Wednesday, March 7, 2012


What is yoga?

When you get right down to it, yoga is an activity which puts the body into positions or poses that stretch muscles and tendons.  Muscles and tendons that probably would not have been otherwise so stressed in the course of any normal daily life.  And yet despite the pain, millions of people seek it out and join in.

Because the public craves novelty, several variations on the yoga theme have been created (I believe the latest is hot yoga, which is yoga with the addition of sweat, but I could be behind the times), and have been quite successful at drawing adherents from the vanilla yoga pool, and dollars from the participants pockets.

I spent Monday developing a new yoga variant:  boat yoga.  This will surely be the next craze.  Being a kind of yoga, it of course involves contorting the body into positions that stretch muscles and tendons uncomfortably.  But this novel form of yoga also adds:
  • Physical constraints.  No longer are you free to roam about your yoga mat.  In fact, no yoga mat is allowed.  Instead, you must contort your body to fit within spaces which were designed by experts to maximize discomfort (yoga adherents call this "Good").
  • A form of aromatherapy is also included.  While you are enjoying the feeling of having your body twisted and distorted, you are presented with a dizzying array of scents designed to maximize the experience:
    • Hot oil
    • Stale diesel
    • Head hose
    • Acid fumes
    • Foul bilge water
  • Heat.  Boat Yoga is derived from Hot Yoga, and therefore is performed in a warm environment.  But there is an additional twist:  some of the physical constraints mentioned above are actually heated to the point that they may cause burns if your skin comes in contact with them.  This increases the tension and the intensity of the experience.
  • Oil.  But there is no place for wimpy baby oil here.  Boat Yoga disciples boldly anoint themselves with used crankcase oil,  fresh from the bowels of diesel engines, which are conveniently placed nearby for this purpose.
  • Weight training.  Unlike vanilla yoga which is pretty much a passive activity, advanced Boat Yoga provides the opportunity for doing weight lifting "reps" while in pose.  Heavy objects are conveniently placed in the Boat Yoga environment for the use of practitioners.  How many reps can you do with a group 31 battery while holding the "Downward facing oil filter removal" pose?
I think it'll catch on in a big way.   You know you crave that wonderful "burn" that Boat Yoga can give you.  New sessions are being formed right now.  Why not sign up today!

Oh, I failed to mention this very important part of the regimen:  The concluding exercise of each Boat Yoga session involves the ceremonial consumption of a cold beer.  This shocks the now-heated and stressed body into dumping accumulated toxins and poisons.  Advanced practitioners may be able to increase this to two, or for experts, three beers. 

(While doing the development work for this new yoga regime on Monday, I coincidentally got the oil changed in the main engine,  oil changed in the genset, replaced the oil filter on the genset, and topped up the electrolyte in the batteries.)


Drew Frye said...


I'm just a novice, just learning the finer points, though I have achieved a few very advanced positions. On the PDQ 32, lubing the rudder quadrant, installing gas lines, and anything in the bow are highly respected.

Actually, a very healthy way to look at it! And it reminds us old farts that a little warm-up stretching is actually required.

bob said...

I *knew* I left out something! I should have done my warm-up stretching.


Unknown said...

I think you are just slightly behind the times. Check out Stand-up Paddleboard Yoga:

bob said...

Unknown -

You're right... I am behind the times.

And most embarrasingly, that place is about a block from our marina. I drive past it every day.


SV Orion said...

Everyone who owns a boat or works on one can completely understand your version of yoga! On our boat we have coined it "boat yoga" for the past 12 years. Some days are more humorous than others as I'm sure you would agree!

bob said...

Orion -

Do you suppose that I can get people to pay for the chance to change my oil filter?

Tropic Yoga Sailing Adventures said...

I love this and will be sharing it! Thank you for your beautiful sense of humor!

Kim Hess, author, Yoga Onboard

bob said...

Kim -

Your words mean a lot, coming from a professional yoga person...



Pampered Pirate! said...

Love this, especially the part about the cold beer!

bob said...

Pampered -

You cannot leave out the beer. It is a critical part of the process of shedding the toxins and poisons.

And besides, as Ben Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God loves us."


Anonymous said...

I'm way behind in my reading, but catching up as I browse your blog.

According to you, I've been doing boat yoga for years. Still trying to figure out how it's good for me when I feel like I've been beat with a fire hose after each session.

Perhaps it is indeed the post-yoga beer that brings it all together after all.

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