So I’ve tried yoga. Many times, actually. I tried it years ago and loved it in theory, but it never stuck. Kind of like growing your own wheatgrass – you know you should and you bought a tiny watering can but it’s not enough to just be prepared.
Anyway, I found an amazing teacher on YouTube named Ali Kamenova (such an inviting surname..) who does something called ‘Power Vinyasa’ which must be sanskrit for Holy Balls It Works.
Before Ali, it had never occurred to me that yoga qualified as ‘real’ exercise. You know, with sweating and better legs etc. And before anyone gets mad, yes I know it’s a deep and spiritual, intoxicating, enlightening and addictive experience – we’re getting there. But in the beginning let’s be honest – you choose an exercise based on how far up your back it can get your ass.
I had a consultation with an Ayurvedic Doctor which proved extremely helpful and educational, and as a result of that I found myself googling recommendations for ‘vata’ body types. Apparently pounding cardio wasn’t good for people like me (small, pale, dry and cold.. neato…) so I traded running 20kms a week (which was admittedly caning my knees and hips) for a more ‘grounding’ exercise. But I picked some classes that were ass-oriented, so it didn’t feel like I was sacrificing anything except the creepy guy who breathes on girls in my apartment complex gym.
2wks later I found a lump in my thigh. Turned out to be something called a ‘quadricep’. Benign, and to my relief, supposed to be there. As a bonus, when it got bigger, I looked better in short skirts! It was all coming up Milhouse.
A month after that I did my first successful, faceplant-free tricep push-up. A month after that I could put my knees on my triceps and hold my bodyweight up on my two scrawny wrists. And a month after that I opened up my right hip, and promptly burst into tears.
If you’ve ever researched yoga, you’ve no doubt come across a wealth of information about how transformative it is, how life-changing it is, how people come to find their spiritual and emotional wellness inextricably linked to it. This has a little to do with yoga’s power to open and heal old emotional wounds that the body has stored in the past. People have similar breakthroughs with fasting and colonics, because stirring up physical waste commonly loosens some emotional junk with it.
The body is an amazing thing. Well, most are. Mine is doing the best it can with what it has. Bodies do whatever they can to survive. They store meals in case you’re a bit spastic and get lost in a desert. They make you yawn around boring people so they get offended and leave and you can finally go reheat last week’s pizza already. And they put pain in deep dark places where you don’t have to feel it anymore because feeling it hurts and leftover pizza is a better idea.
So if we leap forward in time to now, because I have the attention span of a doorknob and it’s bedtime, I want to encourage everyone to go try the ‘buy one get one free’ of exercises – the almighty yoga. Because not only will it drag your ass up off the back of your knees, it’ll make you cry a bunch of bullshit out your liver, which makes room for more wine. Non-stop winnery. Nothin’ but gains.
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