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Humor August 2015

The Grumpy Old Man

Grumpy Embraces a Sleeping Tiger

By Don Rizzo

Okay, let me disabuse you of the myth that yoga practitioners are nice. They're not. The first thing I learned is that the instructors are actually robots made out of rubber. The second thing I learned is that the robots are sadists who have invaded earth with the mission of snuffing out humans by causing them so much pain that they happily commit suicide.

Recent back surgery report: Ouch. Only marginally successful. How to rejuvenate a moldering carcass? The answer is obvious. Google the heck out of "curing back pain." I rummaged through multiple screens of Mexican clinics and storefronts offering part-time surgeons, hair replacement, and plumbing supplies all in one stop. (Hair replacement; hmmmm bookmark that one. I can pick up a new toilet plunger while I'm there.) Why is it that as one ages, hair starts growing in all the places you don't want it and won't grow where you want it to – but I digress.

Finally, on screen 76, I begin running into the yoga sites. Yoga seems benign enough. Go to a few sessions a week in a soothing, incense-infused, softly-lit studio. Hold a few poses, get bombarded with mysterious cosmic energy and life particles, go home cured. Why didn't I do this research before being sliced and diced?

I needed to pursue this, but my approach had to be scientific. Which studio would offer the best possibility of relieving pain? Obviously, it would be the one closest to my house. Armed with this demanding set of criteria, I launched my research, found one studio within five miles, and making a penetrating decision selected it.

Okay, let me disabuse you of the myth that yoga practitioners are nice. They're not. The first thing I learned is that the instructors are actually robots made out of rubber. The second thing I learned is that the robots are sadists who have invaded earth with the mission of snuffing out humans by causing them so much pain that they happily commit suicide.

It all begins by beating your stomach (dahn jon) with your fists 300 or 400 times to heat it up. That turns out to be the most fun of the session. Here are some of the contortions that await you after you "warm up" your dahn jon.

Think they look easy? Give em a try. And none of this 30-second stuff. Hold them long enough so that you begin howling. When the pain has reached the point that your throat contracts and you can't howl, you only have three more minutes to go.

Okay, this one is my real favorite because it looks so easy and hurts so much. It’s called the Sleeping Tiger. Jump down on the den floor and try it. About five minutes is the minimum time you must hold the pose. The first time I tried it, I could keep my legs up for about 30 seconds. If my legs started to droop, the robot somehow got a signal and closed in to gently raise them back to screaming levels. At about 40 seconds everything started to vibrate. Giving up, I grabbed my legs behind my knees. I peeked around to see if others were struggling. A couple of the guys were collapsing like me. Most of the women seemed to be fine. Good grief. Am I an especially weak wuss? (Research revealed that women have fewer problems with this pose than men. I will not even begin to speculate on why that could be true.)

After the first few sessions I limped my way miserably out the door vowing never to return. But I had been sweet-talked into signing up for six months! The only pain worse than the yoga was the pain I would feel if I ended up wasting the money. Not surprisingly, avarice prevailed. I kept trudging back for more – and guess what? The back pain is fading! Or is it that the life particles penetrating my brain from the outer universe are convincing me. Oh well, who cares as long as it works.

 

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