As you may have noticed this site is Yoga and Cheeseburgers. I touch on it slightly in How It Started. Yes, I
did have done do yoga. I also did a zumba class so I could hang out with my friend when I was on leave one summer. I’ve had my chest waxed after losing a bet (thanks Red Wings). I wore a bunny onsie when I was drunk at Eater. Whatever, I like hanging out with friends and having fun, sometimes it backfires. This last summer in Alaska I broke my thumb playing in a co-ed soccer game. This took me from working out twice a day to working out zero times a day. With the amount of food that I eat and beers that I drink I started gaining weight. It happens. With the profile I was on at work it limited me to not doing anything that made me sweat. Casts smell bad enough as it is after six weeks, imagine running every day with one on. Of course for three months I had to hear every NCO (who is automatically an expert in everything ever once they get stripes) give me shit and say “what does a broken thumb have to do with running…” Other than the fact that I had a direct order from and officer, and real doctor, not to do so, many other reasons. This led to yoga in the park. The Alaska Club teams up with a local radio station and puts on free Yoga in the park. A friend of mine wanted to start getting back in shape, and I needed something to do to keep me sane and get me out of the barracks. It then lead to getting cheeseburgers after every yoga session (a little counter productive, but worth it). Besides, if you have never been outside during the summer in Alaska, then you are missing out.
First of all, yoga is not really exercise. It really isn’t even close. We would stand in some funny positions, and do about six push ups over the hour. I probably burned more calories driving downtown from post than I did during the actual “work out.” It should also be very clear that yoga is not pilates. Joseph Pilates, a German born physical-culturalist, developed the system in the early 20th century as a way for strengthening your core, improving flexibility and alignment of some other shit. Many athletes and dancers used it to improve their balance. He studied yoga and there are similarities between the
disciplines activities with the whole mind/body/breathing thing, but they are still very different. It would be like comparing weight lifting to cross fit. Yes you use weights in both, but they are two completely different worlds.
Yoga on the other hand is not about physical fitness. At least that is not how I perceive it. Yoga is a much older practice that has become as highly commercialized as college football. Originating in India thousands of years ago (which I presume is before anyone cared about physical fitness) yoga is more a form of meditation. I’m sure that there are more advanced yoga classes than free yoga in park because they have to keep it simple for the extreme variety of people who show up. But in that sense it was still relaxing being outside in the summer time, surrounded by girls in yoga pants. Relaxing is a slept upon way to help control weight gain. Stress can throw your whole system off in negative ways. There is some science behind that, but I don’t know it exactly and don’t want to look it up. You can’t deny though how good it feels when you are on vacation. This relaxing didn’t necessarily help me control my weight. I still blew up 15 pounds over the 12 weeks I was on profile. I would have to assume it was the mass amounts of cheeseburgers I ate. I still ate like I worked out twice a day, but really just did yoga once a week. Even though it ended both my soccer and baseball seasons, I enjoyed the shit out of that summer.
This brings me to the philosophy of Yoga and Cheeseburgers. To me they are one and the same. To quote a great man, Ron Swanson “Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga, except I still get to kill something.” I won’t tell anyone to go do yoga in park if they don’t want to. Yoga works for many people, but it isn’t for everyone. Find your own yoga in whatever it is you do. It can be anything from fishing/hunting to weightlifting to walking your dog or actual yoga. For me it is cheeseburgers and beer, sometimes pizza, and then working off all those calories anyway I can. Just whatever you do, don’t be an asshole. Nobody likes and asshole. Now I have to go run off this day whiskey I’ve been drinking and get back to drinking.