As a long time yoga practitioner, I know the benefits of taking my problems to my mat.  Sometimes the most insurmountable problems can look like molehills after a few minutes in a class.  Then, there are those other days.  Those days when there’s only one asana you can maintain, and it’s Hot-Mess-Asana.

I’m not talking about simply having an off day.  I’m talking about one of those days where all you can achieve is your current status:  The Hottest of All the Hot Messes.

Form and Alignment:

There are several ways to approach this pose.  Should you choose this particular asana, here is an example how it could be achieved:

You wake up late.  In an effort to guzzle down coffee to get out the door, the hot fluid goes down the wrong way and you end up choking and coughing up coffee all over your clothes.

“Pay it no mind,” you think.  “I’ll just change, and be on my merry way.”

You stub your toe.  You may or may not just end up throwing a child tantrum on the floor, because gosh darnit, you can’t do anything right.  You peel yourself off of the floor onto your mat.  You are going to turn this day around.  YOU are a yogi.  You begin streaming your favorite yoga podcast, and you are ten minutes in and on your way to Cool Calm Collected City.  The laptop loses wi-fi connection.  You watch the “rebuffering stream” bar sit motionless as you fill with white hot rage.

Screw THAT.  You don’t need a podcast.  You can practice on your own.  As you settle into Crow pose, you topple over onto your head.  When the stars dissipate from your vision, you remember, “Hey you’ve got that Gentle Yoga DVD.  You need some Gentle Yoga in your life.”  You press play, and hear the sounds of, “Ooommmm.”


You just did 10 Sun Salutations and gave yourself a minor head injury for the sake of your Bakasana prowess, and now this smiling man wants you to just say, “Om?”  No Ma’am.  You quit.  You have fully taken form into a new pose:  Hot-Mess-Asana.

Beginner Modifications and Contraindications:

The form is varied from person to person.  It can take the form of fetal positions in the floor, stomping off to a different room, or shaking fists up to the sky.  Hot-Mess-Asana can be held from just a few minutes to many years at a time.  Sometimes you think you have left the pose only to know you have resumed it after burning your dinner, dropping your laundry, or tripping over extension cords.  Beware of the power of this asana, it IS contagious.  Prolonged exposure to Hot-Mess-Asana can lead to unsatisfactory living conditions, depression, looks of confusion by loved ones, and much more.  This pose is accessible for ALL ability levels.

Other information:

If you find yourself particularly stuck in this pose and unable to return to a resting state, here are some useful exit strategies:

  1.  Take some deep breaths.
  2. Ask for hugs.
  3. Make a list of five things you are grateful for.
  4. Drop all expectations, plans, shoulds, should nots, judgments, and any statements that begin with “I know…”
  5. It will probably be better tomorrow.
  6. There’s always wine. (for adults only, and in moderation.)