Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yoga is not Duct Tape- it doesn't fix it

Cambridge has decided to take the edge off the bitter news of receiving a parking ticket by including yoga instructions with them. See related article:


I have to say that this offends me. Not because of being a victim to parking tickets, but because I hate yoga. I think it's one of the most prissy new age pretentious exercises which is so far removed from the original Buddhist concept of yoga and has since been diluted and trendified in an effort to get people to pay $80 for pants made out of seaweed and I just hate it. So you can imagine that the last thing that would calm me down if I've been served a ticket is the suggestion that I do yoga.

First of all, this suggestion is condescending. There's nothing worse than being really upset or having a horrible day and being told to just 'get over it.' There are many variations of this helpful advice: 'have a drink', 'forget about it, 'calm down' and 'grow up.' What if you don't want to calm down? What if you've had the most crap day of your life? You know those days, rotten meat in the fridge, your boss yells at you for a half hour, your boyfriend tells you you've put on weight and the stick thin neighbour has just bought herself a $500 winter coat while yours keeps losing buttons.

THOSE days. Those infuriating days that serves you the parking ticket when you're 5 minutes over the meter because you didn't have enough change because the time that your boss spent yelling at you was the time that you had orignally allotted to going to the bank, but by the time the yelling stopped, you were so bewildered that you thought you could get through the day without money and you had a rice cake for lunch. THOSE days.

So when that happens at the end of a horrible day, you WANT to get mad. You WANT to be upset. Why not? Don't you have every reason to be? But then you turn the parking ticket around and there's some snot in the tree position telling you to be happy and that should really be the final straw.

I may not be as smart as the Cambridge researchers, but my guess is this: nobody wants to be told to do yoga when they get a parking ticket. Parking tickets are annoying, unnecessary and usually expensive. We often feel persecuted unfairly or just plain bothered when it happens. So let the people feel that way. They're going to feel that way anyway, even if you put chocolate mints on them. Parking tickets suck.

Yoga is not duct tape- it doesn't fix all. People's emotions are way more complex than that and you have to let them feel it. People also have their own way of dealing with their emotions; they don't need to be told on the back of parking tickets how to forget the ticket. If they need to go for a run when something upsets them, they'll do it. If they need a beer, they'll have a beer. People know their own emotions and know how to calm them. Don't treat them like out of shape babies that need to stretch and breathe. That's like being told to grow up when your day is plain garbage. It's not helpful.

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