Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

So I've got this little thing called a birthday coming up around the corner. And y'all know how I feel about gifts and shopping and buying obligatory shit as some supposed measure of love. (Shoot me in the face.) That's part of why I like baking for people so much: it's a great way to give people you care about something creative and artistic and handmade without having to toss more money into the churning consumption machine. Sweet subversive sugar, yeah.

But this morning I woke up to a birthday email from Bikram Memphis - still on their mailing list after practicing there last year - and it included the kind of "presents" I could really get behind:
Happy Birthday from Bikram Yoga Memphis!
Here are just a few of the "gifts" you receive when you practice Bikram Yoga:

• Improved strength, flexibility and balance,
• Heightened mental clarity and ability to focus,
• Muscle where it used to feel mushy,
• Improved posture,
• More energy and endurance,
• Reduced stress and better sleep patterns,
• Improved breathing and better circulation,
• Heightened self-confidence and self awareness,
• A love for what you see when you look in the mirror,
• A sense of pride in what you are able to accomplish with a little determination, sweat and a smile.

What a wonderful present - enjoy and see you in class!
Now that's what I'm talking about. What a wonderful present - in every sense of the word - indeed. Not just for ourselves, but for the people around us, too, who benefit from our increased presence and our increased peace. Bring it.


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