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May 14, 2011

My Asana Kicks Your Asana’s Ass. ~ Brie Doyle

yogaheals.wordpress.com

You know the type:

Sports bra only, teeny tiny spandex, killer tan and six-pack, fake knockers and naturally curly locks who’s always positioned front and center in class. You try not to notice her, but by God, you’d sleep with her if you didn’t have a husband and kids. The tiny bead of sweat coming off of her looks like liquid gold to your buckets of gnarly, salted byproduct. And while you’re grunting your way through every sun salutation, she bends beautifully with the grace of a Julliard-educated ballerina.

Photo: Tiffany Assman

What starts as awe quickly becomes jealously before you can blink twice. Suddenly you’re half way through class and the whole “focusing on yourself” thing has yet to happen because you can’t keep your eyes off the effing goddess to your left who is still holding her handstand. “Damn her!” You think as you take yet another swig of water noticing her bottle has yet to be cracked.

I get it. We’ve all been there. It’s hard to stay focused when lately yoga classes feel more like the Friday night meat-market out at the bars. And somehow, everyone in the town of Boulder has managed to have practiced yoga for at least twenty years already. What the? That or people here were just “born naturally flexible.” Sweet.

But viewing yoga as a sport or some kind of competitive endeavor is just ridiculous. I know and really believe that, even though at times I’m as guilty as the next idiot. So, I try and do as the cliché suggests and “focus on my breathing” and on my own practice.

Yet it never ceases to amaze me how many people do come to classes seemingly with the intention of having the “best asana.” Too many times I’ve heard students engage in hollow conversations about how they’ve “been to five yoga classes in the past two days,” and how they’re “sorry to hear you could only make it to one.” One upping each other in yoga? For real?

Photo: Lululemon Athletica

Well, maybe it’s the new age yoga challenge: how to have a healthy, grounded and mindful practice in a sea of competing Barbie and Kens. I guess it’s hard for me to feel that this profound practice, that at first felt so authentic and private, is as pop culture and expected as watching American Idol. Guess it’s time to get over that.

So, I suppose I have a new practice in my yoga. Next time I try to hold chaturanga too long because my homeboy Ken on the left is doing the same, maybe, just maybe I’ll remember to look inward as opposed to out.

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Though pretentious yuppies abound in Brie’s home town of Boulder, CO, she can’t seem to find another place she’d rather live. But she’s been fortunate enough to try many places. From NYC to New Zealand, SE Asia, Japan, Nepal and India, Brie has traveled the world seeking adventure and stories to share. Pre-babies, she was a middle school teacher and a yoga teacher, but now that she is pumping out children, she stays at home and writes. She has written two novels, one based in India, one based in New York, and she is furiously seeking publication. In the meantime, she can be found making light of life on her blog: www.briedoyle.com.

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