Thursday, October 21, 2010

नमस्ते सारा इवान्होए

Sometimes I think it would be cool to have a Sherpa half brother. We would explore mountains, speak cool Himalayan dialects, engage in a light but enlightened banter, and sometimes save each other from certain death on the edge of an icy abyss. Eventually he would probably tell me to get over my grudge against the free yoga instructor at the public library. She may not be reliable or prompt. But her classes are, after all, free.

I like yoga. I try to do it every day. A couple of years ago, what I was doing might have even vaguely resembled something that real yoga practitioners could have recognized. My own personal yoga routine has since devolved into what my wife dismissively referred to as, "that little stretchy thing you do." At the time, she was waiting for me to be done with the mat, so that she could actually do yoga. "Aah, you're right." I replied and popped a beer open before my inner guru could talk me out of it.

There seems to be a new trend among the college students in town to ride bikes around with yoga mats tied to the frame. Thin people in fantastic, strange and complicated poses have become common sites in the park and around the river. This is a very intimidating looking style of yoga. They always seem to be in the most difficult poses. I want to say it seems kind of pretentious. But it is possible that I am just a little jealous of their agility (and youth). I never really wanted to learn how to do the upside down, twisted beyond human recognition poses. I just want to stretch and breath and feel better than I did before I started.

Jenn and I started watching yoga videos and doing the workouts a few years ago. I don't know if 'workouts' is really the best word. But, for me, it really was a workout even if it is almost all stretching. I immediately found that it made me feel incredible... a luxurious combination of stronger, leaner, taller, and just generally healthier. If it weren't for the copious amounts of wine and breakfast tacos that I consume, I would be probably be in pretty good shape. As it is, my downward facing dog looks more like 'fat bloodhound stretching'. But I still get up most mornings and slug through a ten minute 'stretchy thing' routine before I get ready for work. It think it may be the thing that keeps me sane, though even that is a subject of considerable debate.

Part of the problem with my grudge against the instructor, is that the event that sparked such rage happened over six years ago. The healthy option would certainly be to let it go. I'm probably a jerk for being mad at a teacher for flaking on a free class in the first place. It was just a yoga class. It was free. Her absence from the room did not actively stop me from doing yoga. The more enlightened folks simply rolled out their mats and did their thing. Not me. I stood in the foyer, griping about the nerve of someone to plan a class, and then not have the courtesy to show up or even call ahead. I think I proclaimed loudly that she was, very possibly, thwarting my way to any sort of spiritual and personal breakthrough. How could I ever trust another yoga instructor? I would let my muscles atrophy in protest, never to be stretched again.

Actually, we just went home in and popped in the video for another dose of the old faithful Crunch yoga DVD. The beautiful and approachable instructor, Sara Ivanhoe, is always on time when I watch her video. She never pushes too hard, just explains what to do with that same approving smile every time. She doesn't cancel class or annoy me with references to eastern deities whose existences seem even less plausible than the ones they push around here. No, Ms. Ivanhoe's yoga is serene, and yet refreshingly secular. I do not and will not have a guru. But if I did, she would be like Sara Ivanhoe. Or maybe, Sara Ivanhoe is really that long lost Sherpa half sister who I never knew about (growing up so far apart, as we did). We may not explore mountains, but I can watch her DVD every once in a while with Jenn, so that I can get my yoga poses back in order. I wonder if she would ask me to forgive the yoga teacher for not showing up for that free class all those years ago.

My Sherpa half sister

Monday, October 11, 2010

सेक्सिएस्त मन अलिवे

So Esquire magazine just crowned a woman named Minka Kelly to be the sexiest woman alive. I don't keep up too much with tv and don't have much of a frame of reference as to exactly who she is and what she has done that is so very sexy. So, of course, I did a quick image search. Yes, she is very pretty, arguably even sexy. I don't know if she is the sexiest woman alive. But it did get me wondering... why did they have to qualify her sexiness with the word "alive"? I can't imagine a dead woman being particularly sexy. But then again, I am very naive about such matters.
I hope that I am not going out too far on a limb to suggest that sexiness, like so many things, leaves us with (if not somewhat before) our dying breath.
I have never been particularly sexy. I've thought about it (sex, that is) quite a bit. But I am reasonably certain that thinking about sex does not automatically make one sexy. Would that it did... would that it did.
Neither am I dashing, debonair, suave, particularly sophisticated, or hot. So sad. I wonder what it would be like to have a major magazine proclaim that I am the "sexiest". I suppose by the time it hit the mainstream press, I would already be fairly aware of my sexiness. Perhaps it would be akin to me being crowned the chubbiest, most frizzy haired, and pleasant despite harbouring barely concealed doubts about ability of humanity to overcome its obvious shortcomings guy. I would probably be a little flattered. Of course, I would think to myself, "surely there are chubbier guys with frizzier hair who harbor even greater doubts about the ability of humanity to overcome its obvious shortcomings than me." I would attribute my new found popularity to this blog and its immense fan base... of about four people (including my wife and I - just checking in to look for comments again). I would smile coyly and sign the various articles placed in front of me by my adoring fan. I would vow not to change, and then change immediately.
Probably, there is not category for 'chubby, frizzy haired, and doubtful.' But there may be a contest to be the most sardonic. I could win that... if I really put my mind to it (and had my agent making calls to all the right people). Maybe Esquire would do a full page layout of the most sardonic man of 2010 together with the most sexy woman (alive, that is) of the same year. He (me, that is) would be looking (sardonically) down at the sexiest woman (alive) of 2010. She would look up at me in a sort of sexy way. It can't imagine it would be too very hard for the sexiest woman alive to look at me in a sexy way if she really is so scary sexy. I think it would look something like this...