Lazy Yoga

On Yoga Day, fit people made others feel bad. But don't worry, there's an asana for the slothful

By his usual standards of lexical virtuosity, the “sofasana” meme shared by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Twitter is pedestrian. The reason for its virality, though, is not far to seek. On and around June 21, many across the world and in the country were showing off their flexibility to display what has become the hallmark of International Yoga Day. Holi has colour and water, Diwali gambling and crackers; Yoga Day has fit people giving the rest of the population a guilt trip.

Yoga, of course, is wonderful. Apart from its well-documented health benefits, it carries the added advantage of being homegrown and, more importantly, free of charge. This allows thrifty uncles to lecture young people on wasting money at the gym and being trapped by the consumerism of the global fitness industry. Yoga Day encourages has-been celebrities and overweight politicians to contort their bodies, flooding social media timelines with their desperate cries for attention. The only downside is for all those who really just want to do the “sofasana”, to spend the few waking hours that are left over after work and family and worrying about the pandemic-apocalypse to do absolutely nothing.

But they needn’t worry, there may be a silver lining. Sofasana is but a poor cousin of the original relaxation technique, an asana even the laziest and least flexible of people can manage. For years, tired, lazy or even inebriated people, young and old, have struggled to justify their desire to lie down and just “veg”. Well, next time someone questions your well-earned horizontality, please inform them that you are practising the shavasana. As with all things worth doing, it takes a lifetime to get relaxing just right.

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