Get Fit with ‘Sith Yoga’
What do you usually think about when you’re doing yoga?
No I mean, what do you really think about?
As your body strains to maintain a back-breaking posture, where does your mind go?
The answer you’re supposed to provide is that your mind is still and calm. You’re supposed to think of absolutely nothing, and be entirely in the zone.
For you, the hour goes by in the blink of an eye. You barely felt the half-moon pose, and barely registered the 30 second planks burning through your biceps.
Instead, your mind was at perfect peace, like the yogi’s that existed in old books and Bugs Bunny cartoons.
However, if you’re anything like me, your mind is suffering alongside your body.
Every muscle you’re using to hold that pose is burning, and your mind is racing at a hundred miles an hour, internally screaming every curse word you’ve ever heard in your life.
I guess some people are able to count the seconds, or concentrate on how amazing they’re going to look once all this work pays off.
But not me, I have to direct all this mental energy somewhere, and because I do yoga as part of a class, all I see around me are potential victims.
Exercise Leads to Pain, Pain Leads to Hate..
Whenever I do any kind of exercise, my muscles become furious that I’m not on my couch playing video games, and they let me know.
That anger needs somewhere to go, so every class I pick a victim from the crowd and mentally unleash all over that person.
I try to subtlety notice their yoga technique reflected in one of the many mirrors adorning the walls around the room.
Once chosen, I observe my victim. I watch their every move, revel in their every mistake.
What I’m searching for is anything I can hate on.
If they’re doing the posture perfectly, I’ll rage and will push myself to outdo them. If they’re struggling with the pose, I’ll cackle internally and push myself to shine by comparison.
Externally, my face is always the picture of zen.
If anyone talks to me about something, I’ll smile and be perfectly pleasant.
Perhaps we’ll talk about the weather or discuss how annoying it is that the lockers jam sometimes and we need to call the receptionist to pry it open.
Oh, how we laugh..
But once the chatting ends and we sit on our mats, it’s game on.
Does it appear as though I’m meditating when I’m sitting cross-legged on the mat? Do my eyes really appear closed?
Well, they’re not closed, they’re watching you..
They’ll never know that I’m scanning, judging, fuming, and internally heckling.
But why? Why would anyone in the world do this? What are the benefits?
The Benefits of Sith Yoga
The types of yoga I practice are ones that use the body’s own weight to resistance train the muscles and make you leaner and stronger.
I’m aware that there are many relaxing forms of yoga out there, many of which are offered by the studio I’m a member of.
But I have no interest in relaxing, I need to get strong and lean as quickly as I can (without going to the real gym).
Resistance training is difficult, especially when it requires you to hold something heavy (such as your own body) for an extended period of time. Building those muscles feels nearly impossible, so the will to continue is weak.
If I’m holding a posture that feels terrible but is strengthening a muscle group, I’ll typically hold it for 5 seconds when 15 seconds is required for muscle growth to occur.
I’m never able to hold the weight long enough to make a real difference, and that’s where evil thoughts come in to help.
If I have a victim somewhere in the room, that person is unknowingly coaching me to success.
Watching and taunting this person is making me hold the pose far longer than I ordinarily would.
I want to beat this person, hold the pose longer, and pull off the challenge more successfully.
This person is scum in my eyes, and I need to show them who’s boss.
Of course, once the class is over, all those thoughts fall to the floor and it’s back to being pleasant and friendly.
But the next time class starts back up again, I need to win, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to show this bitch who’s in charge.
Is it Working?
The yoga certainly seems to be working, because I’ve lost weight, and I feel a lot healthier in my daily life.
I know that raging my way through yoga classes is probably not a great long term strategy however.
I’ve heard from others that clearing your mind and meditating have alleged benefits.
But for now, I need the rage to fuel me further than I’d otherwise be able to go, and for that, I need victims.
Thanks to these victims, I’m receiving all the motivation I need to hold the pose longer, train my muscles more, and shift that stubborn weight.
So if you’re someone that can’t turn your brain off during yoga, why not give it a try? If you do, please let me know, I’d be very interested to hear your strategy.
Just make sure you don’t share your strategy with anyone you’re working out with.
As with most of what goes on inside your mind, it’s best left unspoken, except as an article online.