Our entire lives we’re taught a lot of things about what’s healthy and what’s not. It comes flying at us from all directions, and it’s hard to keep track of it all. From the internet and television, gossip and conjecture, doctors and pharmacists even. But how often do you hear some fact about some thing being good for you, only to find out a year later that now people are saying it’s bad for you? All the time. Or at least you would if you hadn’t lost your hearing back in 2009 during that ear-augering trend everyone was going on about.

There’s all these questions that seem to constantly flop back and forth. Am I supposed to eat lots of eggs or no eggs? Should I be worried about this skin cancer or just power through it to get that perfectly bronzed tone? How many glasses of wine should I give my children per day? We may never get a straight answer out of the so-called “experts” about a lot of these questions. But here are three long-standing beliefs that I happen to know* are full of as much crap as the big adult diaper-mulching craze of summer 2011.

Marijuana smoke is less harmful than cigarette smoke

This is a doozy. Weed activists love to tout this one out at every turn, but the simple fact is it’s untrue. Just look at the evidence; you look way cooler smoking a cigarette than you do smoking pot in any form. The act of lighting a cigarette alone is one of the coolest looking things a person can do. Compare that to the chimp-like awkwardness of someone trying to smoke from a water-based “bong” device, and suddenly that cigarette is infused with an even more urbane elegance.

Just look at the historical figures we associate with smoking marijuana. People like Bob Marley and John Lennon; unbathed musicians who beat their wives. Do they have the same class and sex appeal as the likes of Audrey Hepburn or that one guy from The X-Files?

Cholesterol is bad for you

If you eat a lot of fatty foods, cholesterol can build up in grimy deposits in your arteries, and for that reason has been vilified not only by the healthing community but by society at large. But, really, are huge lumps of grease in your arteries such a bad thing? The answer is no. And here’s why. As cholesterol buildup erects monuments to indulgence at various points in your blood stream, it is at precisely these points that a bottleneck is created and the blood flow is forced to push through at a much faster rate. The result is that the pressure of the flowing blood, or “blood pressure” as I’ve named it, is significantly increased.

Now, how can this increase in “blood pressure” benefit us, you ask? Simple. Look no further than one of nature’s simplest and most widespread creations, the garden hose. Even with the water cranked all the way to the max, the slow, lazy arc of the hose’s discharge will take a long time to wear down and wash off that hardened-on muck from the side of your filthy automobile. But, were you to slide the edge of your thumb over the nozzle, say a third or half of the way, the water would be forced out at a much faster velocity, tearing up that gunk in a matter of moments and leaving the rest of your day free to do whatever it is you like to do with a free afternoon and a length of hose.

So, naturally, the same is true with your arteries and blood. The more of these cholesterol points there are along the arterial highway from your heart to your various extremities, the faster the abundance of functions your body needs to perform will be done. And all the more efficiently. So keep piling in those processed meats and cheeses, and just remember that chest pains and shortness of breath are signs that your body is operating at its fullest capacity.

Condoms are an important part of a safe and healthy sex life

Sex doesn’t feel as good with a condom.

*Johnny Scott holds no licences or credentials in medicine or nutrition. He does, however, own a comprehensive book on cat anatomy, and is pretty sure that’s enough that he can just go from there.

Photo by kokopinto via Flickr

 

We make a lot of assumptions about people. It’s a holdover of our survivalist wiring that we assess people within seven seconds and it’s social survival that we fill in the rest. As Westerners we do a lot of judging on careers and positions within them, which makes it extra interesting to find that the DJ’s a sales manager by day, or that good ol’Chucky Bukowski really did devote over a decade to the post office.

I work at a yoga studio. One of the perks is telling people that I work at a yoga studio; it feels like a concise way to communicate quite a bit about myself. I’ve noticed a few prevalent cliches though, so I thought I’d try to clarify.

No, I’m not a vegetarian.

Not every yogi goes that kinda green, and not every vegetarian practices yoga. I have nothing against vegetarians who have nothing against me. Same with vegans as long as I don’t have to attend a potluck with them, in which case I will straight bring a fruit platter.

In some circles my appreciation for salad is enough to get me looked at sideways, but with yoga folk I’m an unenlightened eater. I’ve had more McDonald’s in my purse than anyone I know and hide it in my desk regularly.

Sometimes being there does make it easier to make a healthy choice, but contrarily, people can be quite free with their opinions and I don’t care to hear them. And while the majority are reasonable people, often there is one person who’s bursting about how they just finished their year long cleanse of eating nothing but sunlight and lotus petals while practicing hot yoga for an hour and a half each day and are now totally revved to get to their raw food dinner to celebrate. In my opinion, the line between food conscious and food obsessed is far too thin to spend so much time hanging out on, staring at and discussing, especially for women, but maybe that’s just me.

Yes, I am “spiritual.”

So “spiritual” in fact that I have the brass ovaries it seems to require these days to publicly admit believing in god. I avoid the word “religious” because I don’t really have a religion. I’m of the heartfelt opinion that god is too big to fit into any one book, so I’m going to keep on believing that they’re all different paths up the same mountain (with the exception maybe of some scary cultish neo-tribes, I’m looking at you, Scientologists) at best and opressive political mob mentalitied patriarchs on bad days.

Yes, most yoga folk are at least quasi-spiritual (please, never talk to me about The Secret), but every now and again, someone wanders in looking for a class with “none of that” and I grit my teeth and wonder why they don’t hit the gym. The vast majority of our classes don’t focus “on that” enough to offend anyone anyway; we are after all a business. I believe that’s some solid irony.

Yes, I wear Lululemon

No, I didn’t pay for a stitch of it. Look, it’s kind of a neat trick they have going there: they pay teachers for in store classes and events in clothing! Then the yoga peeps you look up to rock the clothes and go spend more on a pair of pants than I spend on groceries. So, thanks to colleague kindness, studio clothing swaps and an in store event, I can wear an outfit that would’ve startled me retail, for free, and no one knows it.

Well played, Lulu. Yes, my ass looks great. Yes, the girls are well tucked for yoga and dancing. Yes, these clothes are sweat wicking. Yes, I wear them to fancy places (with the right shirt, they’re black pants!), and the fit and material of everything are ideal if you’re partying till the sun comes up; I wonder if they know that. No, I still wouldn’t pay for them.

Yup.Yoga girls are hot. The guys too.

Hot pants and crop tops aside, anyone who can slow lift into a handstand is pretty comepelling to look at. Anyone who takes the time to go inside and learn about themselves is attractive. People who are smiling and comfortable in their own skin are gorgeous. Yup; we’re a beautiful bunch. Somehow though, when guys giggle about yoga, I don’t think that’s what they mean. So yes, we’re also bendy, and I’ve seen some amazing feats that can only be explained with double sided tape.

Yeah, I’m a hippie…but that’s me…

A whole variety of people take classes. Bankers love to relax after a hard day and they generally don’t seem the Tam-Tam type. Women you see in grocery aisles are standing on their heads when I see them. Rugby guys, martial artists and retired math teachers all get down with the down-dog, you just don’t know it. I do though 🙂

I curse, drink, slack, gossip…I could go on…

My version of being perfect is a matter of authenticity; not repressing, but rather being honest with myself. Should I be cranky? No. Can I be cranky? Yes. If my only progress in this life if full honesty with myself, I’ll be thrilled.

All yogis do things you would think to be unyogic. Any who don’t are lying, or about to cumbust from all that repressing and self-deception. Fuck off. You’re not better than anyone no matter where you practiced, with who, for how long. You are not more enlightened because you can hold your breath, or support your whole body weight with one hand.

I imagine it’s an especially tricky thing for teachers to manage; the expectations vs the humanity. Personally, I will always prefer an honest teacher, one who embraces their humanity as a vital part of their experience here over one who’s forsaking it all or one who sneaks out the back to get their fix, whatever that fix may be. Me, I’ll be in the front with my tunes turned up,

Namaste, bitches.

Tweet me from your mat @McMoxy