As you may remember from an earlier chapter, I got myself a membership to LA Fitness within the first few weeks of moving to the West Coast. Although I hit up the weight room once or twice per week, I usually go for the classes they offer.
Yep, the classes. I know. I know! In fact, I already addressed how ridiculous that is.
On top of what I said in my previous explanation, I think the best part of taking the classes is that I don’t have to do any thinking at all. In the weight room, I have to think how much weight I’m going to lift on the next set, or how many repetitions. God forbid I hop on a cardio machine and hit the “Quick Start” button. It’s all up to me at this point. And do you know what I decide when it’s up to me? I decide: “Screw this, I’m going to go get some tacos.”
Humans only have a limited supply of will power and self control, and I gotta be honest with you, I don’t feel like wasting my precious reserves at the gym. Enter the teacher. The teacher of these classes tells you what to do and when to do it. That’s right, you can turn off your brain and just exercise. I also find it’s also easy to push yourself harder when someone is yelling at you. Especially when that person is a bit off their rocker:
If there’s one class that kind of irks me, however, it’s yoga. It’s probably my favorite of all the actual activities, but my issue lies with the other people in the class. The problem is that yoga puts by far the most emphasis on doing things to your own ability, in contrast to the importance that other classes place on pushing harder and toughing it out in order to make gains.
“What does your body need today?” is the type of phrase you’ll hear a yoga instructor say.
While I applaud the teacher’s effort to make the students feel empowered, it drives me nuts to see how much some students abuse it. Much like an attention deficit disordered twelve year old on the day the cool substitute teacher is in, some people decide they will just make up their own routine.
“My body really needs to do the tree pose right now” thinks the Maverick Yogi, while everyone else is resting in child’s pose.
I had a yoga teacher say that the physical practice of yoga was created as a “warm-up” for meditation of the mind. The more you release and let go, the more your mind can focus on the present, free from the clutter that usually dominates it. Sometimes, during a successful session, my mind really gets in the present tense, to the point that I’m present enough to think to myself – “why the hell is that lady never doing the same pose as everyone else?”
Drives me nuts. And to make matters worse, it’s easy to guess who this person will be before we begin. It will be one of the ones stretching before class even starts.
Why are you stretching?!!
To quote one of the funniest blogs of all time, Stuff White People Like:
“Yoga is basically the practice of stretching for one hour. Stretching should only take five minutes, other peoples would rather spend the extra fifty-five minutes playing in an actual sport or spending time with their families and friends”
There it is.
If someone is stretching before they’re about to stretch for an hour, I usually do my best to not look in their direction. It drives me bananas. I’m usually pretty good at blocking these people out of my awareness for sanity’s sake, that is until my mind starts to be in the “present tense”. That’s right! Success in the yoga studio only serves to free your mind, thus being able to take in how infuriating the Maverick Yogi is.
Thanks a lot, yoga, for helping me get pissed off.
A PostScript for John McCain: I won’t let you ruin the word “Maverick” for me.