First, there was this.
Then, there was this.
Finally, there was this and other things like that.
I am intrigued.
Full disclosure: Skinny White Girl could have substituted every instance of "heavyset black girl" with "Kim Green" and the piece would have captured perfectly how she would have perceived my (short-lived) yoga engagement. ("Kim Green" is code for "chubby white 40something meat-eating wine-swilling anachronism who didn't get the memo about what middle-aged women are supposed to look like nowadays.")
I'll just say it: America's collective obsession with yoga is to early 21st-century America what aerobics was to the America of the 1980s.
Yep--I'm talking about that oh-so-noble canon of stretches, of any yogic pedigree, with or without sauna, or shirt, or see-through pants.
I'll say it again: yoga is the Jane Fonda-jazzercise-buttfloss-wearing-skinny-deifying-self-righteous-cultish-vaguely-annoying-vaguely-puritanical aerobics of our time.
This, too: Just because some brown guys in Depends did it for a couple of centuries doesn't make it a noble exercise when you do it.
It just makes you deluded and annoying.
I think the essay that caused all this trouble missed the point. It's not so much that heavyset black girls are causing existential crises for both themselves and emotionally porous skinny white girls when they integrate the pristine sanctity of the SWGs' neighborhood yoga studios with their unsightly muffin tops, unpleasantly scrunched up face juju and tight shoulders--it's why would anybody fun and not desirous of joining a cult and not into self-flagellation want to do so in the first place?
Yeah, okay, I skipped ahead there. I suppose I should explain what's wrong with yoga, exactly.
Here's what's wrong with it:
It is desperate.
It pretends to be about health and mind and mindbody shit, but, for most of its cult members, it is really about what you look like.
It is ponderous.
It is self-aggrandizing.
It is cultish.
It is elitist.
It is pretentious.
It is boring.
It is narcissistic.
It is a liar.
It is addictive.
It is painful. (Okay, I'll admit there are many painful things worth doing. Yoga just isn't one of them.)
It is all those things to me...and I'm not even a heavyset black girl!
Mind you, I'm not saying all yoginis (shudder) officially subscribe to or endorse the shallow views of some of its practitioners. Certainly not. In fact, some of my best friends* are yog(insert pretentious suffix here). But by perpetuating the silly idea that yoga is (a) the best exercise ever; (b) the best meditative activity ever; and (c) the best meditative exercise for anybody and any body, ever; and (d) a thing we should spend every waking minute doing, at the expense of doing anything else, especially if it doesn't make your abs show, because how can whatever else you might be doing be better than yoga?, they are party to its proliferation.
But why listen to me? Maybe I'm just one of those contrarians who doesn't like things everybody else likes, because they, you know, like them. Maybe I don't look good in yoga pants. Maybe I have tight hamstrings. Who knows? All I know is, life is too short to waste on joyless, skinny-white-girl masochism.
*Well, we used to be best friends, before I wrote this.