Monday, January 30, 2012


I don't like Yoga. There, I said it. I wish I did, but I don't. I keep trying Yoga, but dislike it. It may be because I'm doing it incorrectly, or just because I'm not flexible. I think part of it may be the foreign words. I'm not sure why, but regardless of the cause, I find that yoga makes me lightheaded and I don't enjoy that. Is that lightheaded feeling the mind-body connection they talk about? It just feels like dizziness to me.

The sun salutation vinyasa sequence of poses has me moving around so much that I want to throw up. Plus, my tightest muscles are my hamstrings and it seems like having flexible hamstrings is the key to every pose in that series of movements. I am also flat-footed, which make the poses where I balance on one leg difficult. I find the fact that I'm not flat-chested to get in the way at times, too. Literally.

Unfortunately for me, yoga is so beloved by the fitness industry that it is hard to avoid. Even things that are touted as "stretching" have yoga, but without the name. That doesn't mean they don't use yoga terms during the session, they just don't use it in the title.

This post feels like a confession to me. Yoga is so ubiquitous that I feel pressured to partake and enjoy and that I'm a philistine for not liking it. It reminds me of that time in college when my friend with the awesome and obscure musical tastes confessed to liking a song by Paula Abdul. He has since gone on to say, "Never apologize for a favorite song. If you like a song, like a song. Don't let anybody tell you what to like."

It turns out that I'm not alone in my dislike of yoga. People are starting to speak out. The NY Times had an article called "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" Which is adapted from a forthcoming book "The Science of Yoga" This is a different reason for disliking yoga, though. The people in the article are mostly long-time instructors who became injured, not novices who disliked the practice. I also found some amusing items online about hatred of yoga.

I think I need to follow his my friend's advice, but applied to fitness. I love running, cycling and weightlifting. I haven't played in ages, but I love tennis. I don't really like swimming, even though I took years of lessons. I don't like yoga. I am willing to give it another chance, but think I need an individual instructor first. Maybe that would help me overcome my unfamiliarity with it. Until then, I will avoid yoga poses and go back to old-fashioned stretching exercises. I feel better for having admitted my dislike of yoga publicly. It's like a weight has been lifted.

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