I have to thank List of X for this post. He sent me a link to an article about a politician who thinks Yoga could “open individuals to Satan”. That’s good, because you know how much Satan hates picking locks. Haha, yeah I’m not kidding. In fact here’s the link. It gets better. This guy, E.W. Jackson, is actually the Virginia GOP candidate for lieutenant governor.
Let me take this moment, Virginians, to thank you for temporarily taking the place of Texas as stupidest state in the union.
I have to hand it to this guy. He does insane really well. So much so that quotes from his book (yes of course he wrote a book) Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life were pasted up on the conservative website The National Review. When The National Review makes fun of you, that’s a bad sign, man.
Still, I thank him, because without him, I would still be ignorant of the Truth about Yoga. Jackson says you should beware of “emptying yourself” with yoga. I don’t think I’ve ever emptied myself with yoga. That sounds rather unsanitary. Still, he warns against this because Satan “is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it.” I think you’re a little confused there, buddy. It’s not your soul that’s the empty vacuum, it’s your brain.
He adds “this is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to.” Really? Does this mean I could be serving Satan right now? With my Downward Dog? Hey, Satan, check out my butt!
Jackson also thinks that “most people are dead spirits.” That would be the voting public, right? He might have a point there, especially if they vote for him. I was intrigued by Mr. Jackson, so followed the link back to The National Review where Betsy Woodruff took delight in posting up these tidbits from this amazing book. Thanks, Betsy, cause there’s even more fun to be had here.
He warns us that the end times are near, and I believe he might be right because he both managed to write a book and run for political office. But a few more things have to happen first. In his words “Part of what must happen during this period of great harvest for the kingdom of God is a massive wealth transfer. It is not going to happen by theft or governmental policy. It is going to happen supernaturally. Those invested in God’s market are going to reap a windfall. Make up your mind now to buy in.”
Wow. I am excited, yet confused. I mean, I certainly want to rake in the dough as it sayeth in the Bible, but I didn’t realize we could buy stock in God. When is this wealth transfer taking place? Silly me, I thought it already had, as 1 percent of our nation holds the majority of the wealth already. Maybe he means that this wealth is going to be transferred to us poor people? This makes sense, really, if you consider the Rapture. Since so many wealthy people also believe themselves God’s elite, then maybe when they are yanked up into Heaven, all this money will just be layin’ around for us. Don’t forget they’ll be leaving their Ralph Lauren duds as well. We are going to be rich and stylin’, folks.
Satan, get thee behind me, cause I’m waitin’ for my windfall. While you’re back there, can you tell me if my butt looks big in these yoga pants?
P.S. And another thing, Satan. Please explain to me Mr. E.W. Jackson, because I’m fairly sure you have something to do with this moron.
One of the things I’ve learned from yoga is the importance of posture. Turns out if you slump, this does negative things to your back. So THAT explains Quasimodo. I bet that bell tower he lived in was not ergonomically correct.
I know for sure my desk isn’t. It’s from the 1970s, back when computers still filled up a room and no one dreamed we’d all be working on one that could fit on a desk. So we have these old desks with no pull out tray and somehow my wrists have not taken this very well. Whereas I used to cramp after writing a letter, now I cramp when I type for an extended period of time. This is BAD. I mean, maybe not for some of you who are saying for the love of GAWD pleeze stop with the 50 Shades. But without writing, I think my head might explode.
Back to posture. See, posture affects everything. Bad posture can make it hard to breathe, can mess up your back, your neck, your head, your butt, your legs, and of course your wrists. Carpal tunnel, man, it sucks especially when people leave scalpels in your body. With my luck, that would happen if I had surgery. I’d have a knife in me, or worse, a cell phone and I’d keep getting that doctor’s phone calls and wonder what that strange ringing noise in my stomach was and and I’d finally go totally insane.
So posture is important. This is where yoga comes in – it shows you how to have good posture. In mountain pose, you’re supposed to stand firm – like a mountain. Which is tall and firm. Unless there is, like, an avalanche. This happens to me on the yoga mat sometimes. And obviously posture is important while sticking your butt in the air during Downward Dog. Although turns out this is killer on your wrists. Who knew, what with balancing all your weight on them and all. Yet yoga teachers are OBSESSED with Downward Dog. You have to wonder about yoga teachers sometimes.
So I’m trying to get all ergonomic, as much as I’m able. I stuck my monitor on a phone book to make it more level. And I adjusted my chair, though my chair was probably made in the 80s back when aerobics was king and no one gave a damn about posture as long as you jumped a lot and wore spandex. So my chair sucks too, ergonomically speaking. I’ve been typing nonsense for a while now and guess what? Cramp. What to do, what to do. I KNOW! A video!
This is one of the best videos ever – at least it is when made fun of by the MST3K robots. If you’ve never watched these guys rip bad movies apart, you really should. And they’re even funnier on old shorts from the 40s and 50s. This short is the exciting story of a teacher who spends an entire week teaching posture. The kids who do the best become king, queen, prince, or princess of posture! Don’t knock it, you guyz. I was actually elected Queen of Posture back in 3rd grade and it looks awesome on a college application.
So anyhoo, sit back and enjoy and be happy we are no longer back in the good ole’ days.
I saw a book the other day entitled Yoga for Children (actually there are several on Amazon.com right now) and I had to laugh. Seriously? A book teaching kids how to do yoga? Don’t they realize that children pretty much invented yoga? I have a strong suspicion ancient yogis came up with this stuff by watching their kids. “Huh, so my son is standing on his head while doing the splits and eating Twinkies. Maybe I should try that and teach it to others to promote spiritual enlightenment.”
But here we have people thinking we have to teach our kids this stuff. Have kids changed that much with all the electronics? I don’t know. My kids certainly loved tumbling around and standing on their heads, or lying upside down on the couch with their heads touching the floor. Another favorite was jumping, crawling, and lying on me, their very favorite prop. I did the same thing, only upped it about a dozen notches. I enjoyed tumbling toward the television (this was when TVs came in big cabinets that sat on the floor and if you wanted to change the channel you had to get off your butt and pull a KNOB it was the dark ages truly!) Anyway, I gave my mother quite a few heart attacks with that, but never did fly into the T.V.
I also didn’t fall off the roof, but not from lack of trying. Once, a friend and I climbed up on the roof. Brilliant children that we were, we didn’t think about how my parents might hear us clambering around out there and realize we weren’t giant mutant squirrels. I remember them yelling and being in BIG TROUBLE but not the specific punishment. I didn’t do it again, though. Well, not on my own house anyway.
I did like being upside down. I performed headstands up against the wall. I hung off of jungle gyms and monkey bars. I watched T.V. in “plow pose”, “pigeon pose”, “downward dog”, various forward bends, backward bends, and combinations of these ancient yoga postures. Who knew I was doing yoga? Also, to all those who think T.V. makes one sedentary. Pfft.
But these days we have to teach it to kids? I can’t find the image now, but somewhere I saw a child doing, ironically, child’s pose. It cracked me up. The poor kid looked bushed. Like, what, had he been at the Lego Star Wars too long? If so, shouldn’t he be doing some sort of carpal tunnel treatment? Even weirder are pictures of children meditating. On what? “Oh, wow, like that last Dora the Explorer really gave me a paradigm shift there. I must think on this.”
I only wish I could have the limberness of my childhood without the total lack of fear or sanity. Back when I was a kid, I was immortal, therefore I did not worry about breaking bones like my arm or my leg or my neck. I was mostly made of rubber. Not so much now. And now is when I need it. Perhaps I can go to my local preschool and find a child guru. I already know they have nice mats for naptime.
What about your kids? Are they yoga gurus too, or do we really need these books?
Last week I learned that there was a yoga studio in my home town. I was surprised, as generally the height of culture here in my small Texas town is going to a gun show. It had an interesting name, though. They called it “Christian Yoga”.
Alice was curious.
It cost ten bucks, so I figured at the very least I’d get an amusing anecdote for my blog out of it. I admit a bit of trepidation. I mean, why “Christian” Yoga? As opposed to what? Islamic Yoga? Jewish Yoga? Scientologist Yoga? I mean, I’m fairly certain Yoga is not relegated to any one religion. My best guess is that they were trying to assure Christians that they wouldn’t be converted to some weird foreign and possibly Satanic religion while contorting into various positions. That’s just silly. I mean, why would you think Yoga would do something bizarre like that?
Oh. Right. Okay, so I went in expecting just about anything. Would there be creepy dead Jesus crosses on the wall? Because regular crosses are not so bad, but when he’s hanging off them like that, it kind of weirds me out. There were no crosses. No big posters with sappy biblical sayings. Okay. I relax a little. There’s a nice lady teacher, and she’s cool with me being a little late despite speeding all the way there with my hands clenched on the steering wheel. Yeah, I know the irony there.
There were only four other students, and most of them looked older than I did. Score. I figure I can do as well as they can. Or better. I have at least tried out a few videos. There’s a wall of mirrors on the opposite wall, like in a dance class. It’s convenient in that we can see ourselves as we pose. It’s also horrific. I make sure to move into the center of one mirror, as otherwise I look twice as big as I am. That’s not relaxing.
We start out lying on our mats. I brought my extra cushy one. It’s way cushier than the mats of the other students. Poor saps. While we’re lying there with our eyes closed, the teacher reads a one sentence verse from the Bible. “Thou must not poke thy neighbor’s eye out” or something like that. But that’s it. Then we’re ready to begin with sun salutations. She adds a few different words to it, like when we open our arms we are opening “to grace”. Just in case we thought we were worshipping the sun. We’re just saluting it, so it’s cool.
As it turns out, cushy mat might not have been the best idea. While it helps my knees on the lunges, my feet keep sinking into it and slipping around. I am a drunk Warrior One and Two. But I don’t fall down. I wobble. Like a Weeble. A Weeble doing Yoga. Tree pose is even worse. In Tree pose, you stand on one leg with the other leg bent with your foot on your thigh. I think it’s a lot more like a Flamingo than a tree, but maybe there weren’t very many Flamingos in ancient India. After my tree nearly falls over, I decide to move off the mat and near the wall. Much better.
There’s a lot of movement here. This pose, then this pose, and then this pose, and back to this pose. She has to move my leg around a few times. I have forgotten left from right and where my knees are. But she moves a few other people too, so it’s not just me. I can probably still get my A out of this. Wait. No grades. Stop it, Alice. A competition, Yoga is not. Says Yoga. Yoda. Crap. She’s moving again, keep up!
Yoga is just full of these awkward poses. One is Downward Dog. If you think like a ten-year-old, as I do, that name probably makes you snort. Until you try it. Basically you get on all fours and stick your butt way in the air. Very dignified like. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right or not. Is there a proper way to point your butt? Are the others pointing their butts properly? In my position, I can’t see if I’m still the best.
Not that this is a competition. After a while, I start sweating. And we’re not even doing hot Yoga. People think Yoga is wimpy exercise. These people have not tried it. Just try doing the “Triangle” for instance. Your legs are wide apart and you are leaning over with one arm up in the air. Holding these poses is tough. I just hope to God there isn’t a pose called the Hexagon coming up.
But so far, I’m doing pretty well. At least I think I am, until I look over and realize the teacher and the rest of the class are doing the pose exactly opposite of the way I’m doing the pose. Suddenly I’m that one little ballerina that’s off doing her own thing while the other ballerinas are all lined up like tiny dolls. I guess it could be worse. At least I didn’t lift my skirt over my head like my Thing One did at her first dance recital. She did have the excuse of being four-years-old, though.
At long last, we’re allowed to go back to our mats, vertebrae by vertebrae. As in, don’t flop your butt down on the mat. I’m not sure if I hit each vertebrae in my spine. Is that points off? There are no points, Alice. The teacher walks around and hands us blankets and bolsters. This is the easy part here. Corpse pose. That’s a really spooky name for a pose. Like we’re dead. I prefer to call it collapsing from exhaustion pose.
Yet this easy pose is really not all that easy. My back hurts. She offers me a chair to prop my legs in. Better, except I don’t think I’d fit in a coffin very well that way. I try to relax, but like in Kindergarten when they told us to nap and we didn’t want to nap (why???), I find myself having a difficult time relaxing. Breathe in, breathe out. It is nice lying there in the dark, eyes closed. You can even get a bean bag to put over your eyes to block out the light. No word on whether we get to do bean bag tosses later.
Too soon, nap time’s over and we have to get up. We sit together and have tea. Yes, Alice has a tea party after Yoga. Naturally. Will I go back? I think so. I like Yoga, even with the wobbling and the wtf poses. And the STUFF. I mentioned stuff before, right? I’ll tell you more about Yoga merchandizing next time.
Check out these other cool Yoga posts from my peeps in da bloggerhood:
Miss Four Eyes – The People You Meet at Yoga
Rarasaur – Blogging is Like Yoga
Carrie Rubin – Yoga Yoda Helps Me Find My Ergonomic Zen