Whereas I love yoga. For other people. But I can't do it because I'm not that cool and also I fall over.
Still, if I had to pick between a Nepali sport like yoga and an American one like baseball, I'd pick yoga. Even to watch. Because at least I could follow what's going on. Plus it happens at my speed.
|See what I mean? It's a spectator sport.|
Except that if I ever did yoga, I wouldn't do it Western-style, with all the mats and meditation music. I'd do it Nepali style, on the dirt in the village, because then when I fell over I'd just be an American who didn't know any better and everyone would smile cheerfully and feel good that I was trying, whereas if I did it Western-style with other Westerners I'd just be an uncoordinated dork and when I fell it would make a big thump and the mellow groove would be totally ruined.
My father-in-law has done yoga for years and is as limber as Gumby would be if Gumby could twist into a pretzel shape. He's still limber even though he has arthritis, which he got while he was visiting us in the US back when we lived there and we thought my in-laws might like to live there, too. We think the arthritis happened out of boredom. Nobody but us spoke Nepali in the 'hood, and so he had no one to philosophize with, which for an old pandit from the village is like being put into a sensory deprivation chamber.
So first he discovered a talent for art and filled an entire book with colored-pencil mandalas. And then he read a book over and over in Nepali that's basically like Creationism from a Nepali Hindu perspective, wherein it's proved that everything in the world begins in Nepal, is invented in Nepal, and proves the central importance of Nepal to everything, ever.
|The best thing about America,|
according to my father -in-law
He said he liked America. Particularly the whipped cream. And then he got arthritis.
He went back to Nepal and when he got off the plane his leg felt better, and when he got to the village he was bounding around like a spring Gumby.
So yoga is good. And as long as I could do it without actually moving, like a meditation yoga where you just think about doing amazing things with your body, it would be the perfect exercise.
Anyway, here are some pictures of Patan, where I live, with students at Pranamaya, which is our local yoga studio, which had the cool idea a little while back of hosting a walking tour of Patan in which they let ordinary people like me from the community tag along. It was fun and I met some great people. I know they look normal, but they're not, because they can do camels and half-frogs and one-legged king pigeons and other gentle yet somehow unnatural-sounding poses without throwing their backs out. And if they ever get arthritis, they'll still be able to kick the doctor in the nose.
|Pranamaya students on a stroll through Patan,|
peering at things and taking pictures.
I'm the un-svelte one at upper left.
|Probably taking notes on poses from the guy in the foreground|
|A pose I can do|
|This is the part of yoga I like.|