Home > Hobbies, Relationships > Competitive yoga, or, why I don’t quite fit in

Competitive yoga, or, why I don’t quite fit in

I was walking out of the movie theatre with several casual friends last night and they started talking about how they had been feeling so low energy recently and how they thought it was because they hadn’t been to yoga in awhile.  Always eager to participate in a conversation, I said “Oh, I’ve been having a lot of fun doing yoga on the Wii Fit.  I like how it’s kind of competitive.”  One my friends replied, “Because that’s in the spirit of yoga,” and changed the topic.

The thing is, I don’t particularly like the “spirit” of regular yoga.  I get stressed when I’m told to relax and clear my mind while doing a new skill in oddly fitting clothes in a roomful of strangers.  I don’t like people telling me I need to breathe in for longer than I know how, or telling me to “tuck in my hips” as though that’s a phrase that means something.  I do, however, like working on my flexibility, balance and posture, and Wii Fit is great for that.  It gives real-time feedback on how well I’m staying balanced, gives me a visual guide for breathing without any pressure to conform to it, and scores each pose based on my stability.  Because of the scores it’s easy for me to see what poses and muscle groups need more work, and as I get better, I get to see my scores improving.  It’s instant, constant highly useful feedback – something I never got in any of the yoga classes I went to.

So, I’ll keep doing my Wii Fit yoga with the competitive scoring and supportive virtual instructor and my friends can keep going to the hot yoga classes where the real-life instructor yells at them to relax.  And I guess I’ll add yoga to the list of things that my friends and I don’t quite see eye to eye on.

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