Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flexible terms.

I don't think men should go to the gym.

This is not an argument for staying home in front of the TV sucking on beers. (As attractive a concept as that is.) It's just that when you look around at other men at the gym (not something I make a habit of doing, I assure you), the kinds of bodies on display are less than impressive.

Big arms and curved backs. V-shaped torsos which appear incapable of lateral movement. Huge tops and tiny legs. Big proportions, but not much in the way of definition. Everybody has a sort of stiff cartoonish quality.

At the yoga studio, it's a different story. More muscles are on display in the studio in one session than in a month of gym visits. Defined arms, flat stomachs and sixpacks, wiry legs: but all on bodies that can move, that look fluid, that seem to be at ease with themselves.

Men don't need any more help in being blocky and big. That is something that happens naturally. What they should be doing is fighting the natural male body's tendency to become more and more inflexible over time. (And building some real muscles in the process.) That's a job for yoga, not the gym.

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