The Avengers assemble in my Ashtanga practice

A quick detour from our heavy reading lists, science and yoga investigations and serious reflections on our practices.

A few weeks ago, as Jörgen Christiansson was adjusting me in Baddha Konasana, I realized — to my slight shame — that my breathing sounded an awful lot like the Hulk. And I seemed to be getting angrier the harder he pushed down on my legs. (Note to people adjusting me: Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.)

And from there, well, the ridiculous just kept spinning out.

Of note, we haven’t seen the Avengers movie yet, but I’m sure we will because one of us has an unhealthy attachment to Robert Downey Jr. (Hint: It isn’t me.) As of when I’m writing this, the movie has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. (RDJ also is one of those noted celebrity yogis.)

So, with a whole bunch of pardons and apologies, here’s where the Avengers assemble in my Ashtanga practice:

Iron Man: That’s easy. My stiff body provides all the unbending iron anyone could want in a yoga practice. Now, where are my billions?

The Hulk: Again, I’m taking this one on. If you have been next to me in practice, you won’t argue.

Captain America: Super good guy, known as an ambassador for his cause… sounds like David Swenson to me.

Thor: Given that I have a Swedish guy trying to bend me into something approaching flexibility, I think I can give Jörgen the nod here. (I know, Sweden and Norway are different… and the Marvel Thor is an alien, although he was worshiped by the Norse in the past and… man, those comics are confusing.)

Nick Fury: This one has to go to Tim Miller, who is the guy pulling all the strings behind the scenes and who managed to pull me into the “Ashtanga” team in the first place.

Hawkeye: I’m going to shoot Eddie Stern in here. Although I think Eddie’s arrows come more in the form of quick wit, “mic checks” and that reverential air that somehow follows him around. (But, if I’m not mistaken, Hawkeye also has a bit of a wit to him.)

Agent Coulson: The guy who seems to know more than anyone else. Sardonic, careful, precise. How does Richard Freeman sound here?

Maria Hill: Nick Fury’s second in command. I think that makes her Carol Miller! (I suspect we could argue if it isn’t the other way around, though.)

Loki: So, who’s our villain in all this? Our chitta vrittis, perhaps? The guy who managed to price yoga pants at $108?

Black Widow: This one has to go to Bobbie, if only because she was super spy and assassin-like in sneaking me, slowly but surely, into Ashtanga — along with that Nick Fury guy.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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