Or: It’s an Ask Havi post gone horribly wrong …

Non-Sucky Yoga MonthI started writing an Ask Havi, and things went oh, slightly differently than I’d planned.

Yeah, people write to me all the time with questions … but there are a few questions that are different.

These are the ones that get asked with such predictable frequency that a. I really should put up a QTAAWPF (Questions That Are Asked With Predictable Frequency), and b. I kind of get worn out and don’t feel like being nice and answering.

Yes, I know it’s called a FAQ. But QATAAWPF is more fun to say. And looks vaguely like it should mean something in Arabic. Or would if it weren’t for the ‘p’.

I’m totally being goofy to avoid the fact that I don’t feel like writing a FAQ. Don’t make me write a FAQ!


The most frequently asked question.

It’s kind of weird, but the question that gets asked most in my business actually has hardly anything to do with my business.

People who know I’m serious about yoga come to me for advice on what yoga materials would be the best to work with. Specifically they want to either start doing yoga or they want to get back to doing some yoga.

Much more specifically, they want recommendations from me for yoga DVDs that don’t suck.

Here’s the thing. Almost all yoga DVDs are disastrously awful.

I’m pretty much the most yoga-positive yoga-obsessed person you’ll ever meet. I even give it credit for saving my life and stuff.

Everything I do in my life is at least tangentially related to my yoga practice.

And I’ll still be the first person to say that suckiness and yoga dvds tend to go together like Woody Allen and neurosis.

I don’t know why that is, but yes, it’s depressing.

Sunsets, Hawaiian beaches, bikinis (I know, what?!) and people spouting gems like “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Now work those abs!”.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.


The number of times I’ve thrown a yoga dvd at a wall or yelled obscenities at it is ridiculously high. In fact, if I can watch the first ten minutes of most of the yoga dvds I’ve seen without wanting to tear my hair out, I kind of feel like I’ve already done my yoga practice for the day.

Woo hoo! Practiced some compassion and something sorta close to non-judgmentalness. Didn’t even throw a fit. Total WIN!

The solution I came up with is kind of goofy, just so you know.

So I got to the point where I was just feeling tired of answering this question, partly because I answer it so often and partly because aargh, why is it that yoga is so awesome but yoga culture so depressing and crappy?

Something semi-drastic and properly wacky needed to be done. And no, I did not make my own yoga dvd. Though I may someday. Think goofier. And less time-consuming.

We talked just the other week about random days and the National Something Something Month phenomenon.

Well, I’m now declaring it Non-Sucky Yoga Month.

And since my conception of time is flawed, I might do this several times a year. Or whatever. It might really just be this once. We shall see!

Here’s how it works.

In honor of the first ever Non-Sucky Yoga Month, I put together a cool little package thing. Package thing!

The package thing consists of a supremely non-sucky (and in fact really great) yoga practice dvd plus some ebooklet-ey things, a mini-meditation to help you get in the mood for actually sticking the dvd in your dvd player and using it … and some other useful stuff.

And there will be a grand total of 54 of these packages.

Partly because that is a pretty auspicious magical-ey number in yoga, but also because that’s exactly how many dvds I’m ordering.

If they all go today, that will be it — Non-Sucky Yoga Month will be somewhat abbreviated.

But whether 54 people buy their non-sucky yoga package right now or whether Non-Sucky Yoga Month just comes to its natural end on the magical day, that’s just how many there are.

The magical day is Nov 3 which is magical not because of any yoga-related wackiness, but because it is the day on which you get your ebooks and recording, and I go the post office with a very large bag and mail you your dvd.

Yes, I know.

But two weeks is not a month, you say. Yes, you are right. I don’t have the energy to do this for a whole month and it’s my month, so this is just going to be a “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” moment.

But though the availability of the dvd package thing may turn out to be more like Non-Sucky Yoga Fortnight, we’ll be talking on and off about the theme of “yoga — and why it shouldn’t suck” for the whole month.

If I remember.

Why I’m really doing this:

(Aside from my own convenience … because hey, now I won’t have to answer twenty emails!)

2. I really, truly want to help.
Yoga makes life better. If you’re doing yoga — and not hating it because of some ridiculous dvd getting on your nerves — you’ll be healthier, happier, calmer and more centered.

If I can be even a tiny part of that, then yay! Big crazy joy for me.

3. If I just recommend the dvd alone, you might not actually use it.
Because maybe you’ll get bogged down in a bunch of what-ifs or you’ll need some reassurance or you’ll have questions or you’ll just never be in the mood.

Which is why I put together as many resources as possible to ensure that it actually works for you instead of — tfu tfu tfu — just sitting on your shelf and making you feel guilty.

I’m pretty darned confident that the stuff I came up with will help you enjoy doing your practice. And doing it.

4. I need to impress someone.
Well, I don’t need to.

But I’ll be in Austin this January, hanging out with the amazingly great person who teaches the material in this exceptionally non-sucky yoga dvd.

Not hanging out. Taking his course. And I would love to be able to say, hey, I’m biggifying the hell out of you just for the fun of it and because I think you rock. I sold 54 of your dvds in two weeks!

Which is probably how many (aside from the ones coming from my recommendations) sell in a year, since yoga people generally tend to think that marketing in any form is evil and twisted.

Note to self: write a post that answers that.

So it would be really cool to be the person who promoted something awesome, and helped the good kind of yoga people feel a. happy and b. maybe even hopeful and excited about the possibility of selling lots of something and that not being gross?

5. I’m crazy about you.

I freaking love hanging out here with you guys on the blog and doing classes and all that stuff. And it would be so cool if we were all doing the same yoga practice and could talk about it and stuff.

Plus, you will love this.

This is the practice I do with my gentleman friend every single day after work.

And just so you know, my gentleman friend was 100% anti-yoga before he met me and did not believe that there could be a yoga dvd not filled with annoying pink-leotard-ed barbie dolls.

He likes this dvd even more than I do.

Because it’s down-to-earth, practical, relaxing and all about having a healthy, comfortable, non-cheesy relationship with yourself. So even if you’ve never done yoga and never plan to, you might love it too.

Happy Non-Sucky Yoga Month, you guys!

Yay, non-sucky yoga. Yay, talking about it on my blog.

If you have themes you want me to cover this month, put them in the comments or send me an email, and I’ll maybe do some more Ask Havi posts that are somewhat yogacentric.

Non-Sucky Yoga Month starts in … three, two, one. Ahhhhhhhhhh. I need to go stretch.

You can get the non-sucky yoga dvd package here if you’re so inclined. And if not, you can still hang out and enjoy the month I just made up. It’s all good.

The Fluent Self