A salesman's ability to stretch the truth when pitching a service or product is one of their greatest assets. They'll tell you all the finer points that you want to hear while leaving out the details they consider to be rather trivial. Sometimes that ignorance is bliss; other times it means coming extremely close to shooting your own balls off. "Caveat emptor," right? But when it comes to exercise and the human body, you might want to pay a little bit more attention to the warning label than you would on, let's say, a tube of modeling glue. Aside from the benefits of yoga listed in my previous post, it has also been touted as a memory enhancer, a boast to brain function, a way to heal carpal tunnel syndrome, and even increase creativity. Now take a look at what they don't tell you.
1. You Will Fart
First, let's get this out of the way: Everyone farts or has at some point in their lives. No matter how ladylike you are, remember the Queen of fucking England has farted in her life, probably even while knighting someone. Although they're just a combination of air and normal, everyday flammable gases in the stomach, farts are at the butt of every joke (see what I did there?). During yoga, because your body is twisting in so many new ways, gas is inevitability going to escape. Hell, you’re bent over, squeezing your abdominals with your ass in the air, and we all know there are only two possible scenarios for that position — if there isn't Astroglide on the nightstand, chance are you're doing yoga. But how common could this be? Well there's a whole damn article dedicated to yoga and flatulence. The first paragraph of that article ends with the revelation that, "In every single yoga class worldwide, at least one student drops a bomb." Luckily, I have the unique opportunity of practicing yoga in the comfort of my own home and maybe you should, too. You've been warned.
2. This Is Not a Competition
Competition and sports go hand-in-hand to create the purest, most unadulterated form of masculinity in the world, as evidenced by all the chest-bumping and ass-slapping. Competition depends on keeping track of points — or some other numerical value — to determine who is ultimately the better person. But going out to a bar and telling your friends how many degrees off the floor you can stretch using an upward facing dog pose just isn't the same as saying, "I can bench 700 lbs." It's just not. You really think the girl over there who's been giving you the eye all night is going to give a shit that you can contort yourself into a perfect isosceles triangle? Hell-fuck-no. Sure, there is a World Yoga Championship, but carrying around your yoga trophy won't make you any more popular than sticking straws up your nose in the middle school cafeteria; especially if you're still doing that at 30 years old. Most yoga instructors preach that everyone is equal, no matter if this is your first class or 100th. "Make your focus about yourself and figuring out a new pose. Everyone is equal." Seems really Marxist.
3. Relaxation Is Not What You Think
Think about the most relaxing time of your life? This scene presumably involves a beach, warm breeze, soft sounds of waves, some type of alcoholic beverage in which to imbibe. Or maybe you like lying facedown on a cold table, having needles stuck in your back; it's your life. However, when "Diamond" Dallas Page says to go into your relaxation pose and breathe, he doesn't mean grab your favorite pillow and blanky, strap on your sleep apnea mask and take a nice, long nap. He means kneel down on the floor, tops of your feet flat on the ground with your toes pointed straight back. Slowly sit down on your heels, lean forward as far as you can with your arms straight out, head between your shoulders and placed snugly against the mat. This isn't resting, this is painful... and I can't breathe. The tops of my quads feel like they're ripping from the bone, knees caps about to pop off, and ankles about to snap in half. This pose occurs several times throughout ONE SESSION. There is a position the comes at the very end of the workout called "Corpse pose" which is exactly like it sounds; you lay flat on your back with arms out to your side just how nature intended for you to do once all your glycogen is depleted and you don't have any other choice but to fucking die.