Making Waves

I have found an alternate route to training for this year’s Iron Horse. Rather than take the bike off the wall and grind myself to nubbins on cindered mountain roads, like everyone else, my training involves a whole lot more fulfillment of my true nature’s potential. Also, science! You see, the gravitational waves that Einstein proposed back inna day explain so much about my ability to do yoga.

black holes collide

Now when I say “my ability to do yoga,” I am not trying to make you feel bad about your own inabilities. My yoga teacher says that we yogis are not to judge our stupid inflexible bodies. We are all built differently, she says, which is the absolute nicest way anyone has ever put “neener neener.”

So I phrase it as “my ability,” which, upon further meditation, is apt. I do have abilities, even if they are as invisible as gravitational waves.

But it’s not the invisibility of gravitational waves that explains my yoga. It’s the way they collaborate with my body to render these complex poses.

Bear in mind, I don’t pretend to understand the advanced science behind gravitational waves—I genuinely DO understand them. The trick is to find an image or a metaphor that illustrates the challenging concept of gravitational waves to other adults. This tactic is what we in the journalism biz refer to as “using our advanced training, for once,” or “I told you an English degree wasn’t completely worthless, Dad.”

Like this: How a gravitational wave works is, it pulls objects to the earth quicker than a pantser can expose the fruits of one’s loom.

Before this discovery, gravity was a mere theory, untested and unobservable, like evolution and bipartisanship. Now that scientists have detected gravitational waves for realsies, though, I have science to verify my Lifetime-movie triumphs on the yoga mat.

Like many normal people, I assumed for years that yoga was not for me. I should never have listened to myself. Yoga is a powerful spiritual activity, traditionally harmonizing the physical body with the ethereal reality of failure. But not for me. For me, on Day One, there was only mastery.

To be fair, my excellent teacher deserves her share of the credit. She explained, in a soothing voice, that this is a yin yoga class, where we work with gravity to create sensation in the body. So I, as a great understander of gravitational waves, was already starting light years ahead of everyone else. As part of yin yoga, she continued, we hold each pose for three to five minutes.

middle school bandToo easy, drill sergeant. I squirmed through many years of my sisters’ middle school band concerts. After those, I’m not afraid of three to five minutes of anything.

The teacher first reclined us into a simple pose—let’s just call it Regurgitated Butterfly, because I can’t remember the real names, which are all some variation of Sakrasavanasalakamavana—and it all went to plan as I surrendered my groin to gravity.

The real secret of gravity is that it never lets up. Its wavelengths expand or contract when there are cosmic shifts in the density of matter, like when two black holes merge, or when Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passes away. But they. never. stop. pulling. on. your. groin.

As a man, I learned to keep my pain to myself, lest I find myself pantsed by manlier men. So I applied the same principle to my non-pain. I strove to breathe through it, like the teacher suggested. She teacher must have recognized my significant abilities, because she heaped praise on me before everyone else.

She was all, I’m going to help you ease your knees apart into the pose, alright? And I was all, I can’t acknowledge you because I’m focused on breathing like a yoga master. And she was all, Just go as far as you are comfortable, and I was all, Okay, and that’s when she talked about us all being built differently.

When the teacher moved the class into the next pretzel-pose, she once again came over to me and was like, Normally we save Corpse Pose until the end, but why don’t you go ahead and give it a try.

I was the first to the finish line! And Corpse Pose is truly relaxing. It reflects a person who died peacefully, even tranquilly, from kicking ass in yoga class.

When the class ended, I must admit I felt somehow… less gravitied. While everyone else was busy attempting the Caucused Wombat and the Stubborn Sloth, I grew spiritually, merging my being with gravity waves and reaching self-actualization.

yoga pretzelThis yoga thing is so worth another week of lifelong practice. My teacher helped me detect my true nature right away. Who knows what else I will learn from her. Perhaps she is a yogic Einstein who understands potentials that I cannot even imagine. If she is reading this now, she should know that her gentle instruction led my chakras and my meridians spiritually far, far beyond Kapotasana pose, so I should never ever have to attempt it. Pretty please?


This Fool’s Gold originally appeared in The Durango Telegraph.

(Featured image of black holes colliding copyright NASA Blueshift/CC. Middle school band copyright Jill Carlson/CC. Yoga pretzel copyright Nicholas A. Tonelli/CC.)


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