I picked up this new ten minute yoga fad a couple of weeks back. It’s easy, takes ten minutes like they claim and I feel excellent that I completed some set of exercises. All that without troubling myself too much. I knew there was a catch there - how was it exercise if you didn’t trouble yourself even a little bit? I liked the set though - it involved stretching and breathing mostly. I decided to live in a state of comfortable, cozy denial.
Like anyone living in such a delusion, I was angry when my mom didn’t count that as 'real exercise’. This was moments after I finished the set yesterday.
“Yea? What do you mean?” I tried to come up with an alternate explanation for her remark that still showed my exercise in a positive light. I couldn't. So, I put that question directly to her. “What do you mean it doesn’t count? Of course it counts. Even the Government promotes Yoga.”
“Yes, but that’s real yoga,” she said, stepping on my pride just a little bit. "Not a couple of easy stretches that doesn’t even take ten minutes.”
“Two stretches? There are ten exercises in this set! That includes an arduous one where I need to bend myself into an inverted V shape. And another where I need to stand on a leg for an entire minute without falling down on either side.”
She considered my argument like that school headmaster who heard from a student who couldn’t make it to school the previous day because 'a dinosaur broke into town and broke a bridge he had to cross to get to the school'. Oh the student seemed crestfallen about it, what with how much he liked the school and its exams. But the headmaster knew better.
“No,” she said after that brief pause. “Doesn’t count.”
“There’s not a drop of sweat on your face. Did you wipe it off with a towel?”
“Yes.” I lied.
Of course I didn’t sweat. Ten minutes of deep breathing under a fan did not make anyone sweat. But I did what I had to do when I was beaten. I lied. I could have used Bangalore’s beautiful weather as an excuse on cooler days, but the summer had not been kind. The city had been two steps away from feeling like a desert with a few suns beating down on it with a heat that could evaporate even the sand.
The smirk on her all knowing face was enough to tell me that she knew it was a lie. It did little to pacify my emotions at that point.
“See for yourself tomorrow,” I challenged.
Now, there was a slight problem with that particular challenge. It was clear that I wasn’t going to sweat the next day either. I was also lazy enough not to try any backbreaking exercise sets, like running on a treadmill. But I did come up with what I considered a splendid plan to succeed. I chose to wait till after it was noon and chose to do the set in the hottest room in the house. The weather was perfectly sultry at that time of the day. I was betting on sweating considerably even if I just sat there for ten minutes without moving a muscle. As expected, at the end of the set, there were beads of well planned sweat on my face.
I proudly walked to find my mom in the kitchen. “See?” I asked. “This yoga set does work!”
She was standing right next to the bloody stove and was easily sweating a lot more than I managed. “Good job, man." I didn't need a sarcasm signboard to understand her tone. "You look like you’ve lost a kilo just by sweating."
I walked away, knowing there’s no defeating her at anything.