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We salute Neal Pollack, yogi comedian


Neal PollackNeal Pollack could have been a comedian.

I’ve had a copy of Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude on my nightstand for months. Last week, I finally managed to find an hour in my schedule to start reading, and I couldn’t put it down. Pollack somehow manages to make sarcasm and self-deprecation + an earnest appreciation of how yoga transformed his life = humor.

It’s funny, really funny.

Since I’m sure he doesn’t have time to read every post we’ve ever written (or, of course, he would), I thought I’d share his take on the many yogic topics we’ve covered recently:

On “Yoga for Dudes”:
“Either I was the only man in Texas who had a free hour at 10 AM on a Wednesday, or guys just didn’t do yoga. Everyone else in the room was female. As I sat there in my coffee-stained white T-shirt and my paint-spattered cotton shorts with the “native” Guatemalan pattern embroidered across the hem, I felt self-conscious, hairy, and overly large, an ogre invited to the debutante ball.”

StretchOn Mysore Ashtanga:
“Ashtanga was like being in the yoga army. But like the Army, it made a man of me, without the part when you get beaten in the shower with a pillowcase full of soap if you make a mistake. Just as there’s no “I” in “team,” there’s no “team” in Ashtanga.”

On what yoga taught him about sex:
“Yoga’s main sexual accomplishment involved changes to my attitude. Since the moment I first sprouted pubes, I’d thought of nothing but sex…”

“Here I was, surrounded by more attractive, cool, smart, skimpily dressed women than any other time in my life, and I barely felt a tug towards bad behavior. Not only had I learned to control myself, the idea of controlling myself came almost naturally. I realized that I no longer needed sex. Yoga had claimed my inner pervert.” —Lisa Elaine Held