Monday, April 5, 2010

The Yoga Rant

When you don’t have kids yet, you imagine all the amazing little things you’ll shape them into and how they’ll be these more perfect versions of you. Then you have them and it is all just stumbling around and coping with who they actually are – there is no shaping. I thought Hannah would be this funky little soccer player with her red hair and the attitude that goes along with it. Instead, I think partially to defy me, she hates soccer with a passion and is into yoga.

I watched her stroll around the field looking at the dandelions for a whole season of soccer and realized that when I started bribing her with a dollar to touch the ball even three times during practice – and that she couldn’t even do that – that I was going to have to open my mind on this one a bit. Okay, so something else. We are all our own individual selves, after all. We tried skating, we tried swimming, we tried ballet. All were temporary fixes. But Hannah’s 3rd grade teacher, who was endlessly frustrated with her learning disability, her ‘slow processing’, said only one positive thing I can remember during the whole year: “ Hannah is really into yoga.” Apparently in P.E. they had a segment on it, and unlike every other activity involving a ball or running, Hannah didn’t suck at it. So this is where my kid shines. Does it have to be yoga? I am not only NOT into yoga, but almost sort of against it.

My friend, one of the millions of women in the Western Hemisphere who have gotten sucked into yoga – sent me an email page from her yoga teacher’s online journal. She said “I love this ‘happy‘ issue so I can’t resist foisting my yoga woo-woo on you.” What’s a woo-woo? Is it a yoga thing? It doesn’t sound good. She knows I am sceptical. She also knows Hannah loves yoga. I look at the issue: there’s a picture of a bony ass young thing, smiling (why are they always smiling? It’s just stretching. This is perhaps why I am sceptical) and talking about happiness. It says: BE HAPPY RIGHT NOW. Then underneath: “This week, break negative thought patterns and focus on the positive. Stop waiting for happiness to find you and make the choice to be happy, grateful and content in every moment.” (bolding hers.) Wait just a minute. Every moment? When I’m cleaning out the cat litter? When I’m fishing clogged hair out of the bathtub drain? Impossible. I know that woman is smiling in the picture, but I think it’s because they put some food down in front of her, and then took that snapshot right before they let her eat some lunch. She doesn’t look happy, she looks HUNGRY. I just can’t buy the sorta spiritual, breathy fakeness that accompanies everything about yoga. But my kid loves it.

The only yoga class I can find for kids her age is for parents and children. Since it is on Sunday mornings, I can’t go. Mercifully, I am coaching soccer for my other daughter at that time. I sign up Steve. He raises his eyebrows at me, but he goes, because he does anything for those girls – plays Barbies, hosts tea parties for the dolls – he really puts me to shame.

Of course he is the only dad there. The teacher is about 22 and her name is Skyler. (Red flag right there, I think.) Every week he kinda balks at going, and I cajole him into it, by saying, there must be yummy yoga mummies there, right? Apparently the 22 year old Skyler is quite the dish. At the end of the course, Hannah hugs Skyler goodbye and asks to sign up again. Next year she wants to do a whole year long yoga course.

I sigh. That’s breathing, right? That’s about as close as I’ll get to yoga.

Side note: I am not a moron, and that is to say I do like the clothes that go with yoga. I own a Lululemon hoodie. I resisted for the longest time, but that damn thing is the most comfortable item of clothing to ever be created. And yoga pants are great too. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate wearing this yoga stuff all the time. (Or perhaps I should say in every moment.) No one deserves to be that constantly comfortable. It’s like trying to be happy all the time. It just doesn't work.


  1. I feel so... happy! The next time we 'Friday', I'll try extolling the benefits of healthy eating and a good night's sleep, to provide inspiration for future posts :)

  2. I GET what you're saying. I'm not a fan of the breathing...OM...listen to yourshelf BS, so not me, but when Lulu gave us free access to youga for the 17 days of the Olympics
    I went to my first ever yoga class....... skeptically, I mean I wouldn't have paid to go, and guess what - I LIKED it.

    I was surprised too. I stretched muscles I didn't know I had, I sweated and I was crazy sore the next day. Only wish they offered the beginner class more often. Since the freebies ended I'm just waiting for the new YMCA to open for free classes with membership.