Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yoga: two extreme positions

In the book, I related a little anecdote about looking for a yoga class, to help me fight the increasing inflexibility of middle age, and coming across an ad in my local post office window, headed like this:

YOGA WITHOUT TREE-HUGGING

For me, I commented, this sounded perfect, since I've always been a bit suspicious of forms of physical exercise which oversell themselves on the basis of their supposed spiritual benefits.

Today, in a different shop window, I came across an ad for another yoga class, headed:

HATHA YOGA - AS A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE

Now, I wouldn't go to that class unless you stunned me with a tyre iron, bound me hand and foot, and carried me there trussed under a pole. But, of course, that doesn't make the ad a worse piece of persuasive writing: just one aimed at a reader as different from me as it's possible to imagine.

And no, since you ask I haven't actually enrolled in the non-tree-hugging class yet. But I'm going to, soon. Honestly.

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