Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 22 October 2012

21st Century Yoga and an End to Self-Care

Someone just wrote an article called, “An End to Self-Care.”  The author claims that our society is way too concerned with avoiding burnout.  We should focus our energies on social engagement, on community action, on making changes.  No more, change yourself, then change the world.   Change the world, and you yourself will be transformed too.  Everything changes all  at once.  It’s so efficient.  Although I understand some of what the author has to say, I find the article to be a bit preachy and one-sided.  That said, I love Nathan’s response to it.  Nathan happens to be one of the contributors to the book, “21st Century Yoga:  Culture, Politics, and Practice.”  Writers Carol Horton and Roseanne Harvey have compiled ten excellent essays that discuss contemporary yoga in our western society.  Yoga’s potential, its gifts, its limitations. 

Buy the Book Here.    Or on Amazon.
Topics range from healing anorexia through yoga to teaching yoga in the military, and how yoga does and doesn’t challenge the political status quo.  Just because we become more clear-headed and self-aware does not mean that we will go on to lead a more peaceful life, to be a “better” person.  Nearly every essay hit home for me, but these two essays are  spurring the most thoughts for me right now:

Matthew Remski’s “Yoga Will Not Form a Real Culture Until Every Studio Can Also Double As a Soup Kitchen and other observations between yoga and activism,”
And Michael Stone’s  “Our True Nature is Our Imagination:  Yoga and Non-Violence.” 

To put it simply, both authors urge teachers and practitioners to move beyond the fabulousness of our acetabular rotation and use our practices to serve others, to build community, and transform the world. 
Before the arthritis sneaks in.
Transforming the world can take place on a small scale, as small as nourishing and giving within a loving committed relationship, within a friendship.  I've experienced this sort of transforming love with the Boatman, and it's something I've never had before.  And of course we cannot forget the Big Black Dog.  I don`t discount the great importance of these relationships but lately it seems that in other areas, I am paralyzed, alone on my yoga mat, waiting for my acetabulum to become more fabulous.  I have been waiting for a long time. 
I have written about how yoga transformed me and my life, how it taught me not to llie.  I wasn’t lying when I wrote these things, but I’m not convinced that “Yoga made me a better person.”  Before I committed to a daily practice, I made concrete and honest contributions to the world.  When I was a teenager, I helped my parents take care of Glendon, a little boy with cerebral palsy.  I spent summers working at camps for children with special needs.  Two years into university, I left school to live and work at a home for adults with intellectual disabilities.  I stayed there for two years.   Many of the people around me didn’t own yoga mats-they still don’t-and perhaps they wouldn’t necessarily become better people if they did. 

It was when I left the house for people with disabilities that I found Darby and Joanne at Sattva Yoga Shala.  After five or six years dabbling in different types of yoga in different capacities of commitment, I finally had the time and energy to embark on a daily practice.  My acetabular rotation became increasingly fabulous.  I learned how to go upside down.  Most importantly, within days of beginning morning Mysore with Darby, with the help of a temporary source of sexual gratification, (The Vegan Life Coach, not Darby!), I stopped puking in my mouth.  Puking in my mouth, or my deal with rumination syndrome/bulimia, is this long, sad, boring story that is just one variation on the plethora of stories of people around the world who struggle with eating disorders.  Even though I never “achieved” a trophy anorexic weight, or damaged my body to the point of a stroke or a heart attack, I come back to this story again and again, not only because the puke came back again and again, but because the experience was Hideous and Traumatic. Before my yoga practice became consistent, everything I did was tainted with puke.  I was young, with pure intentions and an open heart.  I wanted desperately to serve: to transform the world and transform myself.  But in the background of all the valuable work I did, all day long I could taste the puke.

While I was caring for others, feeding them, changing their diapers, the taste of vomit stopped me from fully experiencing where I was.  I wasn’t fully there for them. 

Of course, we can’t all be “fully healed”  and “fully in the present moment,” before we’re ready to serve.  Otherwise no one would ever do anything for anyone.  But how much self-care is reasonable?  How much is necessary? 

When I left the house for people with disabilities, I felt both extremely guilty that I would no longer be serving in the same capacity as I was before, but also convinced that I never wanted to do anything so all-consuming ever again. 

Five years later, those years at that house are probably the most tangible “contribution” that I’ve ever made. In the meantime, I’ve maintained a daily Ashtanga yoga practice.  I can count the number of unsanctioned days off I’ve taken (besides Saturdays, moondays and ladies’ holidays) on less than one hand.  In misguided attempts to further cleanse and purify my body, and a failure to curb my tendencies towards overexercise, remnants of my eating disorder returned within eight months of daily practice.  My symptoms lingered for a few years, and then went away.  Ultimately, my yoga (asana) practice has shown its potential for healing, self-absorption, and shall I admit it, some physical violence.  Although sometimes I would like it to be, practice isn’t an insurance policy that gives you a pass for the rest of the day. 

That said, this is not a “breaking up with Ashtanga” letter, and I do feel that my practice has benefited me immensely and it remains a necessary part of my routine of self-care.  I will keep practicing wholeheartedly, but perhaps I can let go of some of the neurosis that’s wrapped around completing the same postures in exactly the same way every day.  And I need to remind myself that even though there are things I learned on the mat that I couldn’t realize while I was frantically changing diapers at the house for people with disabilities, other very important things occurred while I was changing those diapers.  Despite my then mediocre acetabular rotation. 

In his writing and interviews, Michael Stone always speaks about yoga being an act of intimacy.  Our yoga practices should allow us to engage in more intimate relationships, both with ourselves, with others, and with the world.  I guess that this means we may be practicing yoga more often than we think, or perhaps not as often at all.
In any case, I thank Carol Horton, Roseanne Harvey and all of the contributors to 21st century yoga for inspiring these reflections.  I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to the next volume. 

The End.
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

A Broken Body is Not a Broken Spirit
My Life's Purpose
The Benefits of an Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Friday, 12 October 2012

Simon Says

One day a year, I leave the house without taking a shit.  It's the worst day of the year.  I hate that day.  This week, I've had that day three days in a row.  I've been working at a call centre for the local elections, and I need to leave the house at 7 AM.  At an obscene hour, I wake up to practice yoga.  Despite caffeination, and my most miraculous manifestations to the universe, evacuation just hasn't been happening.  Not before yoga, and not after.  I remain clogged up most of the day. 

Simon hates to hear about my bowel movements.  He's an anomaly.  Simon says it's the most shitty and uninteresting part of my writing.  And he hates my blogposts.  He refuses to read them.  "Write our book," he says. A couple months ago, we started our third book together.  We finished our first book "The Little Savage and the Hermit" last fall.  One of my lifetime achievements was not throwing a plate at Simon at the liquid lunches we had during the revision process.  We sent the manuscript out to a bunch of small press Canadian publishers.  A publisher from Toronto called us back in January.  He seemed really interested, although it was centuries before we heard from him again. 
In the meantime, Simon said that we should write another book.  Many times I've written about playing Simon says with Simon.

"Suck my dick," he used to say.  So I would.  There is only one man in the world I have ever slept with whose dick stays hard after a Long and Thorough Blow Job.  Simon is that person.  After the Long and Thorough Blow Job, Simon would still feel like having sex.  Usually, I wouldn't. But Simon would say, "Let's have sex," and so we would.

Although Simon and I have not had sex for a long time, sometimes we still play Simon says.  After we finished the first book, I thought that probably it was a terrible idea for us to write another one.  But since we sort of had a publisher for our first one, I thought then the second one would be guaranteed to be published and then my dream of being Rich and Famous like Margaret Atwood would be closer.  Plus for some reason, writing with Simon is some of the easiest writing I do.  Often my writing process is painful, and agonizing and angsty.  With Simon, the struggle is less.  Perhaps it's because I am writing about myself, and my audience is clear.  It is easy to establish my voice.  I can write about whatever I want and I don't have to be deep or literary or groundbreaking like Margaret Atwood.  Angst and all, I can just be myself.

So even though there was a high chance of more liquid lunches and plate-throwing, I decided to go ahead with The Little Savage and the Hermit Part Two, and more recently, Part Three.  Simon writes one chapter, and then I write the next.  These days, it's my turn.  But I'm sitting here constipated at the call centre, and I got nothing but shit-filled blogposts and facebook clicks. 
During my clogged up lunchbreak, I decide to call our publisher, to get some inspiration and motivation.  The publisher is a very small press in Toronto.  They were supposed to confirm publication with us in the summer.  Summer became September and now it is October.

"Oh hi, Erica," the publisher says.  "I was going to email you.  We're not going to go through with it. 
It has been a difficult year." 

I am in too much of a constipated zombie to say anything more than "Okay, thank you."I hang up the phone and call Simon. 

"Oh, we knew it wouldn't work out," he says.  "It was fake good news."

I yawn and feel gassy. 
"Well, we are both dead inside," Simon says.  "It doesn't matter." 

I return to my windowless cubicle beneath fluorescent lights. 

The woman next to me has the same name as a bird. Her name is a secret for you, but once one of her callers asked her to repeat it.  She repeats it and then there was a pause.
"Yes, like the bird," she says.  "The Big Black Bird." 

Every once in awhile the lady named after the Big Black Bird makes a high pitched squeaking squawking noise.  Not like the Big Black Bird. 
Dead inside.  The phone rings.

"Thank you for calling the ### help centre.  I was not named after a Big Black Bird.  But I'd love to help you."

Someone wants to vote online and they do not have the internet.  I'll be helping him for the rest of my life.  My supervisor brings me chocolate desserts.  I eat them and slowly start growing into the shape of my chair.  I will never take a dump again. 
Sometimes I just want to post The Little Savage and the Hermit online and be done with it. Margaret Atwood would probably say that this is dumb.  But we aren't playing "Margaret Atwood Says." 

I am not Margaret Atwood.  We've been over this ten thousand times.  Big Black Bird lady does her squeaking squawking thing.  She's wearing a grey hat.  She's  not Margaret Atwood either. 
The call centre phones aren't ringing anymore.  On Facebook, my friend writes that she's going on the Ellen show.  To talk about her self-published book called "Thank You For HPV."  She will empower Ellen's viewers to heal their HPV without taking a drug or a vaccine or ripping things off of their cervixes.  All this makes me feel unempowered and embarrassingly jealous.  I should have had a sexually transmitted disease in my title. I should have tried to contract a sexually transmitted disease on purpose.

Then I scroll down and see that my friend is not really going on the Ellen Show.  She's just manifesting her success to the universe, and on Facebook.  I feel dumb for being jealous.  When my friend gets on Ellen, I WILL be happy for her.  I will manifest that happiness right now. 

Happiness.  Not dead inside.
There are other things to manifest:  Tomorrow will be a new day at the call centre.  My supervisor will bring other kinds of snacks.  I will shit before 9 A.M.  The people on the phone will know what the internet is.  I will spend all day not writing back to Simon.  The Big Black Bird Lady will be wearing a different hat.  Maybe she will make a different noise.

Simon always said that I'm just like him, except I'm female and he's way better at getting orgasms.
Simon says that there are some vulvas, like mine, that you keep licking and licking until you realize that you're a hundred years old and you're gonna die in a second...

In one hundred years, Simon won't be licking my vulva.  The elections will be over.  I'll have taken ten hundred thousand shits and ten hundred thousand different times.  My cervix will be HPV free. Margaret Atwood will be dead.  And the children won't play Simon Says anymore. 
The End.

Synopsis: The Little Savage and the Hermit  (for those who haven't read it yet)
The Little Savage and the Hermit meet on a disintegrating biodegradable yoga mat.  Erica, an imaginative, eating disordered yogi plays the Little Savage, while Simon a reclusive author, is the Hermit. 

This is a modern love story, wrapped up in a bigger tale of solidarity. One writer can love another writer, and that's pleasant, but the greatest thing a published writer can do for an unpublished one, is to write a book with her. Thus the saga unfolds, punctuated with poetry, drama, dreams, sex, humour, alcohol and other trendy dysfunctions.

The book revitalizes the ancient form of the epistolary novel.  Simon opens by recounting the yoga mat scene with nostalgia and a very bad poem.  Erica's response, “What the Tornado Said,” undermines their intimate encounter, refusing to believe that this hermit could have made her wet like the morning.
Although the book was her idea, Erica quickly becomes resistant to continuing. She fears that the process fuels an impossible relationship and believes that she is too self-indulgent to create anything of value.  Simon, however, sees the clear potential in her writing and is too stubborn to let her give up since that would mean that he would lose his shot at a book he's eager to see come to life.

A third of the way into the novel, a dramatic narrative turn transforms Erica into a cardboard box. From this point on, the completion of their novel becomes inevitable and their love for each other, undeniable.

Countless mornings, magic toe shoes and more bad poems ensue, but unfortunately, Simon retains his hermit limitations. Long ago, he chose books over people. With her savage fires and cardboard box angst, Erica can`t do much to change his mind. Once the book is finished, the Little Savage wishes she could begin again, and longs for their “bright happy faces in the wet happy morning.” Classic shitty relationship, carried out by geniuses. At least now they have something to show for it. The hermit's happy. The book is ready.
The Hermit is actually dead.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

Simon Girard 1979-2015
What a Beautiful Face
Guillaume, Part Two

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Kiss Test

Today is my mother's birthday.

It is also the birthday of the first boyfriend I ever had in high school.

The third boyfriend I ever had in my whole life.

Who were my other boyfriends?

Boyfriend #1:  Kindergarten with Ms. Stroman.  His name was Ben.  A few months before kindergarten started, my mother took me for my first hair cut.  The hairdresser named Terry had short straight dark brown hair.  She had man's hair and a man's name.  I thought it was confusing.  But at least she was very nice.  She thought that my blonde unruly curls that fell past my chin were very sweet.  She and my mother agreed that they would be even sweeter if they were shorter. A big bowl of curls on top of my head.  So she chopped the hair around my head and soon there was a bowl of curls above my ears and all the way around.

"Oh that's adorable sweetie," said my mother from behind the hairdresser chair.

"Isn't she cute?" said Terry the hairdresser.  I didn't know why Terry called me a she.  Now that my hair was so short, I looked like a boy.  That afternoon we were supposed to go swimming.  My bathing suit was white with red stripes and a blue flipper-the-dolphine jumping just above my bellybutton.  I knew that I couldn't wear this bathing suit anymore.   With my hair so short, everyone would know that something was wrong. 

I made my mother take me to the department store where she bought me ugly green and blue shorts that I would wear every day now that I was a boy.

Then I arrived in Ms. Stotman's junior kindergarten class.  My hair was still short. Terry had trimmed it just before school started.  On my first day of school, I wore my "Party Animal" sweat suit.  Lime green pants and a sweat shirt with lime green sleeves and a white body with some monster type animal and the words "party animal" on it.  Very flattering.  But at least I wasn't pretending to be a girl.  During free time, Ben and I met in the dress-up corner.  He suggested that I put on a tutu.  I decided that this meant that I was a girl again. I put on the tutu right away.  On the playground, Ben and I kissed on the lips.  Our parents let us hang out with each other on the weekends. We traded stickers. 
Once at Ben's house, we took off all of our clothes in the backyard, turned on the hose, and then sprayed each other and the windows of the house. Inside, the couch got wet. Ben's dad got a little bit angry at us and gave us pretend spankings while we were still naked.  The naked spankings felt thrilling.  After junior kindergarten, Ben and his family moved to Australia. 
During senior kindergarten, Ben sent me a postcard:

“Ben says he loves you and misses you and wishes you were here.”  LOVE BEN

That was the last I ever heard of Ben. 

Boyfriend #2:  I got my next boyfriend in grade one in Mrs. VandenBosch's class.  His name was Kevin.  Halfway through grade one, Keven had to wear braces on his legs like Forrest Gump.  So his legs were always in the shape of a triangle.  To walk, he had to swing them to and fro.  Then he had to go to the hospital to get an OPERATION.  I don't think that we became boyfriend and girlfriend until after that.  When Kevin returned to school, he had to use a wheelchair.  I remember waiting on the pavement for the school bell to ring and we kissed on the lips many times.

Then I skipped grade two and lost all my friends and my boyfriend.  When you're in grade three, you're not allowed to kiss boys in grade two.  Absolutely not. 

Boyfriend #3:  This was the one who was born on October 9th. The same day as my mother.  We met in grade nine band class. I played the trombone and he played the saxophone.  We both had braces.  At the school dance, he asked me to slow dance.  In grade nine, I was in love with Michael Brown and Alex Crampton who were both on the swim team.  I saw them every day at practice but they were way out of my league.  So when the saxophone player asked me to dance, I said yes.  I hated dances, but slow dances were the easiest because you didn't need any coordination or rhythm. The guy decided how much space there was between you.  The saxophone player decided there wouldn't be too much space and I could feel his boner between my legs.  I felt mostly neutral about this experience, but a little bit cozy.  The next week, we went out for lunch every day.  There were no boners and no kissing and I felt okay about this.  On Friday, it was his birthday.  I made him a big chocolate cake.  At the end of the day, he asked me out.  Like would I be his girlfriend.  I said I would think about it.  At swim practices, while we were doing our abdominal exercises, I asked everyone what I should do.  Michael Brown said that I might as well go for it.  I thought the world of Michale Brown so I figured I would follow his dating advice.

That night, I called the saxophone player back and said that yes, I would go out with him.  The next week, whenever we went out for lunch, we held hands.  At the park, sometimes he would put his arm around me.  I tried not to lean over in the opposite direction.  Every once in awhile, he would put his face full of braces close to my face full full of braces and then I couldn't help it.  I would look the other way. 

At night after swim practice, we would talk on the phone. A lot of the time, I would do my homework at the same time.  I was an excellent student. The saxophone player always called me "hon." At the end of our phone calls, he would say, "Bye, I love you."

Sometimes I would say I love you too, and sometimes I wouldn't.  At swim practice, while we were doing our abdominal exercises, when people asked me how it was going with my saxophone player, I would get all red and wish that it was time to jump in the water. 

One day we had walked home to my house for lunch. All the way there, the saxophone player kept leaning over towards my face and I kept lurching away.  His breath didn't smell that great and I felt certain that our two sets of braces would end in catastrophe.  If Michael Brown or Alex Crampton had braces and they'd wanted to kiss me, maybe it would have been different.  We'll never know.

When we got to my house,  my mother was giving a piano lesson.  There were fresh white buns on the counter.  The saxophone player put her arm around me and led me in front of the radiator, which was right next to the counter with the buns.  The saxophone player had a better strategy this time.  With both hands around my waist we stood before each other face to face.  I knew he was going to lean over soon and I knew that lurching away would have been rude and awkward.  Luckily, I had another strategy.  I had the buns.  I grabbed a fluffly white gluten-filled bun and I shoved it in the saxophone player's face. 

He seemed a little taken aback.  We sat down at the table and had lunch.

Eventually, in the backyard, I gave in and we made out briefly.  Our braces didn't get stuck and it  could have been way worse.  Still, throughout the whole 45 seconds of it, I kind of wished it was over. 

I broke up with the saxophone player over the phone the night before my birthday.  In total, our relationship lasted three weeks.  For my birthday, he'd bought me a big expensive basket of vanilla scented soaps and body sprays from the body shop. He gave it to me in band class even though we were broken up.  I thought that was nice of him even though fancy soaps usually give me rashes.

I sprayed the body spray on my neck.  At swim practice during abdominal exercises, Michael Brown made fun of the smell. 

Mike Brown, Perth Ontario's Olympic Star
Since the saxophone player, I have devised something called the KISS TEST.  The KISS TEST means you kiss me and afterwards, if I want to kiss you again, then you pass.  If I don't want to kiss you again, then you fail. Usually once you fail, you cannot take the test again.  Over the years, some people have been allowed to take the kiss test again, and pretty much every time, they kept failing.  It is a very accurate test.  I'm proud of myself for inventing it. 

Although perhaps without our braces, the saxophone player and I would have done better.  We'll never know, just like we'll never know if Michael Brown and Alex Crampton would have passed my kiss test. 

In any case, it doesn't matter anymore, since according to Facebook, Michael Brown, and Alex Crampton and the Saxophone Player are all happily kissing.  I am happily kissing too.  The Boatman passed the Kiss Test with Flying Colours. 

 The Boatman, Kiss Test Winner, 2011-2015

This confirms my belief that there is a successful kiss test out there for everyone.  Thank goodness.
Success in Kissing is available to all who seek it.  Those with braces and those without.  Be persistent, be patient, and in case of catastrophe, be sure to have some buns within reach. 

The End.
Happy Birthday to My Mother and the Saxophone Player.
Here is our friend Gluten. Always there when we need him. Or her. Or them.

Gluten, Always there for us despite everything.
Created by the Boatman at

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Supersize versus Superskinny: A Spiral of Shame

Readers, I’m sorry.  My mind has gone dull and I’m totally ashamed.  I blame it on Lady Gaga.  A week or so ago, she announced to the world that she has endured a lifelong struggle with anorexia and bulimia.  At the time of her great announcement, it was evening and the Boatman was working late.  Instead of following  James Altucher’s Seven Habits for Highly Effective Mediocre People, I made the evolved decision of going on Facebook.  There I learned that in response to someone calling her fat, Lady Gaga launched a movement called “Body Revolution.”  
Lady Gaga poses for “Body Revolution.”
Lady Gaga’s movement is a forum on Lady Gaga’s webpage meant to promote body acceptance.  People post photos and stories about their struggles to adopt a positive body image, be they due to eating disorders, illnesses, disabilities, or whatever reason.  Clicking away I travelled from one article about Lady Gaga to another.  Miraculously, my psyche remained undamaged despite the fact that Lady Gaga is 26 years old just like me and like Kiera Knightley (also my age), she has accumulated heaps more fame and success than me and my sad blog and self-help book. 
In case you forgot, the moral of the heartbreaking I-wish-I-was-kiera-knightley story was:
We all have high vaginas.  Me, you, Kiera, Knightley, Lady Gaga.  Everybody.
Here’ s my High Vagina.  Again.

Me and my High Vagina at the Boatman's mother's cottage
But a twist of fate occurred when I came across the site, “Healthy is the new skinny.”  Like Lady Gaga’s cause, this site also promotes positive body image.  It also seems to advocate for realistic and healthy models in the media.  Wonderful. I’m all about this.  Healthy is the new skinny has a section of videos from Youtube and beyond.  Some of them feature people sharing their own journey towards body acceptance.  Others contain different news stories about disturbing diets, stereotypes and the fact that if Barbie a real person, with her disproportionate body, she’d suffer horrendous back pain and be hard-pressed to walk.  I like this sort of thing, so I kept scrolling down and clicking.

Then I came across a British reality television show called

“Supersize vs Superskinny.”  The whole thing’s on Youtube.
As the title suggests, the show profiles a “diet swap”  between one morbidly obese person and a waif-like, usually eating disordered person.  For five days, the large person will eat the emaciated person’s measly diet, while the poor person who’s used to eating nothing has to stuff his or her face with the multi-caloried mountains of food that the big eater consumes every day.

As someone who used to have a litany of food rules and restrictive habits, I find the diet swaps to be a bit unlikely.  Most of the time, the participants change their ways far more quickly and amicably than is realistic.  After five days, almost all of the superskinnies are putting dents in the piles of the supersize’s feasts.  And just about every time, the supersized participants make peace with their meagre portions, and end up leaving something on their plates.
Apparently a lack of sound, realistic journalism isn’t that important to me.  I didn’t count how many episodes I’ve watched, but I made it to approximately season five, where the outcomes of the diet swaps become slightly more realistic.  I know way too much about this show.  I’ve watched it way too many times.
I picked this episode because it features an obese medical student and a teeny tiny health freak who does guess what? Yoga. Sort of hit home for me...  This swap seemed a bit more realistic than the others. 

Between meals, other journalists examine different diet and weight related issues.  For one season, a reporter tries out all sorts of fad diets.  On a couple others, they follow a group of anorexic and bulimic patients.  Season five, if you’re interested, does a bit of both.  The doctor on the show travels to Evansville, Indiana, apparently the fattest city in the United States.  In Evansville, they have ambulances that can carry a 1400 person.  So far most people max out around 800 or 900 pounds.  But still.  Oof.

 This guy would need an enormous ambulance to move him which must make him feel terrible.
Seriously, these people have wounds from surgery that won’t heal because they’re covered in fat.  They have to get someone else to help them shower, or wipe their asses. 

I can’t believe I’ve watched this show more than once. Surely once would be enough.  But no, I can’t stop.  I know I shouldn’t look, but I can’t look away.  It’s a big fat binge. 
Although I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this, if I were you, I’d avoid this show.  My obsession with it has caused me great shame.  I wish that I could say something profound and meaningful about obesity and eating disorders and the world’s ridiculous obsession with food and weight, but after so many hours watching these youtube clips, I’m consumed with lethargy and self-loathing. 

Now it’s time to go teach a core strength yoga class. Let’s hope that my students work very hard, igniting the fire deep within their lower stomach so that I may vicariously burn away this spiral of shame.

The End.
Me being skinny in India. Kerala, 2016.
India is the best diet. Or the worst.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

Tell Me I'm Fat, by This American Life

Are you strong or are you skinny?
Day 69 of Not Puking in Your Mouth
The Benefits of an Ashtanga Yoga Practice, Part Two