I don’t mean to Bikram-bash, but my first yoga studio experience happened to be in a Bikram studio, and it wasn’t great. What turned me off the most about the experience was the energy in the room. Nobody was smiling. I can’t stand being places where no one’s smiling — my defense mechanisms kick in, among them a very snarky sense of humor. I found myself trying to fight laughter from the jokes I was telling myself internally to qualm the awkwardness, while staying as silent externally as everyone else. It’s difficult to ground yourself and balance on one foot when you’re shaking at your core from fighting hysterical laughter!
This isn’t the way a yoga class should be. Yoga is fun. I enjoy the practice. So why do most yogis seem so serious all the time?
By The FIRM Master Instructor Marguerite O’Brien
While I try to be mindful of the blessings in my life and give thanks on a daily basis, there are times when I am humbled by life’s circumstances and my gratefulness is magnified. I’ve had several experiences recently that I wanted to share with you, in hopes that they will inspire you to take a moment to be present to what is going on around you and give silent thanks for every blessing.
Congrats! You made it to the tenth and final week of the Better Body and More Energy Challenge! I knew you could do it.
For your last assignment, I’d like to you tie together everything you’ve learned about nutrition and fitness over the past nine weeks. Don’t worry — it sounds more daunting than it really is!
The other night, I fell down the stairs. Not the whole flight, but the last four gray-slate stairs in the main lobby of the athletic club where I teach yoga. I was fully dressed and in view of at least three people when I tripped over my own boots, breaking my fall with my shins and hands. After the stars stopped swirling and the pain kicked in, I stood up, put on a brave smile and told the wincing front desk staff that I’d be okay. Then I limped out into the dark and, when it felt safe, I started to cry.
Are you having fun yet? I think of fun in two ways. First there’s the possibility of actually enjoying a new behavior. That’s especially easy when we’ve chosen something potentially fulfilling — learning the two-step, getting to know your new neighborhood, getting the pile of papers off your desk, following your dream of getting a pilot’s license. The more you can find ways to make your new habit fun, the more likely you’ll stick to it. Do it with friends, create a contest with your kids to see who’s better at it, make it into a silly game.
Many years ago (1976), my first job in the film industry was as the assistant to a legendary film producer named Ray Stark. Ray produced such classics as “Funny Girl,” “The Way We Were,” and “The Goodbye Girl.” Even though I went out on my own in 1980 to produce “Somewhere in Time,” Ray and I stayed in touch and, from time to time, he would invite me to his home to watch films with him in his projection room. One night, in 1984, he invited me over to see a new film called “Splash.” Ray was particularly interested in “Splash” because, for years, he had been developing a remake to a dramatic film from the 1940’s entitled “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid,” in which a man found a mermaid, put her in a pond near him, and fell in love with her. When we had finished watching “Splash,” Ray turned to me and said. “Well, that’s the end of developing “Peabody.” There are some issues that audiences just respond better to when they’re presented in comedies than when drama is involved. An audience will give you a lot more leeway in a comedy with their willingness to suspend disbelief than they will in a drama.”