The Atlantic recently published a piece called Yoga Classes Should Be Shorter, and I'll admit my first response was, "Yeah I get it, it's a long workout but... she should try my yoga class." Olga Khazan's story hilariously shows how those long yoga classes are desperately out-of-sync with our fast-paced, digital world. Who has time to roll around on a mat doing beginner circus tricks when there are jobs, families, and BuzzFeed quizzes to take? (For the record, I'm a 90-year-old man who has excellent color vision but poor taste in TV.)

"Make no mistake: I love yoga. I would simply like to do less of it when I go," Khazan writes. "I have taken yoga classes of all different lengths in various countries. Never, ever have I left one that lasted 60 minutes and thought, 'Dang! I wish that had been longer.'" She explains that you can get the health benefits of yoga from shorter sessions, that teachers often "pad" long classes with chanting and uncomfortably personal partner poses, and that tradition isn't a good enough reason for extended asanas.

She's not wrong.

Maybe I have yoga Stockholm Syndrome or brain damage from all that hot B.O.-infused air, but unlike my ultra-short Tabata workouts, my hot yoga requires a serious mental, physical, and time commitment. I actually need to put that one on my calendar. As a fellow writer and a mother of four kids, I relate so much to Khazan's busyness. But that's why I need long yoga so much. Left to my own devices I am an ultra-anxious, tightly wound, workaholic who would probably keep typing until my bladder exploded and I died in a puddle of shame and urine. (Hey, that's a thing that can happen. Yes, I worry about weird things.) Forcing myself to take those precious hours and devote them to nothing but breathing reminds me that this meat sack I live in is for more than just doing what other people ask me to do.

Speaking of my many weird anxieties, I've been a card-carrying member of the mentally ill club for almost as long as I can remember. I started out as an anxious kid. My anxiety blossomed into an ulcer in high school, irritable bowel syndrome (the diarrhea kind, in case you're curious) in college, and full-blown panic disorder by my 20s. I tried every medication plus hypnotherapy, talk therapy, and dietary changes—only to discover that "calming" magnesium can also give you explosive diarrhea. And then I discovered yoga. Not to sound too woo-woo, but it changed my life. And it did it by doing the exact thing many people seem to hate about it: Forcing me to focus on breathing regularly for an extended period of time.

#WhyILoveSuperLongYogaClasses #MedicationPlusHypnotherapy #MyAnxietyBlossomed #HotYogaRequiresCommitment
Shared publiclyView activity