YOGA COMPETITION Even though yoga isn't supposed to be competitive, my mom and I have recently ventured into a yogic form of one-upsmanship.
I fear that when she arrives in a few days to go to the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park with me, it will turn into a contact sport.
Nearly every yoga teacher I've taken a class from asked us to challenge ourselves but not compete with others in the class. So in the spring, I was surprised to see a photo gallery from a yoga competition in New York at nytimes.com.
So, OK. It's probably good for most of us to go to classes and have teachers tell us to calm down and not worry about the gal in front throwing her foot behind her head while she stands on her other foot. Because yoga isn't supposed to result in a trip to the emergency room.
But when Mom started texting me photos of herself striking yoga poses, it was just like that photo gallery.
It started innocently. Mom sent a hey-I'm-excited text of herself in a pose. Last year was our first time heading to Estes for the conference, a three-day (this year we're doing four) yoga binge in the mountains. Now, knowing how great it is, we were excited enough to warrant some gratuitous pose-photo texting.
Then she started sending more: tree pose, crow, bound side-angle, all from a hike she did with Dad.
I retorted with a handstand in my house, but I knew it wasn't enough. I needed scenery.
So over the weekend, hiking to Gem Lake, a craggy trek above Estes with a surprise around every corner, I put the hub on photo duty. Mom was out hiking that day, too. I knew it was on.
At the lake, I lifted into fish pose on an old tree arcing out of the water. In a stand of golden aspens, I performed tree pose. On a rock in front of the Twin Owls, I propped knees on elbows and rocked into crow pose.
The hub patiently tolerated my 100 percent ego-based poses and took pictures of all of them. My dad must've done the same on their hike, because later, a volley of pose-texts went back and forth.
As much as my competitive side hates to admit this, Mom and I both won. Because in the end, our texts increased our excitement about spending the weekend together as yogis.
Except I totally won.
-- Jenn Fields