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The Villaj Idiut: The joys - and stresses - of yoga

I have a confession to make: I do yoga. Hot yoga.

Yoga is a hilarious paradox. While it is supposed to be the most spiritual, existential, philosophical discipline there is, it is also shockingly stressful.

But before I get into the nuances of yoga, can I just say: Whoever came up with Lululemon should be named Ruler of the Galaxies.

Lululemon is probably the greatest invention since, well, since nothing. There literally has never been a greater invention than Lululemon.

I don’t know how they do it, but Lululemon can make a 95-year-old spinster look like Megan Fox. If Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held a summit at a Lululemon store, there would be world peace.

I have to say, I really like Lululemon. But not as much as I like the last two minutes of a yoga class – final Savasana. For the uninitiated, you grind through 58 minutes of turning yourself into a convulsing pretzel to get to the final two minutes of the most peaceful bliss, where you lay on your back and let your mind become one with the universe. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just roll into class with three minutes left, stretch for 60 seconds and then grab a little Savasana. If it works out right, Savasana can be cosmic.

Savasana is a little slice of heaven – except, of course, when the instructor decides she is going to talk through the first minute and 50 seconds of it.

Do you know how hard it is to relax when somebody is telling you to relax? “Relax. Tell yourself you are a good person. Find your inner sanctum. Let the winds of the world sweep through the branches of your precious life and tickle your leaves like a hummingbird. Relax. Just relax.”

By the time she is done telling me to relax, I am so angry I want to suplex somebody – likely the guy who rolled in and took his shirt off two minutes in. And there’s always a guy who takes his shirt off two minutes in.

Here’s a little tip from your Uncle Frankie: If you are, say, girthy, and have too much hair on your back – which is to say, one hair – do not shimmy into a hot yoga class, rip off your shirt, tumble around on your mat and start breathing through your nose like a horse finishing up the Kentucky Derby. That is not Zen; that is just gross.

The other one I like is the “practitioner” who comes into class and decides to do his or her own schedule of poses. In a yoga class, the instructor goes through a series of poses and stretches that have some semblance of a rhythm that is meant to get you to Savasana.

Except when the person on the mat next to you is flipping into a headstand while 20 other people are doing half pigeon, loses her balance and kicks three people in their eyeballs.

If you are going to go to a “class,” then do what the “class” is doing. If you want to flip around on your own, join the circus.

The last thing I find interesting about yoga is that everybody claps at the end. You channel your Savasana, you say a little Namaste, and then everybody breaks into applause like we just won the World Yoga Championship.

I can never figure out if we are clapping for the instructor for doing a good job instructing, clapping for ourselves for being such good yogis, or what. So I just goofily clap along with everybody else and wonder why I’m clapping.

Who knows? Maybe we’re clapping because there is so much Lululemon in the room.

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