The people closest to me would likely agree that I have a streak of cynicism in me. While I’ve tried to temper it over the years, I’m not sure it will ever go away. Overall, I’m very skeptical (or disdainful as some might say) of other people. Somehow, in spite of that, I’ve discovered that I enjoy yoga. It’s not that I’ve gulped down the Kool-Aid and given up my cynicism, but I’ve found that it is one of the few forms of exercise that doesn’t bore me to tears while simultaneously clearing my mind. I particularly enjoy the meditative aspect of yoga, though I’m not sure its changed my opinion of other people.
For example, I once took a class where the teacher began to chant, without warning, during the mediation period at the end of the class. Instead of being able to clear my mind, my brain kept screaming, “shutupshutupshutupshutupholyshitpleaseshutthefuckup.” The experience was so bad that it chased me away for two years. Between being a generally nonathletic 40 year old man, the weird new age overtones of many yoga teachers/classes, and the general confusion over what goes on in classes with foreign names and vague descriptions, yoga can be incredibly intimidating for the inexperienced.
For the try-out class I took just before Christmas, several very experienced yoga pros were lined up on the back wall when I arrived (they must have gotten there 30 minutes early). They were all chanting and mumbling and wearing weird yoga beanies. During the class some of them were snorting like bulls. They’re like peacocks screaming, look at me, I fit into the yoga community. While I find this frustrating, my plan is to play some loud Rolling Stones on the way to class to get into a good head space and do my best to ignore them. As a very wise person (my wife) told me, yoga is meant to be a solitary pursuit toward your own enlightenment not some communal ideal.
Here’s to 2013 not sucking!