I hate myself for not doing yoga every day. That’s how you know you’re serious about yoga: you use it to generate self-hatred.
I am the type of person who can use a wide range of things to this end: telling my son the wrong name for the D major scale on the piano, for example. Are there parents who are more stupid when it comes to music than I am? Maybe. But probably not one who also goes to ten hours of violin/cello/piano lessons each week.
Before I go on about self-hatred, let me assure you that I am more accomplished than most people you know.
I was going to list it. The accomplishments. But you know what? I’m over that. Does Bill Gates list his accomplishments? No. It’s a sign of self-assurance to not bother. Which is why the best resumes are one short page.
And anyway, you know what my biggest accomplishment is? That you are still reading this post. Really. I know we are supposed to say raising our kids is our biggest accomplishment. But kids are not accomplishments. You do not get a gold star for raising kids. Crack addicts raise kids. And you don’t get a gold star for raising successful kids. It’s all nature, not nurture. So people say their kids are their biggest accomplishment because they think they should say it.
My blog is my biggest accomplishment because I don’t know what I’d do without it. Scream career advice from street corners, maybe. Or from a mental ward.
When I do get to a yoga studio, I’m always the best in the class. I’ve been doing Ashtanga for fifteen years. And don’t fucking tell me that yoga isn’t competitive. Look. I can breath and get through the primary series of Ashtanga and you can’t: you’ll pass out. So I fucking get that yoga is about the breath. I am not only competitive, but I am better than you at the non-competitive parts of yoga.
I don’t know why I don’t go to class. I used to think it’s because I live on a farm—at least ninety minutes away from a yoga studio. But now I’m driving to the Chicago area two days a week for my kid’s cello and piano lessons, and Madison two days a week for violin and dance lessons, so I could take four yoga days a week.
See? Now you get why I hate myself. Because I want something and I’m not getting it for myself.
I have good instinct about what I should do with myself. I tried out for the volleyball team in high school, and I had no idea that at the rich-kid high schools like mine kids had already been to volleyball camp and knew what they were doing. In a school of 4000 kids, 200 tried out for volleyball and 10 made it. I was cut in twenty minutes. I still remember Alyssa Markoff’s knee pads. Who told her to wear those? How did she find them?
Alyssa made the team. But I looked for another way to play. For years. And I’m the one who played professional beach volleyball. I did that like I do everything: obsessively until I win.
Here’s my point: when I know what is right for me, even if I fail a lot on the way, I figure out how to get it. So I’m failing at yoga every day which maybe means I will not be failing in the future.
To be clear, yoga losers would say I do yoga every day because I do pieces of Ashtanga every day. But I always get sidetracked. Like, I do Ardha Baddha Padma Paścimottānāsana and then while my head is down at my toe I notice that the nail polish is chipping on the second toe so I chip it a little more. And then at Janu Shirshasana I am consumed with the idea of chipping off all the toe nails to even them out. And then I tell myself I have inner strength and I have power to control my life, and then I go to the bathroom and put clear polish on all the toes so I won’t pick at what really is still a nice pedicure and anyway the Farmer has a foot fetish so my pedicure is as important as my lingerie.
That’s the problem with my yoga right now. Attention. Focus. Determination. I quit in the middle. Really, all the problems that a normal overachiever would solve with Adderall, but it gives me a headache, almost like I’m hungover from productivity or something.
I thought I’d go back and read all my posts about how to keep a New Year’s resolution, because surely there will be good stuff in there about how to set a goal and keep it. I could link to those posts like I’m the world’s authority on meeting my goals.
But you know what? Advice about meeting goals is so annoying if you’re not meeting your goals.
I’d rather read about how to have great legs because I still have them left over from volleyball and I can feel like it’s an attainable goal. Like, “Look, I’m so great at reaching my great-leg goal.”
Spoiler alert: There will not be a happy ending to this post where I start doing yoga every day.
And, for all of you people who think, after you read this post, that you will write your own story about yoga: don’t. People don’t like to read about yoga unless it includes one of these topics:
2. Your period leaking through your yoga pants during Shavasana
3. Hot women sticking their asses in the air
My editor is in a five-year argument with me about if writing about my period oozing all over the place is appropriate for a career blog. Until this post, he has won. But I’m going into menopause soon and will not have a period to write about. So just like when women need to change the rules at work in order to accommodate the window their biological clock gives them to have babies, I need to change the rules here and write about my period. But my editor does not see it this way.
It’s why I have a male editor, actually, so this blog doesn’t become the Internet equivalent of crying after sex; you know, stuff girls think is fine but guys hate.
So instead, since I’m writing about yoga, I will have to write about girls’ asses in the air.
You see that plenty in yoga, of course. I mean, how else do they sell a package of ten classes to men?
But here’s the thing: When I started yoga, about the time when I started my career and I was learning about how to ditch work surruptitiously for a yoga class, I would look at the other women and try to decide if I wanted to have sex with them. Would I want to go down on her? Would I do it while she was in Down Dog? Would it taste good? What type of body would I like? (Answer: one like my own. Which may or may not reveal something pathetically self-involved about me.)
But recently, while I’ve been going to yoga classes irregularly trying to figure out why I’m not going regularly, I have been looking at the women and wondering what they do for a job.
Is she able to do that handstand and be the breadwinner? Does she have that tight round ass and refrain from fighting on date night? Does she sing to her kids at bedtime?
I want a role model for a woman who does yoga every day and is the breadwinner and is home with her kids all day.
How will I do this?
Of course no one can do all this. It’s fantasy land.
So I’m giving up time with my kids. My kids are going to suffer through a ninety minute yoga class. They can sit in the waiting room watching videos of Pokemon killing each other.
And the Farmer is going to see me less. Because I’m setting aside time for yoga instead of setting aside time to do fun things on the farm like the rope swing he built. I am not the fun type anyway. He knew that from the very beginning.
What’s stopping me from doing yoga is that I won’t give anything up for it. And that’s why this post is a post about productivity. It’s about me trying to do everything possible except give up something to get something. But we always have to do that. Productivity is about priorities. And if you’re not doing what you want to be doing it’s because something else is more important.
So I will give up time with my family, which I already do to earn money, but I’ll give up more. And then, if I still don’t go to yoga, it’ll still be because there’s something I won’t give up: probably at that point it’ll be the self-hatred that I get from not doing yoga. Knowing the problem is a big part of solving it.