Sexy, Naked, Pretzel-Why yoga is scary?

She was in her early 50’s, attractive, educated and fit. She leaned over and whispered to me, “The yoga, it’s the scariest part.” She was a Director for a multi-billion dollar company. No, I’m not exaggerating. (I looked it up.) But yoga, yoga scared the hell out of her.

He was a big dude. Big! An ex MMA fighter; with shoulders like a Mac truck. He asked what I did to stay in shape. “Yoga”, I said. He took a step back, put both hands up and said, “Hell no. I’d never do that shit. It’s too hard.”

What’s so scary about yoga?

I call it the “Sexy, Naked Pretzel Syndrome.” You’ve seen them. The pictures of perfectly posed woman “all pretzeled up.” Both feet are behind her head, her toes are tucked into her ears. Her arms wrapped around her body, and her fingers throwing up yoga gang signs. Lately, I’ve seen these poses done nude.

I think the human body is a beautiful thing in all shapes, forms, colors, etc. And, a little “nudity” might be a good thing. Less makeup to hide the freckles, wrinkles and dark spots. Less layers to hide the hips, the stretch marks and the scars.

I am not a Sexy, Naked Pretzel. I cannot do a handstand. I don’t know Sanskrit and I am not a vegetarian. Some days during my practice, I recognize that my pants are inside out. My yoga practice resembles more of a Sweaty, French Loaf than a Sexy, Naked Pretzel. I make no apologies for that.

Your practice is exactly that…it’s YOUR practice! It is beautiful, perfect and complete exactly as it is.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Sexy, Naked Pretzel syndrome there is a cure!

The cure get on your mat and get into your body. Your mat. Your body. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Don’t allow comparisons to rob you of your practice.

Let each pose be exactly as it is, in your body. Rest your eyes on your mat and be in your experience. Who knows what will happen?

"Perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop-an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing, painting or making and to lose site of the whole" writes Julia Cameron in An Artists Way.

So, please stop in. Lay down your mat, and see what happens. :)


Maryeth A. LoriauxComment