Thursday, October 18, 2007

But I Don't Wanna Do Yoga!

You’re on your way to work and you feel like yelling at the meandering crowd before you, “What do you think this is, a mannequin convention? Get a move on!”

But you’re not even driving.
You’re walking.
It’s DC.
And you’re not even late for anything.

That’s when you know you need to release some tension. You need to start working out again.

I’ve often thought the best work-out in the world would be flamenco. You get your diva on and spend hours just stamping your feet. Really loud. But given the astonishing dearth of flamenco studios that allow you to bring crawling babies with, I have to look for something else.

I can't tell you how many times I've been told I should do yoga. Plus, the only places I’ve seen with “Mommy and Baby” workouts are yoga studios. And I’m probably going to call upon my head charges of “unenlightened” and “not understanding what yoga really is,” but…but...I don't wanna do yoga.

What kind of person doesn’t like yoga? That’s like hating animals and small children, isn’t it? I’ve tried it several times. Maybe I just don’t have an open mind. It stresses me out. Plus I know too many ex- friends who practice.

One told me that when he did a certain pose his instructor told him to visualize himself doing a good deed. “Did you then go out and actually do the deed?” I asked. No—the point was the affirmation and “feeling” connected through visualization.

Uh, I've got a baby stuck to my breast. I already feel pretty darn connected.

Another told me yoga made him realize that, though we enjoyed stimulating intellectual conversations, our inner children didn’t play very well together. And so he didn’t want to hang out anymore.

I wish I’d told him that his inner child had boogers. What is this, recess?

To be fair, the above-mentioned people would probably get on my nerves if they bowled, fished, or played croquet instead of yoga.

And there is a super-sweet woman in my building who always holds the door open for me and helps me with the stroller, yoga mat tucked under her arm. When she smiles at us, she smiles at US, not at herself helping us.

Still, you don’t see people doing Pilates on Times Square to model what world peace would look like (while, at the same time, NOT engaging in a publicity stunt).

Consider the names of yoga studios near me: “tranquil space,” “Inspired,” “Free to Be,” “goddess,” “Joyous Life Energy Center,” “Laughing Lotus.” And really, who doesn’t want to be peaceful or joyous or energetic or alive? Who doesn’t want to laugh?

To be shallow and materialistic for a moment, those names just don’t say work out--W-O-R-K out--to me.

I don’t want to work on my soul or my personality or my inner child or world peace or inner peace when I exercise. I don’t want to get to know me better or to become a better person.

When I exercise, I just want to tone my abs and let off steam.

Is that so wrong, so misguided?

Until I find something else, I’m lifting baby a zillion times a day so she can “jump-jump” on my lap, which she loves. That should tone my biceps so my arms don’t jiggle when I lecture. I’m doing the peek-a-boo sit up, which at least makes her laugh, and which should firm up something.

Or maybe I should just get a week of sleep.


Ima Shalom said...

I know just what you mean. When I try to do yoga or even tai chi I get all stressed out by the inner peace I'm supposed to be feeling! But I'm told some of the gyms in these parts have pretty reasonable babysitting.

lsw said...

I'm biased, but DC has some good fencing clubs, and if jabbing someone in the chest doesn't let off steam, I don't know what will. Plus it's a GREAT workout with the added benefit of usually having a few fencing moms willing to keep an eye on a little one.

carly said...

Go to Tranquil Space---take one of Rob's classes! Don't be a hater until you lick your own sweat upside down and balancing on your arms. I swear, they should rename some of these yoga studios---like Kick Your Ass yoga!

Samantha said...

Hey, I think that the worse thing any Yoga class can do is put pressure on its students. Yoga should be fun and there isn't anything wrong with you if you are not feeling "peace" while you are doing it. Often people struggle with their feeling for years only to discover that they were never to feel anything in particular when practicing anything at all.
I say if you like it do it and if you do not you definitely shouldn't!

Maya said...

Thanks everyone! This is all really helpful.