Yoga: Today’s Four Letter Word

In my younger days if you were to ask me about yoga I would have immediately responded with “well, he’s smarter than your average bear and loves picnic baskets, but why he wore a hat and tie but no pants I have no idea”.  As I got a little older, a little wiser and honestly a little stiffer (hah, stiff) yoga became something a little more up my alley.  At its core, yoga is a series of physical postures which are meant to purify the body and improve physical strength and stamina.

I’ve tried gym memberships, workout videos, cross-fit, hell I’ve even tried following along with Olivia Newton-John in her “Physical” music video and all I ended up getting was mildly aroused.  For my lifestyle as I’m approaching age 29 (for like the 19th time) I find that yoga gives me the most bang for my buck.

If you do a quick google search looking for all the health benefits of yoga you can get about 53,200,000 results like I did. Let me save you the trouble and tell you my top 5 benefits I’ve gotten from yoga and I just started a few weeks ago.

1.  Flexibility: My hubby and I love to role play in the bedroom. Our go-to game is “The Inappropriate Mortician” and I have locked in the role of the dead body. I love it since I have no lines and I get to just lie there, but lately he’s been putting a mirror under my nose to make sure I’m still breathing. Since starting my yoga practice I’ve become more flexible which means either I start playing the role of the mortician or I’m gonna start banging him like a porn star.

2.  Lost Weight/Body Toning: I like yoga because it feels like the lazy person’s workout. I go at my own pace (I’m still a beginner), I don’t leave the yoga studio feeling like I fell down a flight of stairs and my clothes are starting to fit me better. In the class, my body definitely shakes so I know it’s doing something but I’m not in excruciating pain either. So it’s either working or else I’m evolving into a vibrator.

3.  Patience: I’m a busy mom with two kids, two dogs and a hubby who instantly appears right behind me whenever I drop something. So to borrow one of his favorite expressions “I have a lot of balls in the air” (it’s ok, I laugh every time too).  I’d like to say I’m an overall patient person but even I lose my shit from time to time, as we all do.  One minute I’m fine and then my kids start bickering and I turn into Mel Gibson at a traffic stop.  They’re so used to my short fuse that I caught my little one rolling her eyes when I started yelling. Since starting yoga, I stop, take a few deep breaths and talk softly to my kids in that calm, monotone, holy shit sort of way and at least for the time being it’s getting me better results.

4. Helps with Other Aches and Pains: For years I’ve been waking up to the game show called “What Hurts Today?”. Neck has always been a strong contestant and Right Shoulder always loves to make an appearance but the long standing champion has been Lower Back.  One doctor said it was from carrying my kids, I explained to him that unfortunately they don’t yet know how to fly and I didn’t have a wife, so I was out of options…idiot.  Once they were both strong walkers I never carried them on my hip again so that wasn’t it.  Another doctor told me it was from carrying a heavy purse.  I explained that I had a separate duffel bag for carrying the severed heads of quack doctors and they’re much lighter than you’d think. (Honestly, I carry my cell phone and maybe a lip gloss in my purse so that wasn’t it).  Crackpot number 3 thought it was from my tilted pelvis.  I told him it’s always been that way, that sounded like the name of a bar, and now I wanted a drink.  I’m not claiming that yoga has magically healed my aching back but since I started doing yoga the back pain has gone away. Coincidence…maybe. But I had strange popping hip thing that went away too. I’m convinced it’s all the stretching in yoga so I’m going to stick with it and hope I can someday rename my morning show to “What’s Amazing Today” with contestants like Spontaneous Orgasms and Silent Farts That Smell Like Flowers.

5.  Mindfulness: If you’ve been a reader/listener of mine for any amount of time then you’re probably no stranger to my mantra of “Live in the moment”. I always thought this was one of those overused bumper sticker expressions like “Live, Laugh, Love”, “Ex-Wife In Trunk”, “My Other Ride Is Your Mom”, “Condoms Prevent Minivans” or my favorite “Dance Like Your Vagina is on Fire” but it’s got a valid point. We’re so busy trying to get the next thing done, cross shit off our list, get the most out of our day that we forget to enjoy the crap we’re in the middle of doing. I catch myself all the time playing with my kids, watching a show, doing everyday stuff thinking about the next thing I have to do. In yoga, I’m concentrating so hard on breathing the right way, trying to stand on one leg, positioning my heart center that I totally forget what I’m trying to do later. It forces me to be mindful and concentrate on just being where I am. I admit it takes me a good 10 minutes at the start of class to get into this mindset but I get there.

I’ll leave you with the saying “Slow and steady wins the race”…a great mentality for yoga but a horrible bumper sticker to see on the car in front of you.

You know…unless you’re a turtle getting laid, then all bets are off.





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