Raw, adjective: 5. crude in quality or character; not tempered or refined by art or taste: raw humor

I've been reading Neal Pollack's snarky yoga memoir, Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude. It's funny as hell. As in, makes-me-awkwardly-guffaw-out-loud-on-the-bus-scaring-my-seatmates funny.

Check it out, pick it up, give it a whirl. You can find blurbs here and there all over the interwebz. Head over to Salon.com for this hilarious excerpt from the chapter chronicling Pollack's drug-addled visit to a politically-loaded Jivamukti class in NYC, where you'll find classic bits like when he calls bullshit on his passionately vegan teacher, in front of the entire class:
This particular dharma lecture confused me. Weren't yoga teachers supposed to present themselves as humble servants of a higher power rather than moral paragons above reproach or laughter? Also, while I've had some raw food episodes in my life, and understand and appreciate the philosophy behind veganism, her science was almost as faulty as her manner was condescending. Someone needed to take her down a notch. The right time to do it, I figured, was during a yoga class attended by a hundred of her followers, while I was toasted to the nines.

"Bullshit!" I said.

My friend looked at me, pained and nervous, pleading with her eyes for me to stop. The teacher heard because she was right in front of me.

"If someone disagrees with what I'm saying," she said, "they're obviously not well-informed and are speaking from a position of insecurity."

"I'm not the only one," I mumbled under my breath.

This wasn't going to go well. She huffed haughtily and resumed her dharma talk. Finally, our physical practice began. It pushed way beyond any level I could handle. The flow moved too fast, and many of the positions were new to me. I stumbled around, flinging sweat off my head onto other people's mats, huffing and sighing. The instructor, by now, had me in her crosshairs. She kept giving me adjustments, though the most effective adjustment might have been to put me in a chair and leave me there.

"Maybe you should practice a little bit before you start criticizing," she said.

"Maybe I should."

"Maybe you should."

"That's what I just said."

She walked away. I don't think I was her type of student. Then again, I'd yet to find a yoga teacher who was naturally drawn to sarcastic, incompetent fat asses.
As you can see, said Yoga Dude's got a great sense of self-deprecating humor. Pick up a copy. You'll find it a refreshingly snarky antidote to some of the more self-aggrandizing yoga tomes out there.

Die, smug yoga teacher, die (Salon)
Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude (Amazon)


Zoe (Bite This) said…
I must get this for Erik (and me)...but I think Erik would sooooo appreciate, as he's totally turned yoga (thanks to you!!), and is way into it (but thankfully not in a weird way)...I think he'd get this guy.
Rach said…
Oh Zoe, for sure. It's the kind of book I couldn't read in public because it was so damn funny that I'd bust a gut in inappropriate public places. Oy. I'd loan you my copy, but I've already passed it on to someone else.

Pick it up! You'll adore it. Neal Pollack rocks.

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