Fucking Yoga

I curse. It’s a habit and it’s something I never used to do but something I kind of love doing now. Let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, so it’s almost expected that I’ll drop an f-bomb every now and then.

I curse because sometimes there are no replacement words that do the same justice to the situation. I curse because in certain circumstances it makes me giggle. I curse because a simple ‘fuckin-fuck’ goes a long way, and if I’m around anyone who knows my father we all secretly know I’m paying homage to my old man!

To curse or not to curse – who gives a fuck, right?

The reason I’m sitting here on a beautiful Friday afternoon and writing about cursing is because I went to a yoga class a while back and in the middle of rolling out some tight muscle tissue on a yoga therapy ball the instructor cursed. And then he cursed again. In fact his cursing (and his incredible knowledge and teaching style) kept me coming back to class again and again. Why did I like to be cursed at on my yoga mat? Am I deranged (well, of course I sort of am, but aren’t we all).

Lately it’s dawned on me why this appealed to me so very much. I was trying to explain this class to a friend who does yoga and his eyes narrowed and he looked at me like I would have looked at him a few years back if I were told this story. “What the fuck, Nadine? A yoga teacher cursing in class?”

Of course I understood where my friend was coming from. I do not, under any circumstance, want to be told to lift my fucking arms and fold the fuck forward. I do not want to be told to stand in mountain pose like an asshole or relax in final resting posture like a little bitch (although I need to admit writing that sentence does makes me laugh). It’s just that in this particular class, with this particular teacher, it works. It so works.

It’s a different class and I can tell he almost doesn’t want it to be called yoga. It kind of isn’t yoga actually. It’s deep tissue release working out your muscles on therapy balls. It’s tough. It hurts. But then it’s so good for you.

So yea, if I’m ‘smashing’ my bicep (honest name for the move folks, so you can imagine how it feels) when the teacher says, “I know this fucking hurts, it’s supposed too” it makes me laugh, relax, release and smash the shit out of my bicep. It doesn’t feel good, but then when he explains what we are doing to help our bodies recover and build stronger muscles and tissues, it does feel good because I know it’s good for me.

The thing is we are so adapted to being treated a certain way – we’ve crafted a pretty cushy lifestyle for ourselves, and in general we go about our days without being cursed at (a good thing!). But sometimes I don’t need to be treated with kid gloves. Sometimes I need to be challenged, pushed, and spoken to in a different way so that I don’t keep zoning out and so that I can push past my own limits.

We’ve created a gentle lifestyle. We want everyone to be happy, and we don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings. People argued to take red pens out of the school system and to stop kid’s sports from having a winning team so that we foster participation over competition. This ‘everybody wins’ attitude sure sounds great, but eventually someone is going to fucking lose. Eventually we are going to get our feelings hurt. Eventually someone will push us, frustrate us, and maybe even curse a little at us, but if we stop being so easily offended we just might see a different side to this. We just might rise to the challenge. We just might push past our own limits. I know for myself if this yoga teacher said, “Stop when this gets uncomfortable” I’d have stopped immediately. Instead, he told us to curse it out. In fact he said if we didn’t feel like cursing we weren’t pushing hard enough, and he offered some assistance. Ha! No thank you, no more assistance to smash my biceps, I was cursing God damn it. I was cursing already.

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