This article was written by our friend Ruth Chodniewicz. Ruth is a talented talent with many talents, one of them writing.
Yoga.¬† I have a theory that it’s a fad.¬† Like sushi.¬† Everyone’s hopping on the bandwagon now‚Ä¶ but it will fade.¬† I know, I know.¬† It’s great for spiritual health, mental clarity and physical strength.¬† Don’t need help on the first two‚Ä¶ but I can always use exercise.¬† So, two days ago I reluctantly agreed to attend a yoga class with my friend, Natalie.
We arrive with our rolled-up mats in hand, ready for 75 minutes of strengthening.¬† I made a promise to Natalie beforehand that I would not make her laugh (not on purpose at least).¬† And I tried not to eat any foods that might make me “gassy” that day.¬† (Sorry, no Wendy’s chili until tomorrow.)
The class starts.¬† The typical hippie instructor starts talking about New Year’s resolutions.¬† She asks us to “resolve to find ourselves in our minds and bodies on an ongoing basis.”¬† She has us put our hands on our knees, facing upward, to show our willingness to accept what this class has to offer.¬† I didn’t really hear the rest of her speech, because I was too focused on the gong at the front of the room.¬† Was she really going to use a GONG?!
The stretching begins.¬†¬†Lasts about¬†10 minutes.¬†¬†Then she says, “Let’s lay on our tummies.”¬† So, I lay on my stomach, expecting a stretch of some sort.¬† Downward dog.¬† The plank.¬† Anything!¬† But‚Ä¶ nothing.¬† For 15 minutes.¬† Hippie instructor didn’t even say a word.¬† 15 minutes!
Then I hear in a whispery voice, “Let the gravity pull your limbs down to the earth.”¬† Really?¬† How much closer to the earth can I be.¬† I am kissing the earth.¬† “Let’s try a new position now.”¬† We moved onto our sides.¬† For another 15 minutes.¬† The clincher was when she asked if any of us wanted to be covered with a blanket.¬† I lost it.
It was then that I realized I paid $17 for a nap.¬†¬† Not even a good nap at that.¬† I was completely ripped off, especially considering I get 6-8 hours of “yoga” every night for FREE.¬† In my own bed.¬† On my comfy sheets.¬† And without the creepy, hairy man in the front row making eyes at me.
As you can imagine, the class ended with about 15 minutes of lying on our backs.¬† Afterward, she served us nasty tea and asked me how I felt.¬† “I feel like you just emailed me about a $1.2 million bank transfer that you needed my help with‚Ä¶ and I actually replied to the email.”
I found out later that we took a “restorative yoga” class, which is targeted toward stressed out people that need to rest.¬† An adult nap center?¬† A grown-up kindergarten?¬† Genius.
The question remains: What to do about yoga?¬† Cash in, people.¬†¬†Not by attending–become an instructor.¬† Make money by talking nonsense and covering people with blankets.¬†¬†Added bonus: you can go to work in your sweats and let your hair slowly dread up without worrying what your boss will say. ¬†You answer to the “spirits.”¬†¬†In this economy, we must take action.¬† And by action, I mean completely staying still‚Ä¶ for 75 minutes at a time.