(A boring post about) yoga

The duck told me “after all those recent mentions of yoga” to “just dedicate a whole post to it already to get it out of your system” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). So, this one’s entirely on the duck!

I’ve remarked that, in addition to accidental outside photography yoga, I had been doing regular simple at-home (pretend-)yoga for more than two years. It’s also no secret that I used to have an unfounded aversion to “slow exercise” (or any kind of unnecessary exercise, really) that got amplified by the suggestion I do yoga, simply because it’s feminine. Before I get into another rant about figurative pigeonholes, here’s how I went from “yoga, schmoga” to “but first… let me do some yoga!” (don’t cue the house music, please):

Five phases

The skeptical phase: I don’t think I was ever an active person. Most of my favorite activities were/are sedentary, and occasional attempts at being more active would rarely last longer than a few months. Even now, I tend to get sick days after starting or getting back into regular exercise. During my active periods, I never considered yoga because I thought it was too “boring.” After the unwelcome suggestion that I do yoga for what I considered a stupid reason, my resolve only grew stronger.

The curious phase: I was adamant about not changing my mind about yoga. Then, weirdly, over a short period, several people asked me if I did yoga because they mistook my calm laziness for a poised serenity. I got curious and considered listening to the duck who had always been indifferent toward yoga stereotypes and thought it was worth looking into. Maybe yoga would actually suit me because, apparently, I already acted like someone who practices it.

The starting phase: There was a time when I couldn’t do any strenuous exercise. Because I was in the middle of an active period when this happened, I didn’t want to stop altogether. So, I gave in and looked for some free beginners’ at-home yoga videos as a “milder” form of exercise that wouldn’t let my current physical motivation go to waste. I found Yoga with Adriene‘s Yoga For Beginners and Foundations videos and practiced to a new one most days. Even though I was terrible at it, I didn’t hate yoga.

The obsessive phase: After I had started a (semi-)regular yoga practice, I discovered Adriene’s most recent 30-day yoga challenge and began practicing yoga every day. I lived yoga: I breathed more consciously (what some mistook for annoyed sighs sometimes), tried to stand grounded when I waited for my train, sat cross-legged a lot, and took my travel yoga mat with me whenever I’d be away for more than a few days. I was happy to confirm that “yes, I do yoga.”

The routine phase:
Now that yoga has become part of my daily routine (I can be obsessive about habits), I don’t think about it much anymore. As a side effect, a lot of my yoga-in-everyday-life behavior has subsided. I even get asked why my posture is so bad, ha! While I still do simple yoga most days, I allow myself to take a break if life gets busy. Fortunately, my mind has no trouble getting back into it after some time away (my body needs a few days/weeks, though). I’m still practicing to the same type of videos I started with, and I can’t really do any advanced postures. But I don’t mind that because “yoga is my kind of meditation” (is how I rationalized guided meditation being incredibly hard for me). I guess it’s time to go back to that “beginner’s mind” that my favorite YouTube yoga instructor mentions in her videos. I don’t think I feel the need to progress to intermediate yoga or attend any in-person classes (for now). I’m just happy to have found a way to keep my lazy, sedentary body from becoming too lazy and sedentary.

The duck has been my cheerleader ever since I started doing (pretend-)yoga. In fact, the duck has developed a routine around either joining me when I try to do yoga or sitting back to watch me look nothing like an actual yogi.

Have you ever tried yoga? What kind of exercise comes the easiest to you? Have you ever done a 180 on a thing (an activity/hobby/media/food/etc.) you thought you’d never try/do/consume?

4 thoughts on “(A boring post about) yoga

  1. Nope, Not Pam says:

    I’ve never tried yoga, I’m not very flexible, so I worry I won’t be able to do it. When I was a teenager I hated exercising. I did nothing. Walking from my bedroom to the kitchen was strenuous. Then after I had my kids I put on a lot of weight, tipping the scales at 96kg. My doctor asked if I wanted to live past 50. I started to walk then and cut back my food intake. Slowly I got obsessive about exercising. I’d get up at 4am and exercise for 2 hours before work, then another hour after. It all took its toll though and now I’m back to walking. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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