Yoga for Clumsy Idiots
Is it possible to engage in yoga without becoming a Yoga Person?
I once spent a month in Thailand, where I met a wonderful woman in a club. We danced, we talked, we laughed, we kissed, we danced some more, and then she asked if I wanted to go back to her hotel. I said yes, and she led me outside and down an alley, where a man jumped out and tried to stab me.
That is more or less how my life has worked. I find something I love, think it’s great, and then follow it down a dark alley. This is what happened with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and Amazon Prime Day. For some reason, I thought yoga would be different.
I made the decision to start because of my Uncle Bob. Bob likes to get drunk and make bets with people on whether he can lift his big toe to his ear. He does this at every party. This, and handing people his fake two front teeth mid-conversation. Without fail, when he finishes his toe-to-ear trick, he always laughs and cheers, “Yoga, baby!”
Before they invented weighted blankets, my spirit animal was pasta water. Before that, no one cared what anyone’s spirit animal was.
There is a simple reason why people often take this bet: He doesn’t look the part. When people think “Yoga,” they think of a slim vegan hunk on a cliff doing Sparrow poses to meditation music. They do not imagine a paunchy, drunk, sixtysomething-year-old lawyer without his front teeth hopping up and down with one toe in his ear, laughing his ass off like it’s the Fourth of July.
This time, he’d done it to my brother’s new girlfriend.
He’d made it halfway. My cousin, who’d seen this trick dozens of times, came through the crowd asking people what their spirit animal is. It was my turn. “Elephant,” I told her. It was a lie. When people ask me this, I tell them something cool like leopard, giraffe, or elephant, but in reality, I think: a weighted blanket. Before they invented weighted blankets, my spirit animal was pasta water. Before that, no one cared what anyone’s spirit animal was. Nowadays, the question is inescapable; it has become the cultural-appropriation party favor for any self-respecting gathering of white people.