Thursday, January 31, 2008

Take a Chance on Me

"Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie / If you put me to the test, if you let me try "

Now that I'm finally feeling more comfortable in my rounder body, I've begun my preggers fitness program in earnest. I've been going to a lunchtime water aerobics class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I'm eager to do prenatal yoga as often as possible. So last night I previewed a prenatal yoga DVD Karincita lent me. It's taught by this woman, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa:

Yes, she is wearing a turban. You can't see it in this photo, but the cap of the turban is covered in white lace, which she sometimes unfurls and wears as a veil. Maybe it's just because Gurmukh looks a little like the fugtacular Chloë Sevigny, but as I began watching the DVD intro, I thought, "Is she wearing a white lace turban? Is that even in season?"

Three seconds later, I realized it's probably part of her sacred garments. I know, I know. I'm a total jackhole for calling it out as a possible fashion faux pas. Besides, Gurmukh is apparently très chic; here she is posing with supermodel Christy Turlington:

Look, it's not every day I see an ostensibly Caucasian woman who is not Joan Collins wear a turban for realsies, so it just threw me a little, okay? Gaw!

Anyway, I got past my turban double-take and settled in to enjoy Gurmukh's yoga regimen. I liked that she incorporated chanting throughout the exercises; I've always found that chanting or singing during any exercise--but particularly yoga and hula--helps to emphasize the importance of controlling your breathing. I also liked that she incorporated dancing as a way to loosen your hips and gently rock your unborn baby.

Then Gurmukh got with God. At the end of the yoga lesson, she said, "God gave you your baby. [Me, at the screen: God did not give me this baby; Dusty and I worked hard to knock me up!] He also gave you the ability to have this baby. [Me: Oh, sister. God don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies! Just ask His Wife.] Trust in God. Trust in yourself. May God bless you."

I could hardly believe my ears. Was Gurmukh a Christian yogi? My brain went KA-SPLOOIE at the notion. Nearly all the yoga teachers I've had are more like Rodney Yee, who has that NoCal hippie vibe I dig. Rodney and his fellow hippie-ish yogis film their yoga videos on the beach at sunrise, not on a soundset with a three-piece orchestra. They talk about how balance and intuition feed their spirits, and they are very careful to talk only about one's connection with the earth and the breath. So I was a little thrown by all this business about the Judeo-Christian God in a yoga video.

But I got past the white lace turban and I will get over the God. Though I don't know if I'll get past the fact that she's from Hell-Ay. Oh, sister.

Update 20080201: "Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA. I decided this song fit better for how I felt about Gurmukh.

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