“You’ll have to excuse my friend. He’s a little slow…” – Lloyd Christmas from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”
Sometimes it takes 25 years to learn something that should have been obvious from the proverbial git-go. Maybe there’s a cumulative effect of listening and watching others; maybe it’s out of necessity. Or perhaps it was indirectly related to the rise of YouTube.
In my case, I think part of it was morning laziness.
You see. Over the past 5+ months (since we cut the cord actually), I’ve been doing (or is it practicing?) yoga. Beginner yoga to be more precise, but yoga nonetheless. Once or twice a week, around 5:00 a.m., I can be seen (though fortunately I am not) stumbling around my living room, thinking to myself, “Judas Priest! How do these chicks make it look so easy?”
Some call it a curse, but for me the reality is that I wake up around 4:45 a.m. every day. Call it my “free time”, if you will, but it’s also the most opportune time to workout.
Not all mornings, however, do I feel like hefting a wreck bag or doing kettle bag swings or going for a quick run. Yet I often feel the need to do something to fill the void; to kill time actually. So not too long ago I fired up YouTube to give yoga another shot and it’s been great!
My first go-round
About eight years ago, I tried yoga for the first time. It was at a somewhat posh health club in Chicago where I was the only guy in a room of gorgeous women wearing, well, yoga pants and not much else with a teacher wearing the same who could easily make the cover of any fitness/model/glamor magazine on the planet.
Needless to say, I felt intimidated. I grunted, sweated, struggled and even farted (which I’ve been told is quite normal) while attempting to do stretches and poses that came naturally to everyone else. They were graceful and elegant as I approached cardiac arrest.
Admittedly, though, it felt pretty good. The movements helped with the lower back pain I was experiencing at the time (and still do today) and I remember feeling more energized and dare I say confident.
It was a solid workout, for sure.
Yet I just couldn’t get past the notion that I was embarrassing myself; that the others were staring at me. Maybe even judging me. I was a bull in a China shop and I didn’t feel as if I belonged.
So I quit.
Fast-forward to 2016
Now that we’ve got Roku – with YouTube on the big screen – practicing yoga in the privacy of my own home has been wonderful.
I enjoy doing yoga for beginners, yoga for neck and upper back, yoga for lower back, hips and sciatica… there are yoga videos for runners, for balance and for tight legs. When I’ve got 5-6 minutes to spare, I’ll practice some yoga breathing or meditation.
There are even a few naked yoga channels, which are highly, uhhh, appealing as well. (Though I’m not sure I’m ready to answer the questions from an inquisitive 8-year old should he walk into the room with me on the floor imitating naked a woman on TV.)
Like so many other activities in life, yoga is what you make of it. It’s not a competition nor is it just for young(er) women. Years ago I had the attitude that real men don’t do yoga. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
With the many YouTube videos available – short videos, long videos, stretching, posing, breathing – there’s no excuse not to give yoga a try if it’s something you’ve ever been interested in dabbling in. If you need a push, I suggest the following.