the cult of yoga

yoga cult

i went to yoga tree on sat. (i got a 3-class pass. may as well use it)

instructor was Les Leventhal. (he totally sounds like a lawyer from connecticut!)

i’m really beginning to think that yoga is a crazy cult.

all that chanting, hands together in prayer, and talk of spirituality, and wholeness and being and realaxing the mind, finding the breath, etc. etc. etc.

LL is a little preachy. but he’s okay.

a quick glance around the room. male-to-female ratio about 2:5, in a class of about 60 (?)
shirtless males? check.
females in black yoga pants? check.
somewhat uncomfortably high room temperature? check.

before we chanted and ommmmm-ed, LL started rambling about lifes choices, and blah blah blah blah something or other. i tuned it out.

i was more concentrated on the fact that we were sitting cross legged, and silent and breathing. i was a little more concerned with the fact that both of my legs were falling asleep. ouch.

he started chanting.
everyone seemed to know the “answer”, what they were supposed to say next. weird.

even though it says “all levels”, it’s a mid-to-advanced-level class. there were crazy-ass poses that i’d never seen or didn’t understand. we used lots of accessories. blocks, straps, blankets.

at one point he had us all stand up to go fetch a strap, and then we all went back to our mats.

this is precisely the moment i realized the similarities between yoga and church.

“wow, this is like going to communion”, i thought to myself.

i immediately got flashbacks to being in church on wrong island on any given sunday. and the entire congregation stand up and then sit back down, and then kneel, and sit down.

yoga was the same. downward dog, plank, cobra, some-other-name-of-pose-i-can’t-remember. etc. then back to downward dog.

the instructor chants. then the class repeats.

just like church. the priest says something. the congregation answers.

i was starting to get a little creeped out by the whole situation.
i’m half-expecting them to make me drink some weird kool-aid.

during class, LL made some small talk. he said something about his bar mitzvah, which made me laugh. i pictured him as a 13-year old with a big nose and curly hair, reciting from the torah, as his ill-fitting yarmulke slips off his head. (i’m silly!)

once again, during the course of the class, i sweated enough to create a small lake on my yoga mat.

yoga is okay. i don’t love it. i can take it or leave it.

mindbodyspirit.

but i’m totally not gonna drink the kool-aid.

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