I clicked on the above photo this week of actor Alec Baldwin’s wife striking a yoga pose in order to roast a marshmallow on the beach while bent over backwards. I regret nothing.
For starters, I learned that Baldwin’s wife is named Hilaria, a name you just can’t take seriously, which may be the point. I also learned that Hilaria is 30, while Alec Baldwin is 56 years old but 94 in dog years.
The best part, though, was that I had just been inwardly scoffing (which stings a little, I’m not going to lie) about how trendy yoga is, only to come across this photo listed in the search results under “news” for yoga. Thanks to this photo, I now know that yoga provides a practical solution if I ever find myself with my feet stuck in cement and it’s critical I roast a marshmallow in an ostentatious manner on a fire located behind me. Really, though, the greater challenge in such a dire situation would be coming up with the marshmallow.
After catching up on this latest global yoga news, I decided to look into yoga more deeply, or as they say in yoga circles, “mo-o-o-o-o-re de-e-e-e-e-ply.”
Yoga is an ancient physical and spiritual practice, dating all the way back to 2001. It grows out of a combination of Hindu mysticism and vintage Jane Fonda Workout tapes. The popularity of yoga began to increase when yoga pants were first introduced in stores in 2004. Inappropriate photos of women in yoga pants were first introduced online about 10 minutes later.
Yoga stretches muscles, massages the organs, calms the mind, improves circulation, reduces stress, clears blackheads, eliminates odours, removes unwanted body hair, cleanses the palate and cuts through even the toughest grease.
The beauty of yoga (besides the pants) is that anyone can do it. All you need is good balance – a good bank balance because at $10 a session, yoga’s not cheap.
But beyond the physical workout, the spiritual aspect of yoga makes the cost worthwhile. Yoga practitioners enjoy the spiritual enlightenment that comes with knowing they are spiritually enlightened about spiritual enlightenment. Done properly, yoga touches something deep within the practitioner. Done improperly, yoga touches something deep within the neighbouring practitioner, so maybe you should oonch your yoga mat over just a smidge.
Many people shy away from yoga not only due to errant toes but because of the confusing array of moves and sequences in a typical workout. Luckily, many of these moves are imaginatively named to help you remember them. Here are just a few examples:
The Downward Dog: On your hands and knees, you slowly lift your bum in the air while keeping your feet and hands on the floor. It is so called because, with your face so near the floor like that and those tantalizing bits of kale and quinoa at the corners of your mouth, you may end up getting your face licked by your dog or by Alec Baldwin.
The Cobra: Lie face down, then raise your upper body, rest on your arms and shout “I’M A SNAKE, SEE? LOOK AT ME, EVERYBODY, I’M A DANGEROUS EXOTIC SNAKE.” The spiritual component comes when your yoga mates tap deep into their emotions to suppress the urge to tell you shut the hell up.
The Hello Sailor: Standing with hands on waist, thrust your hips to the left, breathe in, thrust hips to the right, breathe out, raise face skyward and smile broadly at the sun like a good-looking stranger has just asked you, “Hey, do you work out?”
The Grandmother Canoe: Lying on your back, point your toes away from you and raise your hands over your head. Now bring your hands to your eyes and cover them. Let all your shame float away from you for wearing dowdy beige sweatpants to yoga class.
The Hot Cyclist: Over several sessions, gently move your yoga mat eastward until you are positioned next to the really cute blonde.
The What’s New, Pussycat: Sitting in the lotus position, hands clasped in front of you, breathe in, gently twist your upper body to the left, then to the right, breathe out like a long, exasperated sigh. Be filled with the revelation that you are one with your chakra and that everyone else in the room is also one, and that all the ones added together make many, and this yoga class has become far too crowded and trendy, and that, in your spiritual quest, you should go next door and sign up for the new hot workout, Buddha Camp. I hear they do amazing things with wieners.
Love it! Now don’t feel so bad about not being able to roast marshmallows.
That’s the least I feel bad about myself… about. What a weird sentence.
Thanks for the reblog.
Love this and desperately needed to air high-5 you for the correct spelling of the word “humour”. Well done Canada! I started tagging posts with the correct spelling by way of protest but no one could find them. American-English is not English people!
*sings God save the Queen and makes a cup of tea*
Here here, huzzah and all that. Gotta keep the faiuth.
The Grandmother Canoe!!! OMG the name of that position alone is just. Ideal. The best part about this article is that it made me legitimately miss my yoga instructor, which I think means that I’m the root of the problem.
So I was thinking of yoga positions at a friend’s cottage on the weekend when I saw this: http://www.canot-grandmere.qc.ca. The stuff kind of writes itself after that.
I’m going to Buddha camp – they show you where to keep emergency marshmallows on your person at ALL times, in case, ya know, you need to whip one out during a back-bend to reach your cooking fire…that’s the easy part, keeping the stick hidden on your body is another problem entirely. It can be inserted during some Downward Facing Dog, I believe 🙂
Oh Rosemary….you are tooooo funny.
A must watch…
Was thinking of you writing this, hot yoga turnip!
That video is hari-larious.
Ain’t it though? I’m probably not a typical Yoga girl…I pretty much only like to do hot yoga and my other groove is T’ai Chi…I like moving meditation with a definite sequence. And I’m not so touchy-feely 🙂
In fairness, yoga looks pretty cool, and I’ve often thought of doing t’ai chi. But you know what they say, ignorance is yuks.
Hee hee – T’ai Chi is awesome… the whole philosophy is about moving meditation and you just ‘do it again’ – and you use the your body efficiently in movements to expend less wasted energy. And there’s nothing to ‘believe’ – it’s practical use of one’s body.
You say ostentatious but I think pretentious is also appropriate. I’m surprised Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t think of this first. And speaking of ostentatious pretense, how ’bout those sweater sleeves draped over that dude’s shoulders? I didn’t know that was still done, unless your aim is to be mocked.
Have you ever been to a yoga studio? It most certainly does NOT eliminate odors. Or, as you insist, “odours.”
You book arrived! What a handsome photo. It’s on my bed stand being consumed in small, bite-sized morsels. It purges all the dark matter from the windmills of my mind and lulls me to dreamland.
And the “Save Ferris” T-shirt on the kid. Bet the kid’s never even seen “Bueller.” In the Baldwin house it’s nothin’ but “Beetlejuice” for the kiddies.
Glad the book arrived. Speedy delivery. It is a good purgative.
Can confirm. Dated a yoga instructor.
Once, during one improperly executed Downward Dog pose, I had accidentally tapped into a boundless reservoir of my inner cynicism, and ever since then I have not been able to take yoga seriously. I think you might have done the same pose mistake.
I think it’s because whenever someone says “chakra” I start singing Chaka Khan.
When I was 30 I roasted all my marshmallows like that. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. These days my yoga poses are pretty much all Slouching Old Man on the Couch.
The power of yoga is not to be underestimated. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t mastered the Hello Sailor pose. It’s particularly effective if practiced near a dockyard.
Whew! For a second there I thought I was in for it. I expect this piece might make some yoga fans (wait for it) bent out of shape.
I’m not going to touch Hilaria. Yoga and Smores sound like the perfect combination. I actually/literally/honestly just finished a 1996 VHS Denise Austin yoga tape ten minutes ago. I like it because it is remedial level and she is encouraging and talks to you like you’re a toddler. When you do TREE, she says, “You are creating a wonderful living structure.” And then I feel super proud of myself. Now I need to master Grandmother Canoe.
I’m not sure what I’m more impressed by, that you do yoga or you still have VHS.
And you should feel proud of yourself. Don’t let the nobs (i.e. me) stop you.
I do yoga sparingly. I do VHS often. It’s only $1 for tapes at the bookstore. I am cheap. Plus, if they begin to go bad, you just toss em in the trash. What’s a nob? Do they live on Nob Hill?
A nob is a polite putz.
Bahahahaha – if I ever find myself with my feet stuck in cement and it’s critical I roast a marshmallow in an ostentatious manner on a fire located behind me…I laughed out loud many times reading this. Awesome post!
Hey thanks. I was worried it was too much of a… stretch.
Love this post!! I would have been more impressed had she made a Cobb Salad. It’s a healthier option than the marshmallow. She won’t be able to fit into her yoga pants if she keeps that up!!
Maybe she was toasting it for the vagrants standing with her.
The yoga movement must have been active in the US before making it to Quebec Ross. I can clearly recall yoga from my early days of driving a transport to the US. Being a Maritimer and hauling frozen fish from there to the Eastern US, we travelled across Maine and then through Bangor onto the 95 south. There was an interesting intersection where we turned off Union St to catch I-395. It looped around in a large spiral from the higher level bridge down to the river edge. At the time it was a run-down mixed commercial/residential area and in the center of the turn was an old empty car showroom. Bye and bye someone began cleaning up the old showroom and day by day, it looked in better repair. One day, the paper came off the new plate glass showroom window and lo and behold, there was a yoga studio – under glass and delivered up for all the passing truckers to drool in appreciation. My guess is that the owners’ intention was to display the efforts of their students to gain more membership – but it kind of backfired. Many trucks aktered their route to use that ramp and ocassionally trucks could be seen circling the loop, getting off and then back on in order to keep passing the display window – “display” being the key word here. We enjoyed all the yogas moves but, of course, were not privy to their names. So, we invented few of Maine-ish names of our own: Bear Eating Berries, Tree Struck by Lightening, Raccoon Crossing Road, Eagle in Flight, and, of course, Woman Toasting Marshmallow. The sight of writhing female bodies caused many a driver to modify his schedule in order to arrive at our corner during class times. So, I was introduced to yoga. Many of us that passed that window were long-haul drivers and I knew quite a few. C.B. conversation from California to Newfoundland would contain references to that window in Maine. But, of course, no good thing lasts. Apparently some of our numbers were a bit too enthusiastic and would blast their air horns and wave vigorously at the yoga ladies each time they passed.This is a gesture of appreciation in the trucking world, but it was sadly misinterpreted. Sigh. One day, I came eagerly around the turn anticipating the sights, and the windows were covered with paper. And so they remained. The cars still came and went from the parking lot but the view was gone forever.
So, I was especially enthusiastic when I opened your post today Ross and there was a memory from my young formative years of yoga appreciation – Woman Toasting Marshmallow. Thank You Ross for putitng a smile on the face of an old truck driver.
I know that turn, but I never saw yoga. Growing up in the Maritimes, we got Bangor cable, and I’m trying to remember the station manager/personality who did the commercials. One of a kind. And then there was Dick Stacey’s Country Jamboree. So, among our Bangor associations, I think you win.
OMG! That’s amazing – I remember the advertizing on the local radio station – like none other. I’d listen to those home made ads all day if I could. I was passing through one day and they were doing a hardware store commercial. The focus was that they had been serving the Maine public for 120 years. The old guy in the ad asks a young man if he was a local. The young man said he was. So the old guy asks if his parents were from Maine and the young guy answers No they are from Massachusetts. So the old guy says; “If your parents aren’t from Maine then you’re not a local. After all if your cat had kittens in the oven you wouldn’t call them biscuits!” Ha! I cracked up.
That was about 35 years ago (1979) when I was 21 and the studio only showed its stuff for about a month before they covered the windows. I-395 now extends across the river and joins Hwy 9 further down. No through traffic takes the yoga turn anymore and I doubt the building is even still there. And I remember Dick Stacey’s Country Jamboree!
I guess I mean I remember getting lost in Bangor.
Ha! Me too – lost that is. Hey Ross, I just ordered your book through your publisher – worked great, thank you.
You’re the best.
Don’t scoff. I met my wife while doing the Hello Sailor. Or she met me. I can’t remember which. All I know is that we quickly left the bar to go roast marshmallows together.
You need to check the video Denise posted in the comments above. I imagine that’s how smooth you were. Namaste.
OK, now I’ve got “Yoga Girl” stuck in my head. The song, not the stretching parts. Ok, maybe a little…
I think we better quit while we’re still ahead and married.
(Not to each other, folks. Not to each other.)
Yeah, folks! That would be ridiculous! Ha! Ha! I mean, the paperwork alone just trying to clear customs would be enough to sour the marriage.
Ha! Ha! And the goatee-vs-full-on-beard disputes. Intractable. And scratchy.
The question of the moment is this: Will Hilaria be able to roast another marshmallow or do anything else in that position after eating the first marshmallow?
I want to see her eat the marshmallow in that position.
I want to see it come out her nose!
I have been doing yoga for the past year now but have not yet mastered Grandmother Canoe. Or Downward Dog. Or any of the above. I’m beginning to think I should just stick to drinking wine instead.
I was going to quip that wine is easier but even here you have to deal with arcane knowledge and be “in” on the best wines. Everything has its snobby elements. Except “Duck Dynasty.”
I need to thank you for the brilliant line that was:
“Done improperly, yoga touches something deep within the neighbouring practitioner, so maybe you should oonch your yoga mat over just a smidge.”
as laughing out loud is the closest I’ll ever get to any kind of spiritual enlightenment. The reason? I’m a dude.
I get you: not so much peering into your soul as peering into cleavage.
what’s the big deal? what? that’s how i drink my coffee in the morning.
The key to a successful yoga experience is just to buy the tight pants that show off your butt and then carefully ignore all the stretchy stuff. (You have to ignore the kale aspect also.) This is why yoga has always worked for me, and although my palate may not be as cleansed as I could hope for, I definitely save money in the long term.
I KNEW IT!
Fuck you, making fun of Yoga. Really: fuck you, buddy.
I loved the post in case that didn’t come across in my coarse remarks. Trying to get “east coast” on you in a loving way.
Don’t worry, man, I feel you (as my middle daughter would say).
I think this photo got misfiled under ‘Yoga News,” Ross. I think they meant to tag the one that came four frames later, which caught Alec kicking the young uni-browed guy in this frame’s ass for being with Hilaria on the beach while she was using the Upward Two-Humped Camel move to roast a marshmallow.
The Beast With Two Backs, familiar with it.
Hey Ross, this is completely off topic but I thought I’d mention that I did my first ever guest post (or any intended post) today over at Willowdot21 http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/6282/ I’d be honored if you had the time to drop by and say “hi” . Any comments, criticisms, suggestions are welcome with open arms.The blog owner has asked me to do a weekly post and I have agreed. She set the topic and I write. Thanks for any input you may have. Greatly appreciated.
I liked it. It was like a chat, which is what I think you were going for. Congrats.
Reblogged this on paekamstocks.
You know, I feel really sad I can’t participate in Yoga due to BPV (benign positional vertigo) TIC! This may truly ruin my life!
There’s always the zen art of ice cream.
Iiiiiiiiiiicccccccccce crrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaaaammmmmmmm . . . uuuuummmmmmm