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It's a Jungle In Here

The Dogs, Trees, Birds, and Babies of Yoga

Written by Rebekah Davis

I realize you will think me a bad person, but I have to say it: I hate the outdoors. This time of year especially, when everything from dachshunds to daisies makes me weep, scratch, or sniffle.

So today, instead of my usual jog, I decided to try a very relaxing and very indoor class of yoga. That was the plan, anyway.

I walk into the room and immediately am surrounded with frog croaking and waterfall crashing—nature noise without nature nuisance. Or so I think. The first position cooed to us is downward dog. The pose feels nice; the obtrusive thoughts of my dad's old, hairy collie do not. I try to push them out of my head and am relieved as we move to the next pose. The cobra. I wanted to raise my hand and ask since when slobbery mammals and slimy reptiles were a part of exercising, thank you very much. But before I have a chance to lift my supposedly non-existent snake arm, we are bending backwards into camel. How quaint—a desert theme. Thank goodness there's no such thing as scorpion pose. [There is.]

I refocus my attention. only to apprehend that I am to be a tree. I shakily attempt to regain balance with one leg on the ground and both palms pressed together. In the process, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror and marvel in silent triumph: I am the loveliest quaking aspen to ever take root on linoleum. I remain optimistic even when, next, I am thrust first as an eagle, then heron, then pigeon into a sky no doubt laden with pollen and thick with dust. I feel a sneeze coming on as I move from one anthropomorphized pose to the next, but suppress it when the instructor announces the subsequent position: happy baby. Finally, something that my sinuses don't disagree with! I lie on my back with the soles of my feet in my hands, feeling quite tranquil. We advance to child's pose and finally to corpse, also known as total relaxation.

But, instead of winding down, my mind can't help but be perturbed at such a progression. Baby, child, corpse.where is the "adult" phase? Is my stage of life so insignificant as to not even merit a yoga pose? No, not insignificant, I conclude as I stand to put my shoes back on—just counterintuitive to yoga's objective. The pose would be a frenzied one with a name like "washing dishes" or "filing taxes" and would most likely promote thoughts of, well, dirty dishes and empty tax forms! Even allergies are preferable to those.

I walk out of the room as the instructor for the next class—Super Turbo Kick Boxing—files in and shouts to the lively gym-goers that they had better be ready to sweat like pigs and work like horses. I walk outside, which by now, with its dull smog and bird-less skies, seems more indoor than out, and head to my car, resolute to plant a garden or take a nature walk or pitch some balls with the boys or.

I let out an enormous sneeze. Or just drive to my spotlessly hygienic home and come back to yoga tomorrow.

Article Reviewed: August 8, 2012
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