Yogates: The art of participating in non-participation

Jun 01, 2022
Lie there and breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Source: Getty

Once as a young writer, my teachers encouraged my emerging skills. They entered me into an essay contest. The topic was Mahatma Gandhi. The task was to explore the precepts of passive resistance and civil non-cooperation with authority.

This was heavy stuff for the eleven-year-old I was. I won second prize, and a chance to write more essays on world leaders. Yah!

Years later, I was drifting in my thoughts, to formulate my own hypothesis. I decided to invent a sport, a contribution to our daily lifestyles. I realised one day, that I was resting (for once) on my bed, not participating in Yoga. Yoga is recommended by life coaches for its meditative, calming influences.

One of my peers was an avid Yoga fan, so I tried chair Yoga exercises. I developed a bad back. I must rest. Ah, bliss, I thought. This is my sport of not doing Yoga. Is this a non-sport? What should its title be?

Yogates! Yes, Yogates, to rhyme with Pilates, which I also do not practise. When you do Yogates, it’s all flexible. I highly recommend that you lie down on your bed, on a banana lounge, or on a rug or couch. Yogates is not participating in Yoga. You lie there and breathe.

Inhale, exhale – quite basic. In addition, while you are practising this non-sport, you are also not jogging in marathons around suburban streets, in shorty short lycra shorts encasing large butts. Rather, lie down and breathe. Yes, you are mastering it. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Yogates is also my passive non-participation of not swimming 100 laps of a swimming pool. Or doing, God forbid, aqua-aerobics, clad in embarrassing togs with thunder thighs and quivering cellulite blazing, in all that chlorine. Been there, done that. A little sport can be a dangerous thing.

Yes, you’ve got it now. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Yogates can be classified as an all-inclusive, multi-gender, free non-sport. To what else can you display passive resistance? Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. You’re not mountaineering. You’re not jet-skiing. You’re not windsurfing. You’re not geocaching, very trendy. Neither am I!

Such goals for senior hyperactivity and energetic past times are quite noble. But we golden agers can also channel sessions of our inner sloth. There is nothing wrong with being sloths. The sloth as a species has survived 64 million years of being a mammal on our planet. Humans can do it too, let’s all aim high.

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. I can thoroughly recommend you practise Yogates. It can be described as a steady, constant flow of slothful inertia. You can play this non-sport whenever you like, for as long as you like. There are no rules, no uniforms. You don’t have to participate in anything you don’t choose.

You don’t have to participate in housework at this moment in time. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. In 100 years’ time, none of this will matter. We will all be piles of dust, like the inside of a vacuum cleaner. Our fur friends will be tiny heaps of fluff. Dust to dust. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

You can practise Yogates. You don’t have to participate in lots of things. Lie there and breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Sometimes people, even your families, can manipulate you. The ties that bind us. Do not participate. Make your own choices. Tell them, “that’s my decision. I’ll get back to you.”

Do not participate. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Relax, breathe. This is a top non-sport for anyone, especially seniors. Do not participate if you do not wish. Passive civil resistance. This is how I invented a sport, or is it a non-sport? Yogates! Enjoy.

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