Yoga: Don't just do something-sit there
March 30, 2010 - Ron Hart
March 26, 2010
Ron Hart: Yoga: Don’t just do something — sit there
DALTON — Ever since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in their attempt to escape European tyranny (but mostly soccer), we have sought to adopt foreign “activities” we could make our own. Such is the case with yoga, which has swept the affluent areas of this country like Starbucks.
Yoga involves spending lots of money, investing time, and buying designer clothing. These are three things aging yuppies like a lot. Yoga places have about 20 different accoutrements in their studios such as blankets, ropes, and blocks that in total cost about $20. They help distract students from the fact that they just paid $30 for supervised stretching.
Short of adopting a kid from a third-world country, yoga gives guilt-ridden white Americans a sense of oneness with the world, all the while wearing expensive tights sewn by an11-year-old in a Sri Lanka sweatshop.
I do not like working out. And today, there is really no need to when there are so many channels devoted to exercise that you can just watch on basic cable. My idea of a weekend marathon is watching back-to-back-to-back “Seinfeld” episodes on TBS.
Yoga offers men a chance to be spiritual, expand our minds and look at women slowly bending over. It makes us try to show off, quite often obliterating every tendon in our body to do so. And it sharpens the consciousness, teaching us that there is a thin line between sitting there “meditating” as instructed and keeping one eye open to see if that hot girl two rows up is still in the downward facing dog position.
There has been an alarming increase in young women who overuse the word “amazing.” They also like to say “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” My son hears it so much that he has a stock response: “I am not honest, but I find you interesting.”
Yoga is now mandatory for the Obama administration because it helps them as they continually contort their campaign promises and stretch the truth.
It makes us feel more international or Buddhist or something, which seemed to be more in demand before Obama made all foreign countries love us again. Of late, Tiger Woods has re-embraced his Buddhist faith to get him through his trying times. Before that he just was a practicing Booty-ist.
Not that I am advocating choosing one from Column A and two from Column B, but being Buddhist, Hindu or the like just seems less severe than being an evangelical Christian. Plus, you get to do yoga. The whole hard line Christian not being able to “covet your neighbor’s ass” and commandments forbidding nine other human inclinations run contrary to what I have seen of yoga. Like many, I believe in God. I just do not trust most of those on earth who say they work for him.
So it makes sense to hedge my bets by casting a part of my lot with three-quarters of the world’s population and sampling from the buffet of Eastern faiths. I used to have a male friend who regularly lays offerings at the altar of various Asian massage spas around the country, mostly when they travel. Worshipping this way often allows them to meet important locals, like the mayor and police chief.
Yoga is pretty much just stretching with a tutor and is whiter than a Tea Party gathering. But Madison Avenue, emboldened by the fact that the spread of inner-city basketball allowed it to sell $225 sneakers to kids who could not afford them, sees limitless possibilities in duping the even more gullible suburbanites who actually have money into buying $150 workout gear T-shirts.
Women mostly wear this expensive sports get-up to carpool and Publix, and the garments purport to be amazing. Supposedly, the Nike Dri-FIT shirt pulls the sweat away from you so that you can wear it for days without smelling bad. It is the same product my football camp roommate thought he had 30 years ago.
Kidding aside, I do like yoga. Where else can a man go and watch good-looking and limber women in skimpy outfits bend over in front of him and not have to shuck out dollar bills?
A syndicated libertarian op-ed humorist, Hart’s columns appear in 40 papers nationwide. His book, No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler, is available at RonaldHart.com.