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

Once again, Recovering Yogi comes through with a winner.

Do you remember your first day of yoga? Well, this guy does. And he nails it: the blissed-out pretension, the feeling like you're not allowed to swear, the wondering what the hell OM means. And the feeling like everyone else knows what to wear and what to do and where to go, and what the hell do all those unpronounceable asana words mean, anyway? Would they just shut up and speak in English already so we can understand?

I remember. And I love that this outsider experience — what so many of us have felt — has been put into words. If there's any lesson from this particular guy's story, it's that we've gotta be careful not to slip so comfortably into some glossy, commodified version of "yoga" that the pretty-shiny-product scares away all hints of the rough, the real, the raw. Right?

And what’s that she’s saying?? Nah..mas..day? Ok. Sounds good. I got this. I totally fit in here. I have to remember to smile at everyone, even though I’m not feeling that great today. I’m tired of chasing money and rush hour traffic reminds me of Armageddon. But that’s no matter. I can’t bring those feelings into this space. I’ll tuck them away and deal with them later. The receptionist asks me how I’m doing today, with a strange smile. She might be medicated. I’ve seen smiles like that before — on neglected housewives and people in nursing homes. Not sure what to say, one negative word seems like it could knock this whole building to the ground.
Read on. Guffaw. Remember what it was like to feel clueless, marginal, out-of-place, uncertain. Because that roughness, that rawness, that realness? Well, that's where the yoga really starts, at least as far as I'm concerned.

My First Day of Yoga (Recovering Yogi)


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