My friends know I have a bit of an obsessive/addictive personality.  If I’m into something, I’m realllllly into it.   This applies to many areas of my life.  Sometimes good things.  Sometimes bad.  Like, if I find a food I like I’ve been known to have it every day for months on end.  A couple of years ago I had tuna on pita with Miracle Whip and  iceberg lettuce every day for almost a year.  I was buying Starkist by the case at Costco.  Then I realized I was probably going to die of mercury poisoning or my children would be born with gills, so I stopped.  After that I was into peanut butter and bananas for breakfast for almost six months.  My recent food obsession is Indian, so I’ve been putting curry in just about everything I eat.  Not sure how much longer that will last.  Enzo has already lost an eyebrow.

I’ve always enjoyed working out, so many of my obsessions have been with different forms of fitness.  When I first got into biking I bought three bikes in one year – mountain, hybrid and cruising – so I’d have a bike to suit whatever terrain or type of biking I wanted to do on any given day.  I’d get on one of my bikes as soon as I got home from work and ride til it got dark. Then I started thinking – did I really need a car?  Could I ride my bike to work and then home again?  That would be a good way to clock an extra 12 miles a day!  Brilliant.  But no.   On weekends I’d try to get everywhere by bike.  Oh, I need milk – let me just hop on my bike and go get some.   I want to visit my parents – I could be there in 5 minutes by bike.  Have to go to the post office – bike.  Going to the gym?  Bike.  I’d even ride my bike to get a mani/pedi which was ridiculous AND a waste of money because I never made it home without totally messing both up.  Then I started making up destinations just to have somewhere to ride to.  Really it was silly.  Why couldn’t I just ride my bike sometimes and have fun?

Oh and who could forget when I was all about kick boxing?  I took classes 5 nights a week and I’d practice my moves all the time.  It didn’t matter where I was.  I’d even do jump kicks in the hallways at work.  Sure, I had a casual work environment, but I don’t know why I thought that was acceptable.  I also became obsessed with my kick boxing instructor.  I wanted my body to look like hers.  I wanted to be able to kick as high as she could, punch as hard as she could.  I even went out and bought the same sneakers and workout gear she had.  OK?  I talked about her to my friends – as if they gave a shit what her arms were like or how many tricep push ups she could squeeze out!!  I’d talk to her before class and after class and wanted to know how long she had been practicing, where she trained, how she got started.  Then I think she started to get a little freaked out by my interest.  I guess I can see why now.

That brings me to my most recent obsession.  Yoga.  A little more than a month ago, my friend Michelle dragged me to my first HOT power yoga class.   I was one of those people who always thought yoga was just stretching and chanting.  I was wrong.  You don’t think yoga is a workout?  Try it.  Anyway, a week later after my body healed,  I did another one with her and then I was hooked. That’s it.  Now I’m a yogi.  I’m practicing about 5 days a week and have researched every yoga studio within a 10 mile radius of me.  I know which offer the best discounts, the best schedules, which have the best instructors and the most normal clientele.   Normal clientele is an important factor as I’ve learned some studios attract a more earthy crunchy crowd than I’m comfortable with.  The workout I got at the first studio I went to was killer but the people there were a little too into the spiritual side of yoga.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a peace-loving person.  I love the Earth.  I like sprouts.  I want to have a balanced mind and body.  But I guess I’m more into the physical part of it.  This place opened the class with three oms and closed the class with three oms which is not bad.  But some people would spontaneously om during the class or turn their breaths into oms and I just didn’t like that.

I am still very much a beginner but I am determined to become a master and fast.  I see some people in classes who’ve obviously been practicing for years.  I mean, they’re balancing upside down on nothing but their index finger and that gets my competitive juices flowing.  One of “my” instructors told me it took her a year til her heels touched the floor in downward dog.  No way.  I have to be able to do it.  I have to do it now.   So, if I have a free minute, I’m in my dog stretttttttttttching closer, closer, closer to the floor. I do it in front of a mirror so I can see how close I’m getting.  I even set up my camera to take a picture of me while doing it.  I watch yoga videos on YouTube and even discovered Comcast has a yoga channel On Demand.

I make Enzo watch me get into different and new poses that I learn.  Wanna see what I learned today?  This is eagle.  This is crow.  This is really hard.  Try it.  Try it. God bless him.  He sits there on the sofa and watches and I always get a “that’s awesome, Mon.”    At Sunday dinner I overheard him prompting my sister-in-law to ask me about “my” yoga.  I love him.  She asked.  Here’s what resulted.

You  really don’t need much to do yoga.  But part of my obsession includes having to get the “best” whatever it is I do need.  So I spent about 4 hours researching yoga mats online one night and ordered what I think is the top of the line ultra thick, sticky, eco-friendly mat out there.  When it came in the mail I thought to myself, with this mat I can do yoga anywhere. Really?  Other than a yoga studio, where am I really going to do yoga?  It’s November.  It’s Boston.   It’s not like I’m going to be doing it along the banks of the Charles or in Walden woods.  I also got a Yogitoes skidless to go with my mat and I’m putting a plug in for it because I think it’s an absolute must for keeping a good grip during hot yoga.  Sure, you could use a regular towel but a skidless is soooo much better.  It’s not a towel, it’s not a mat.  In their words it “prevents slipping on your yoga mat, stabilizes your practice and puts a hygienic layer between you and the mat.”   Sure.  I’ll buy that.

Guess what’s on my Christmas list this year.  You got it.  Yoga.  Friends, fam – wanna get me something I’ll love?  Get me a few classes at Yoga Power, my favorite studio so far.  Sure, the jury is still out on how long my fixation with yoga will last.  But if I know myself, this should take me well into the spring.  I’m going to shoot for keeping it up at least until I have Madonna arms.   We’ll see.