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.


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