. I knew how she should look, slightly snarky smile, raised eyebrow, and all.
I just couldn’t get her on paper. Kudos to the brilliant artists in my life, but I struggle with stick figures. Yes, I have to draw stick figures, it’s how I notate yoga flows. It’s hard.
Working on building the brand to launch the book, The F*cking Yoga Goddess has been my hidden muse. I can’t wait until my schwag arrives! Of course, we have the original sass, SFW sass, and punny sass (I’m a writer when all is said and done). You can pick your sassy poison.
While I’m hunting around for a great printer, we’ve set up a shop where you can order your own sassy version.
No perfect yoga bodies here. See in you the studio!
Oh my loves, I do appreciate your love of my classes. Every time someone says, “If you added a class at such and such time, it would be perfect” I glow with warm fuzzies. And then I quickly crush your dreams. “I can’t teach all of the yoga.”
It’s the same with Cycle or Fit Fun Flex.
I’m a control freak. I’m in recovery. Believe me, there are times when I attend a yoga class and I’m grinding my teeth over some thing the instructor is cueing. I have agreed to cover too many fitness classes in a week with the idea that I’ll get to evangelize people with my brand of F*cking Yoga.
It never works. I kick my own ass and most of the folks in other classes love their instructors because of the brand they teach. I’m not punishing enough. I don’t move fast enough. I’ve been doing it this way the whole time, why should I listen to this crazy bitch? Oh, I see it.
The validation I feel when you ask me for more classes is off the charts. I’ve been teaching for over twelve years now and I’ve learned some pretty inviolable truths.
If I offer more classes, you end up coming less often not more often.
For over six years, I taught Evening yoga at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays AND Thursdays. And for six years, I would say seven out of ten times one of those nights would end up a no show night. I made the tough decision to eliminate Thursdays.
Guess what? Not only did folks show up on Tuesdays, but more folks than usual started coming. Procrastination. Yep, people would find all kinds of reasons to go on Thursday because Tuesday was too busy and they wouldn’t come to either. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true.
Once a month, someone now asks me, begs me to add another Evening yoga class. I recognize their sincerity and passion. I still say nope.
No matter what, I can’t teach all of the classes.
I’m just one person who also has a full-time writing career, a couple of part-time gigs, and laundry. This one I need to remind myself of frequently. I actually inherited some of my class schedule, but I built the rest of my schedule to accommodate my life. While I do wonder that my 6:15 a.m. classes are smaller, I also know I can’t pull off a 5 a.m. workout any longer.
Also, we all have lives. Busy, sometimes chaotic lives. That takes time.
Everyone has an ideal routine.
I know some of you drag yourselves to Fit Fun Flex and wish it was all Cycle. Some of you love Fit Fun Flex, but hit Bodypump because frankly, I’m not an insanely high energy teacher. Those of you who love Fit Fun Flex would never step into a Zumba class and hate that our warm up is dancing. And I’ll never see some of you in any of my yoga classes. It’s all good.
Variety keeps you improving and reduces potential injuries.
I’m a big believer in shaking things up. There are those gym hounds who lift weights Mon Weds Fri and do cardio Tues Thurs. Period. Some of you only workout in the morning (my personal favorite). Some of you have to hit the 5 a.m. classes because of work schedules and some of you couldn’t open your eyes to workout before noon.
Settling into one workout or one class can kill your motivation, but it can also lead to repetitive stress injury. It’s why my class routines are always different day to day. I’m trying to defy the rut.
I love that you love my classes, but you gotta trust me on this.
I had a great bunch of new faces in my Beginning class on Saturday. Regular clients giving the weekend a shot. New people stepping out for spring to try something different. It’s great. Good mat etiquette is something you can find oodles of posts about. One yoga gaff I hadn’t counted on, in fact, it never even crossed the darkest recesses of my mind (and they get pretty dark) happened to a couple of my regular clients. A newbie walked across their yoga mat! Twice!
No Touchy The Mat!
Stunned, she couldn’t even respond, especially when the newbie returned the same way. She pulled me aside this morning to tell me about it. It took most of the practice for her to get into her groove, she was so angry. She relayed the double jeopardy saying my other client told him in in no uncertain terms to get off of her mat.
I occasionally step on clients’ mats to help them with alignment, but I’ve never, in all of my years of yoga (and there are plenty) had someone else walk across my mat.
There are a lot of articles out there about good mat etiquette, mostly devoted to keeping it clean, staggering your spacing so more people can find room, not coming in late, not leaving early, blah blah blah. In all of my searching, I found a lone single article stating what seems to be common sense.
Don’t step on someone else’s mat without permission. Feet, people!