To Yoga or Not To Yoga? An Idea to Ponder

Venn-DiagramIf touching your shins is cool, then call me Miles Davis. Unfortunately, touching your shins isn’t cool. Actually, the fact that I’m only able to reach the top of my shins is downright pathetic. Recently, one of my uber-healthy co-workers had me do a sit and reach test, and literally laughed at my results. After her laughter faded, she said, “Dude, you need to try some yoga.”

Yoga? Here’s what I know about yoga:

  • Sting does it, and The Police were a killer band.
  • It seems to appeal to mostly women and old men with ponytails.1
  • Stretch pants appear to be a requirement.

I don’t have a ponytail (yet), and I look ridiculous in stretch pants. It looks like the Sting argument is all I have working for me. But after some research, I realized that yoga has some pretty awesome health benefits. Here are the main pluses I could dig up:

1)      It’ll help with my flexibility. My lack of flexibility goes far beyond my inability to reach my toes. I once pulled a muscle while bowling. That’s what we like to call a “giant red flag.” 

2)      It’s great for athletes. By calling myself an athlete, I’m really stretching the definition of the word. However, while I lack much in the way of athletic ability, just about all of my favorite activities require a lot of movement. I love to run, hike, and take part in every sport on the planet2. As a result, I’m crazy sore all the time.

3)      It’s a stress reducer. I worry about everything. Work, money, health, what I’m going to eat for dinner, it doesn’t take much to get me worked up. In fact, as I’m writing this I’m starting to worry that I worry too much. We’ll call that “worried squared.”3 To make things worse, high blood pressure runs in my family, so getting control of my stress levels is a must.

With those points in mind, I apprehensively agreed to give it a shot. Since I didn’t want to venture into the world of yoga alone, the same uber-healthy co-worker that gave me the sit and reach test agreed to join me on my journey. She also cleared up one very important fact, “stretch pants are not a requirement.” While you’d think I’d be relieved by this news, all I felt was disappointment. Looks like the spandex will stay shelved for now.

To say yoga will be outside of my comfort zone is the mother of all understatements. But besides my pride and inability to touch my feet, what do I have to lose? It’s yoga time! Don’t worry, I’ll document the entire experience and share it on



1Men with ponytails, please don’t take this as an implication that there’s anything wrong with rocking a ponytail. I just can’t pull it off.

2My biggest athletic achievements to date are: A) winning a fishing derby that took place in a wading pool, B) somehow getting “Most Improved” after every season as a child soccer player, and C) pulling off a successful flip throw during a city league dodgeball match. I injured myself horribly, but it was worth it.

3Don’t worry, I was a mathlete in high school.

Leave a comment


  1. Colleen Thompson

     /  July 11, 2012

    You are a brave soul, indeed, and I have a feeling your sense of humor will serve you well in this adventure. I’m already looking forward to your next update – hopefully with photos!

  2. Gentle or Yoga and Relaxation – but I guess thats only if you want to relax : )
    Probably the best thing to do is talk to an instructor first and ask them what kind of class they do. You’ll then get an idea whether what they are offering is up your street. Make sure they offer a taster session – or ‘drop in’ so that you don’t have to sign up for a load of classes that might not be right for you etc
    Good luck and if the first session you go to is not great – try a different style/teacher – there are so many. And yoga can be sooo good!

  3. You won’t regret doing it! But don’t start with astanga – go for a gentle hatha class to begin with : )

    • Thanks Claudia! I’m looking at a few beginner classes around town. When I look at the class descriptions, are there any key words besides “hatha” I should go for?

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