Yoga: The Alternative Lifestyle

I just returned from spending the weekend with my oldest daughter and her Girl Scout Troop at Camp High Harbour. It was really, really fun, and the best quality time I have had with my Sunshine Girl in a long time. We needed it.

But, I have to confess, I was pretty anxious about the prospect of integrating my crazy healthy life with YMCA camp life. I knew that, logistically, it would be challenging.

It would not be the end of the world if I missed a day of yoga, but food was definitely a problem. I am allergic to gluten, egg, beef, chicken, and dairy. Which is pretty much all that is served at YMCA camps, and everywhere else that large groups of people must be fed quickly.

I’d have to bring my own meals to Girl Scout Camp.

Would that be weird?

Could I make it not weird?

I had no choice but to pack my own meals, and packed my yoga mat, just in case.

After all that worry, it turned out that no one minded that I ate canned lentil soup in the cabin before dinner. Or that I munched on trail mix, while everyone else was enjoying fried chicken and biscuits. There was even an opportunity to practice yoga and meditate yesterday during free time. No big deal.

Why was I so anxious about this? It all worked out fine in the end, and led to a funny thought on my mat:

Am I living an alternative lifestyle? Has yoga stopped being something I do, and become a way of life?

I had to look it up. Thank God for Wikipedia, for validating that I am living an alternative lifestyle, and for putting it all in perspective, with this important insight:

“Alternative lifestyles and subcultures originated in the 1920s with the “flapper” movement, when women cut their hair and skirts short (as a symbol of freedom from oppression and the old way of living). Women in the flapper age were the first large group to practice…dancing, cursing, and driving in modern America without scandal following them. This was because this new flapper lifestyle was so popular that the flapper’s brash behavior became more normal than previously thought.”

Yes! Yes! Yes! That is what I want most…for these crazy healthy habits to become more normal than previously thought. For practices that heal our bodies to stop being scandalous (chanting, anyone?). True, yoga is less scandalous than the risqué behavior of the flappers, but it’s the exact same thing in theory: a battle against the old way of living.

In the old way of living, we believed that low cost, convenience, and great taste were more important than nutrition, awareness, and discipline. Thankfully, the flappers taught us that what we have always done, does not have to be what we always do. We can change the normal. There are alternatives. Isn’t that inspiring?

It makes me think that, if the flappers can free women from oppression with a haircut and a mini-dress, then I can change the world with lentil soup and a yoga mat. Yoginis ARE the new flappers.

My revelation led to a resolution: no more hiding my crazy healthy. I’m gonna pin my alternative lifestyle to my sleeve.

Join me in this crazy healthy life, and together we’ll free the world from the old normal. Kinda like the flappers, but much crazier, and a lot healthier.

Happy National Yoga Month, for one more day!




One thought on “Yoga: The Alternative Lifestyle

  1. You are right in that when you attend mass gatherings that have food, chances are slim that one can find a well rounded healthy meal. It is usually fried and processed. Slim raw fruit and vegetable choices. My daughter, while she loved being the water director for the Girl Scouts Summer campground, she was frustrated with some of the food offerings. It is getting to be better news for gluten free eaters. I did gluten free for 21 days, I was amazed at the options. But definitely wise to bring back up options.


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