Exercises in Thought

This morning I read an article on MercuryNews.com’s A+E Interactive.  TARAHFYING THOUGHTS: Confessions of a yoga-hater is written by Tarah Knaresboro, a senior at Leland High School in San Jose, and the article claims to explain why Tarah hates yoga.  I say claims because it actually does more to remind those of us who have already traversed the teenage years why most of us have no desire to live them again.  The rest of this post is my comment to Tarah on her article.

Yoga never was and never will be a form of exercise. Aerobics, weight lifting, swimming, running and many other things are forms of exercise but Yoga does not belong in any such list. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling Yoga instead of teaching Yoga.

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By the end of the session, the muscles I worked out most were my abs, thanks to the fits of laughter that Rodney and his stupidly named poses induced. Yoga has got to be one of the most sissy forms of exercise ever, and they call one of the poses “Proud Warrior”?

clearly shows that your expectations of what Yoga is have been fueled by those who are selling rather than teaching Yoga.

Yoga is a discipline designed to unify body and mind. It consists of ethical precepts which define how one is to interact with the world around us and how one is to react to the world within us. It also provides poses and breath exercises to allow one to control one’s body. Finally it teaches strict mental discipline to allow one to also control one’s mind.

Do aerobics, weight lifting, swimming, running or any of the other many forms of purely physical exercise even claim to do anything more than make one physically fit? No, they may teach one perseverance but little more. The martial arts approach Yoga but they are more focused on conquering the foe, be it the one before us or the one within us. Yoga is about helping your mind and body become friends.