Mat under my armpits, thong stuck in my bum
“yoga on”, in a room heated like a furnace,
I curl myself into a pretzel and hope that from me,
there is no strong smell of chewing gum
I gaze in wonder to the head of the class
There is a (wo)man so beautiful, who with ease
Twists and turns, and yet does not break
But manages to make me feel so like an ass.
Yoga is not just about the physical
It’s where I connect with not just
the body, but the mind and the spirit
It’s more than the body, it is mystical.
Obsess about photos, obsess about the body
It’s not about quantity, but quality
Letting them pull you, push you, stretch you
Claiming this is the way to more flexibility!
We name, fragment, try to make it accessible,
Vinyasa, Bikram, Yin, Iyengar, Integral,
SUP, Acro, Therapeutic, Pre and Post Natal,
But yoga is more, even more than transcendental.
Wax eloquent about norms, postures, breathing, withdrawal,
Concentration, meditation; the pinnacle is Ecstasy
Says the enraptured yogi ‘Not this, not this,
Not even this is the goal’ – that is the key.
Up and then down, twist and then stretch,
My muscles scream with lactic acid
I am really doing this! I think, but then,
Suddenly, loudly, out comes a squelch.
Let’s stop calling each other “yogi”, I plead,
Practice and practice, so then what are we?
Being a yogi is a huge responsibility
A Sādhakā, an aspirant, it’s ok to be.
With thoughts like this streaming through my mind
I try and get comfortable and lie down, unwind.
Gentle music playing, singing the lord’s name
I don’t want to play, this not-for-me game.
Finally, as I prepare myself to sit
I wriggle my fingers, toes and shake my head
I turn over to my side, lie down on my mat and decide
Enough! I will have no more of this shit!
As I rise from my stupor, I think I understand
That yoga is not only the headstand, the handstand
That is only one-eighth of the sutras of yoga
The knowing, it is essential, the union, true Yoga.