A.A.: Ashtangaholics Anonymous


Yoga should bring balance to your life – not BE your life

Tova Steiner – all round, well balanced person

So I have this friend … and she’s a bit obsessive.  I know this about her and even embrace her exuberance – to a point.

Unfortunately, she passed that point a while back.

It all began when she started practicing Ashtanga yoga (with a capital “A” of course).   In the beginning, I didn’t mind that our conversations would often turn to discussing postures like people, analyzing, criticizing, and whatnot.  After all, these pretzel like positions were great folly and made for interesting conversation at times.

I was ok that she couldn’t eat past 7 pm (probably a good thing for anyone), abstained from even so much as a glass of wine (always have a designated driver) – though longed for a date that didn’t require me to be barefoot, or drink green tea, or eat anything else green for that matter.

Like it wasn’t enough that she practiced her obsession – but she had to teach it too.  That’s when, I’m sorry to say – she became insufferable.

But I knew she’d gone completely overboard when she went on some vegan diet craze thinking a few pounds less and she could lift herself out of karandavasana (don’t know – don’t care), or to visit with her meant waking up for a 5 am practice … or how about when every conversation began with the always appealing opener:  how was your practice this morning? … followed by a detailed accounting of HERS!

Her husband said it best when he finally texted her one morning:

Save your marriage.  Say NO to yoga!

Ok.  The insufferable one was me.  Hello, my name is Peg … and I’m an Ashtangaholic.

I’m sure this happens in all styles of yoga.  Actually, I’m NOT sure it does, but this thought makes me at least feel better.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I went away with my son – SANS YOGA MAT – that I actually realized what I’d become.  He’s 15 years old and like most boys his age, wants nothing to do with yoga.  And since all I do is yoga, well, that means he also wants nothing to do with me.

I knew I had to do something drastic or forever lose my son to his longboard, earphones, and an X-box.  Drastic times called for drastic measures.  I took him out of the country, to a far off jungle, with the promise to do nothing but 15 year old boy stuff.  In other words – no yoga.

We hiked, we climbed, we looked for frogs, watched monkeys, and ate REAL desserts every evening.  By the end of the week, I assure you, I SMELLED like a teenage boy as well.  But in the process, I learned some very important things about my son’s life that I hadn’t known or perhaps noticed before:

1.  Favorite fruit is pineapple.

2.  He’s the best “slider” in the neighborhood.  (Longboard speak for some move that I’m sure I don’t want to witness)

3.  A different teacher has actually been teaching his science class all year.

4.  He’d love to join the debate team because he likes to argue.  (I did know this, but the kicker is that he admitted it!)

5.  He doesn’t mind having me around, just so long as we can talk about things he finds interesting.  (Two topics he tunes out?  HW and – you guessed it – yoga.)

So from now on, I hereby promise not to let the quality of my day be dictated by whether I bound/landed/lifted.  I promise to surf when I have the chance even though it will tighten my shoulders and compromise my backbend.  I promise asana-free conversations with my friends, dates with my husband where I will wear shoes (and he can too), and even promised my son to dust off my old longboard so I can go watch him do this thing he calls sliding.

And if you don’t see me on my mat tomorrow morning, I’m either enjoying the occasional morning to sleep in … or the thing with the skateboards didn’t go so well.

Don't let him slip away so fast!