Does anyone remember when yoga became wildly popular? It feels like it’s been around forever, but it’s probably only been a trendy class-based (both literally and figuratively) exercise since the 90s. I bet no one saw the death of Jazzercise, did they? And that its killer would be a hippy-dippy, patchouli-infused hour-long stretch-a-thon.

I still can’t quite believe how much I love yoga. I know it’s just stretching and balancing, but there’s an art and grace to it that cannot be replicated with a treadmill or a set of dumb weights.  I don’t think I’m particularly fit, but stretching out my tired, weary muscles once a week has fast become one of my favourite things to do. Well, other than hollering my head off in smoky bars.

Occasionally I do go a little overboard, though. And that’s when I can feel it the next day. It’s a hurt that feels good, but it hinders other things—like breathing, for example. It’s always my abdomen that gets the brunt of the pain, and that’s because I simply don’t exercise it regularly. I have no interest in washboard abs, I like my belly, but there must be a way to keep the muscles there firm enough that I don’t feel like I’ve been wearing a corset the day after my class.

Last night, I ran through my meager repertoire, intent on doing two of the three songs I normally sing. But he suggested the third, and I, greedy for the feel of the mic against my lips, agreed.  I belted out the song as best I could, feeling my belly muscles shake unsteadily with each breath, and all the while I thought…shame, shame, shame.

I suppose it wasn’t that bad. It’s just one night, and God knows I’m not a professional, but damn it if I don’t hate being foolish and subject to the whims of my vanity. It gets me into trouble! It burns my cheeks with the embarrassment it causes me, embarrassment that wouldn’t exist if I weren’t so damn vain to begin with.


Wait a minute, this started out as a piece on yoga. How did we end up here?


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