It seems pathetic that I’m more sore after yoga than any other workout. I’ve done yoga, off and on, for more than 20 years but never enough to get good at it. This round I’m coming off as long a break as ever and it’s silly just how bad I am. I mean, it’s great, too. During every session I ask myself why ever don’t do yoga because it feels so good. A also tell myself it’s hard and that I’ll never get any good at it. My main problem is that it’s boring. I’d rather be outside climbing, riding, exploring. But yoga makes those things easier, so I’m pretty committed to getting on a more regular schedule. Day two and I’ve already made progress but have a long long way to go.
It’s not exactly an excuse but I find myself falling out of postures because I’ll laugh. Not at the dvd, but at the recollection of Tony’s test group sessions. Tony loves yoga, does it religiously, and is a good teacher. But he also played football and enjoys competition. He can’t help this from coming through in his style. In the final vidoes we edited him a bit and he also knew to tone it done on camera–still, he can’t help using words like “fight” that you don’t normally associate with yoga. With the test group, however, yogi Tony was more like drill instructor Tony. Some of the original test group yoga sessions were like a skit on SNL.
“Cohen, you miserable piece of @#%! You call that a @#$%*-ing downward dog?!” is one of my favorites but there were plenty of them. I would usually do the original workouts right after they’d film them and we’d make adjustments as necessary. The only adjustments to the yoga routine that I vividly recall is the elimination of stuff that had me laughing most of the way through it.
I once told Tony we should consider a yoga studio aimed at a male audience. Instead of peace and mediation we’d get aggro, berate clients, kick them out of class for performing poorly… like real sports.
Why is this funny? I love ironic behavior, especially in an extreme sense. Some of my favorite coaches were the ones that could balance teaching with crazy behavior, like Bobby Knight and, unfortunately, they’re being weeded out in our politically correct society. I learned a lot playing for people like this. It’s not fun when you’re the one being targeted but you always knew that it wasn’t personal–just your turn. One of my favorite examples is from coach Maz at Mt.SAC. He’d had enough of one player, calls timeout, and runs onto the field screming, “…you’re fat. You’re fat, and you’re slow. You’re fat, you’re slow (a beat), and you’re a disgrace to baseball! Get off the field!” He then follows him to the dugout kicking dirt at him like Billy Martin used to do to umpires before that, too, was declared poor form. I miss that stuff. It gave the games personality. I guess I’m like Paul Newman’s character in Slap Shot when he’s screaming at the ref for calling a penalty, “what are you running here, a goddamned dance floor? This is hockey!”
Anyways, that guy wasn’t really fat. He was a college athlete. I’m not fat either. But that doesn’t stop the screaming in my head as I’m falling out of Warrior III from blaring, “Edwards, you’re fat. You’re fat, and you have no balance. You’re fat, lack balance, and are a disgrace to yoga. Get off the mat!”
pic: the kids in their favorite pose: savasana.