The longest Om ever… like, really ever

Published on May 11, 2011 by      Print
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By Donna Williams

Well now that I am officially on holiday for a month in Australia I thought I better get my booty to a real yoga class instead of just jiving to some Kundalini shaking after a beer or two, as I did last night.

At this stage, I must point out that my yoga commitment is to do “some kind” of yoga every day, and I remind you all that yoga does indeed have a lot of different aspects to it—including lying about a lot in savasana. Okay I should also point out that I don’t like rules, so the whole no-food-no-alcohol-before-yoga rule is just dying to be broken, in my book.

I confess that this evening was the first time I ever regretted breaking that rule. I visited a très trendy Sydney power yoga studio which, it turns out, is all about doing yoga really fast in 40 degree heat. Fifteen minutes into the class I was really wishing I hadn’t eaten that baked ricotta cheesecake just an hour before hitting the mat. So whilst I managed to keep my cheesecake in, I didn’t manage to stifle my near hysterical giggles as the class both opened and ended with the three of the longest, loudest Oms I’ve ever heard.

Dude! Seriously, like when did Om-ing become an Olympic sport?

You probably think I’m exaggerating about the Om, and far be it for me, as a newbie yogini, to judge what is and isn’t a good looking Om, but I must assert that when your insides jiggle from the sound vibrations and you want to clamp your hands over your ears because you feel like you’re inside a horror movie, the Om is probably over the top.

Of course this whole Om palaver (palaver is one of my favourite words ever, and if you don’t know what it means then you should definitely look it up) only served as an in-my-face reminder of why us Aussies are so good at sports… it’s the competitive streak! I have it; you know you have it; and today I think maybe it was in the yoga class with that Om—just a little bit. And if it wasn’t the Om Olympics, then the only rationale answer is that these très trendy power yogis are just so bloody fit that they have huge lungs just dying to OOOOMMMMMMM. This was an actual real thought I had in class today.

On the plus side, I think the high temperatures caused me to sweat out all the cheesecake toxins and forced me to put aside my anally retentive neurosis about other people’s hygiene as I watched my yogi neighbour sweat the entire liquid contents of his body onto the ‘communal’ yoga mat. Actually, I’m lying. I don’t think I can go back, just in case the mat I would end up using was once that of my sweaty neighbour.

And as I’m on holiday, I’d rather eat cheesecake (and probably some lamingtons and a nice custard tart) at whatever time of day I bloody like, thank you very much.

Phew, looks like I will be on that mat a lot this month if I want to retain any kind of yoga-like body. There could indeed be worst things in life.

About Donna Williams

Donna Williams is an Australian wannabe yogini living in Switzerland and learning yoga at the hippest yoga studio in Geneva, where they understand that normal people—as well as hippies—do yoga. She spends her days listening to people talk a lot about life, saving stuff in her ‘very important job’ for a humanitarian organization, but secretly harbouring a desire to become a recluse in the Swiss Alps and teach mountain people yoga. She’s trying to make yoga films for people living in war zones, which she personally think rocks, even if no one else does.



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  1. Crystal @YogiCrystal says:

    Hilarious!! Can’t say I’ve every really encountered loud, competitive Oms yet…. but I bet I might giggle a little too. Have a fun vacay! :)

  2. Matthew says:

    Happened in a class I took last year. We closed out with three om’s, and this one guy would go so long we all had to wait for him to finish. It was pretty funny.

  3. Don says:

    Donna, that’s too funny. My first thought was that I would be doing yoga really fast if the temp was 40 degrees and I realized you meant 40 degrees celsius, not fahrenheit! In that case, I would be doing savasana in the corner and omming really loud because I would be miserable and whining. Thanks for the laugh!

  4. Donna says:

    Utterly reassuring to know that there are Om Olympics going on in other yoga studios across the globe, hmmmmm let me think about that reassuring or terrifying, not sure, I have to think some more and get back to you…… in the mean time I send you cynical but well intentioned yoga vibes from Geneva! :-)

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