This was in the Wisconsin State Journal, Monday, Oct 7, 2013
Enjoy! I certainly did, especially after the slow-cooked rice with vanilla-soy milk was a colossal flop this morning and the Husband was reluctant to tell me so. :)
Yoga is more universal than you might think
Recently a real-live yogi asked my wife and me for help renaming his
yoga studio. Asking a guy like me to rename your yoga studio is the
rough equivalent of asking a room full of teenaged boys to come up with
an advertising slogan for baked beans, but I agreed to do the best I
could, which is to say we lowered the bar immediately.
came about in the first place because my wife is a long-time student of
the yogic arts. I don’t know if they give out yogi belts like they do
karate belts, but if they did I guess my wife would be somewhere at the
higher end, say a third-degree rainbow belt or a first degree tie-dye.
She was studying before I met her. (As a matter of fact, she was doing
yoga in the first photograph I ever viewed of her. In the department of
“Hey! Who’s Creepy?” it popped up during my pre-first-date Googling.)
She sustains a dedicated practice to this day. Over the past several
years she has been studying with the yogi in question, and he’s become a
family friend. In fact, we’ve had him over for pancakes. Gluten-free
quinoa pancakes sprinkled with essence of dandelion, or something along
those righteous nutritional lines, but nonetheless I think you should
know that even yogis like pancakes.
I have all the flexibility of a
narrow-minded scarecrow, so both my wife and the yogi have tried to get
me to try a few poses over the years, but it hasn’t gone well. For one
thing, I comport myself upon the mat with all the grace of a concussed
cow. For another, yoga requires patience, dedication, and
follow-through, and I just don’t think that’s fair.
my wife hangs in there. One thing I admire about her as a yoga
instructor is her dedication to sharing the benefits of yoga with groups
of people not normally considered yoga-friendly. For instance, a year
or two ago she asked me to help her write some promotional materials
designed to lure farmers into attending yoga classes. I was pretty
skeptical at first, until I started paging through one of her textbooks
and discovered many of the poses were directly applicable to
agricultural pursuits. For instance, you’ve got your plow pose,
otherwise known as the Halasana. You’ve got your wheel pose, which looks
to me like it’d be a good choice if you were trying to locate a grease
zerk on the underside of the hay baler. You’ve got your Seated Wide
Legged Straddle, otherwise known as the Upavistha Konasana, which would
come in handy when dismounting from the tractor or avoiding a charging
pig. Then there’s the Awkward Chair Pose, which I would call The Uff-Da,
and the Half-Moon pose, which I renamed Farmer Dropped His Pliers.
(Some might call it The Plumber.)
I wrote these suggestions up and
shared them with my wife, because we are in this together, whether she
likes it or not. After reading them, she looked at me in a manner
betraying the fact that she has a looong way to go on this whole inner
peace thing. Nonetheless, when the yogi called for help renaming his
studio, she asked if I had any ideas. After a period of reflection
coming in at just under three minutes, I compiled the following list:
Languid Yoga. Grunty Yoga. Slippery Yoga. Do We Hafta Yoga. Something
Popped Yoga. Oops Yoga. OK Yoga. Holy Yogi Yoga. Nice Tights Yoga. The
Yoga Barn. Old Country Yoga Buffet. Posing 4 Posers. Dude-i-o with a
Studio. And finally: Rock Hard in Your Leotard.
I submitted the
list for review, but didn’t hear back. When I inquired, my wife said she
hadn’t found time to respond because she’s been busy developing a new
yoga pose especially for me. She says she hasn’t decided what to call it
yet. She’s leaning toward Sound of One Hamstring Snapping, but for the
sake of brevity may go with The Trussed Turkey.
by Michael Perry An original “Roughneck Grace” column exclusive to the Wisconsin State
Journal. For more of Michael Perry’s writing, visit www.sneezingcow.com.
Perry photo by Andi Stempniak, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.