Category Archives: Health

Very Funny Yoga Mat for Sale Ad on Craigslist

colorful yoga mats

I have always wondered if I would like hot yoga. Here’s a funny, now-deleted Craigslist entry from the Seattle area for a once-used mat. Priceless!

Seattle Craigslist: Yoga Mat for sale used once – $1 (Bellevue)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

11:45 a.m.
Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

11:55 a.m.
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

11:57 a.m.
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

11:58 a.m.
The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.

11:59 a.m.
Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don’t exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.

12:00 p.m.
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

12:02 p.m.
Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.

12:10 p.m.
It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other’s body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don’t worry, I’ll mention them later.)

12:26 p.m.
It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.

12:33 p.m.
It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I’m in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, “for better or worse” is what we committed to so we press on.

12:40 p.m.
The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

12:44 p.m.
I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

12:52 p.m.
It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.

12:55 p.m.
This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?

1:01 p.m.
140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don’t get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!

1:09 p.m.
150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed.
I lose consciousness.

1:15 p.m.
I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can’t really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.

1:17 p.m.
I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it’s voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It’s like juice and cracker time, ok?

1:20 p.m.
It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?

1:30 p.m.
Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and ‘cool down’ in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.

1:34 p.m.
My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. So let’s conservatively say it’s 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.

1:37 p.m.
The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day’s turmoil and mental scaring.

1:47 p.m.
Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein — effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

3:47 p.m.
Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the “shakes” consume my body.

4:29 p.m.
Note to self – check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.

I start MindSpace’s “14 Day Meditation Challenge” today

business man practice yoga at network server room

I have been meditating most days now for about six months, but I want to step up the practice to everyday. Currently, I am meditating every weekday afternoon in the the dressing room in my work’s bike room. It’s loud, but the fan noise and dripping shower faucet gives me sounds to focus on.

My friend Angus pointed me to MindSpace where it has a fourteen day challenge. Though I have been tinkering with smartphone apps like Omvana, Simply Being, and starting yesterday, Head Space, I think I will check MindSpace out. Kind of disappointed they don’t have a smartphone app.

Anyway, I’ll try this out and get back to you.

My Very Own Plank Challange

Man in plank poseThere are plenty of Plank challenges out there. Just check out I can hold a plank posture like the one above for over a minute so perhaps my challenge illustrated below is a little on the conservative side–both in its daily duration and it’s length. Still, I’m going to start out small and see how easy it is.

Day 1 – 60 seconds
Day 2 – 75 seconds
Day 3 – 75 seconds
Day 4 – 75 seconds
Day 5 – 90 seconds
Day 6 – 90 seconds
Day 7 – 90 seconds
Day 8 – 110 seconds
Day 9 – 110 seconds
Day 10 – 130 seconds
Day 11 – 130 seconds
Day 12 – 145 seconds
Day 13 – 145 seconds

When I get around Day 10, if I can’t handle the times I will drop down to my elbows as illustrated below.

Man doing forearm plank pose in yoga

Some of these challenges include side planks and other variations. We’ll see if I move on to those kind. As it is, in yoga classes I always have to use an easier modification for some of these planks, and that doesn’t really work my core much. Hopefully, I’ll be able to progress to those types.

Observations From the Mat #3: My Transformation

When looking back at how I became more in touch with my body and mind, which lead me to lose 20 pounds, as of this post, and begin meditating, there are certain watershed moments and critical people that have contributed. Without a doubt being diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease and referred to a yoga-loving physical therapist who happened to go to the same gym and suggesting I to take the Gentle Yoga class is significant. In fact, it was during a Gentle Yoga session where the I met Heather, who was subbing for the regular teacher.

By the time we said “Namaste” I was more physically invigorated than I have ever been before, and, something new: I felt spiritually more alive. I wish I was better with words because “spiritually more alive” sounds either over-the-top or corny. I, obviously, not know how to accurately describe how I felt. All I knew is I wanted more. At the risk of creeping her out, I asked Heather if she taught any yoga classes in town. I was lucky–she taught the Vinyasa yoga class on Tuesday nights right her at this club. She also taught a class in the complex across the street where she lived. I wanted to go to that class as well, but I thought that might really creep her out, so I restrained myself.

I will let Yoga Journal’s Maty Ezraty explain what Vinyasa means: “Vinyasa means a gradual progression or a step-by-step approach that systematically and appropriately takes a student from one point and safely lands them at the next point. It is sometimes described as the ‘breathing system,’ or the union of breath and movement that make up the steps.”  (See the whole article here:

Looking back, Heather’s class didn’t seem that physically challenging. It still isn’t. Vinyasa yoga is supposed to be challenging, but Heather teaches an easier version of the practice, “open to all levels,” she calls it. What makes this particular class so special are the activities that invigorate me.

It was first in a Gentle Yoga class that she subbed–and later in her own class–where I learned just how important breathing was in yoga. Too, this was the first class I ever practiced Pranayama (or Skull Shiner) and Nadi Sodhana (or Alternate Nostril Breathing). These breathing practices made me feel markedly better after practicing them. I often wonder why my other classes ignore these important practices.

This seems like a minor point, but she was the first teacher to explain the benefits of many of the postures as we went through them. I liked it when I first heard it because it provided me with a specific purpose for performing a particular posture. Later, when I told a friend at work who practices two times a day/seven days a week he told me that teachers who do not explain the reason for performing postures are usually “mercenary yoga teachers.” That is, they are usually in it for the money.

Savasana (or corpse pose) was the first posture I ever learned. My physical therapist taught me it. This is the therapist that is responsible to turning me onto yoga. I always looked forward to Savasana every session, probably because it appealed to my lazy ass, but Heather explained it was actually a difficult posture to master because it was more a posture of the brain. Anyone can just lay like a corpse, but Heather emphasized that you should neither doze nor keep your mind busy about things like how much you need to improve on your warrior postures, if you are going to meet that creepy guy who likes to talk to you in the shower, the ride back home, tonight’s dinner, or whatever. She often leads us in a guided mediation during Savasana. Starting with a big toe and working our way up to the crown of our head–focusing our attention on each part of our body as she called them out. It was my introduction to meditation.

Heather’s introduction to meditation lead me to check out other spiritual sources (Buddhism, Yogananda, Kriyananda, Tara Brach) in a small part for the spiritual information, but mostly for information on meditation. Lastly, she gave us a benediction. Now, maybe I’m just too sensitive for my own good, but I felt touched by the teacher’s words:

“May you live like the lotus
At home in the muddy waters

The secret to not slipping during your down dog!

Man Practicing Yoga At GymI’ve slipped from time to time, and I don’t want to buy those yoga gloves and footwear! My wife bought me a pair of Gaiam yoga socks which work better on hard surfaces so if I can just start doing yoga at home without my mat–which is currently at work–I shouldn’t have this problem. Check out this link from Do You

Five things to do before breakfast for a happy day

sunrise moring on the beachOkay, so on work days I don’t eat a breakfast per se. I have a biscuit or a croissant with my coffee during my morning break around 9:30 a.m–about four hours after I get up. I know I should be eating right when I get up so perhaps that will be another year’s resolution. Dropping coffee for tea is another resolution for another year.

Anyway, here are five things to do in the morning (or breakfast, if you are a better person than I) for a happy day.

Stepping forward out of Downward Facing Dog, gracefully!

Stepping a foot forward from Downward Facing Dog is one vinyasa I cannot do. The link below is from, an online yoga teaching ministry that I am considering becoming a member. The class looks helpful and reminds me–I need a couple of blocks for my home practice. This is assuming I ever start practicing at home!

Step Forward Gracefully