Reasons Not To Do Yoga

If I didn’t do yoga, I would have a lot more closet space.

This realization came to me over the weekend, as I migrated my apartment from one corner of Boston to another, with staggering amounts of yoga gear in tow. One might assume that yoga clothes are fairly portable, light, and unobtrusive, which is true . . . to a point. I exceeded that point many moons ago, and, now, I have enough Lycra to outfit a small army– albeit a stylish, non-violent one.

And, this is after I thoroughly purged my wardrobe, donating bags and boxes (and more bags and boxes) of gently worn tanks, tees, jackets, and Groove pants* to Goodwill, good pals, and Om Mama, who loves my hand-me-ups, as she calls them. Nevertheless, there I sat on Sunday, on the floor of my new closet, in my new apartment, utterly perplexed at how anyone fits an entire wardrobe within these confines. Embarrassingly, my excess of athletic apparel did not occur to me initially. Athletic wear is pragmatic, I thought. You can’t do yoga in jeans. Trust me I’ve tried. (No, really, I forgot yoga pants once and did a hot yoga class in the jeans I was wearing. Not recommend).

Then, it dawned on me; half my closet is reserved for clothes created for sweating, thereby prompting the realization that if I didn’t exercise, I’d have a heck of a lot more room for “real” clothes, acceptable for, say, wearing to dinner or the theater. Think of the possibilities! I could curate a swanky shoe collection or buy lots of fedoras. One can never have too many fedoras.

I’d also have more room in my schedule if I didn’t exercise, with all those blocks of time made available after wrestling them free from 90-minute yoga classes, 7-mile runs along the Charles River, hours spent at Equinox taking group fitness classes with elaborate routines to make me look like some gangly, uncoordinated, Steve Urkel in spandex . . . Consider what I could accomplish with actual spare time! I’d pen a novel, dedicate more energy to philanthropy, improve my knitting skills, or maybe just eat lots of pancakes on leisurely Sunday mornings sans the urge to bolt out the door for yoga class.

No sooner had I entertained this little daydream of vast amounts of closet space and free time (and pancakes), when I settled upon the following reality:

If I didn’t do yoga, I’d be a miserable, crazy wretch. Without an outlet for stress or steady source of healthy endorphins, I’m sure I’d fill my new found closet space and spare time with less productive substitutes. Admittedly, I could stand to streamline my material possessions (most of us could). This action represents a type of yoga practice, itself. Aparigraha, one of the yamas of the eight-limbed yogic path, encourages yogis to examine attachments to worldly goods, not to hoard wealth, and to neutralize desires to acquire wealth.

I simply wouldn’t be who I am without yoga and physical exercise, and I think there are worse things than being a yoga clotheshorse. Plus, you wouldn’t want to read an entire blog dedicated to fedoras and pancakes, would you?

Photo: Sadly, that’s not my dog. It’s my pal and fellow yoga teacher Chanel Luck’s. It is my fedora.

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  • jessieg

    Haha! Love it! I find myself thinking, I need more yoga clothes, when I know I really don't need them. I think my yoga studio is going to start doing yoga clothes exchanges. It's a good way to downsize and upsize if that be the case. Must do yoga! I do yoga almost everyday, but some days, I just don't go. And I have to say, that feels really really good too. And I have time to knit. BTW, love the fedora! Now I'm thinking I need one…

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rebecca…let's not forget the constant laundry – but the alternative of not and going without is best left to fantasy.I can say having been on both sides, forced to cease and desist all activity for nearly 14 months from injury. Three surgeries later, I am reentering the world of the living and active but conservatively. Having a forced sabbaical feels rich at first but then the luxury being still fades into longing and craving to do your stuff..have your life back where you left it.. pancakes or not. Every day I can, I do, just because I can and I am even more grateful for it having gone without it!

  • linabeau

    *sigh* the hubs and i had a serious life conversation last night about the emotional costs of living in a tight space where all your things–no matter how few– seem to be too much.

    i'm convinced that a few trips to the container store would do the trick. he's convinced picking up after myself would do it. alas, we agree to disagree.

  • Jen

    I think I would heart your Yoga wardrobe!

  • Anita

    Yes Yes! You are so right!!! And gosh is it hard to resist the lure of new Yoga Wear with such *beautiful* stylized images………I wanna look like *that* sweatin' my Ashtanga off, right???? Or maybe my standby duds are fine because right now is where I am supposed to be, let go a little of wanting, and be right now…..

  • elena

    mmmm…i definitely remember the day you forgot your yoga clothes. the jeans were large, haha. omg, i can still picture you trying to work it out in warrior I! sweet lost and found has 'saved' so many of us. it's those days you bring two shirts and no pants with you that you need the yoga most!

  • tiffany(

    I too am always thinking i need "one more pair" of yoga pants…
    I too, need exercise in my life,, preferably at the start.. it makes my days happy and smooth… I would be a large unhappy troll with out exercise..My closet would be just as full as my clothes would be quite large to accomodate all the pancakes I ate!
    I really admire your blog and have started one myself.. would love if you checked it out and gave me some comments and or feed back!