Does having to do your hair count as an excused absence from yoga?

The benefits and harms that yoga “poses” are widely discussed in current literature (if you count the New York Times and Yoga Journal as literature). However, they don’t seem to mention the effect on one’s hair. For example, I’m missed yoga again today because I had to be at work early to clean up from the retirement party I helped plan and host yesterday. I’m hoping my teacher will grant excused absences.

My mane is the bane of my yoga practice. If I could just go to yoga, sweat like a Georgia peanut farmer in the middle of July, and then show up at work like nothing happened, I’d have zilch to complain about. But all that perspiring does a number on my hair. Making it look presentable for a day at the office can become quite a challenge.

I’ve had shoulder-length hair for most of my adult life. So a pony tail for yoga makes the most sense. Pig tails make even more sense in a number of yoga postures but it will be a while before I can bring myself to go there. Spending three of my formative years in blond-haired, blue-eyed, Wayzata, Minnesota as the only black-haired, brown-eyed girl, earned me the nickname Pocahontas. Just the thought of my hair in pigtails gives me PTSD. At his point in my life, I’d love to be called any American Indian name, but back then, it wasn’t a compliment (oh, how I wanted to be Rapunzel instead!).

So I’m sticking with the pony tail for now and Pam the hairdresser/therapist understands this. She makes sure that each cut and color fit my yogic needs (did I just admit to color?). And guess what, Pam also understands that when I don’t have time to “do” my hair for work, it ends up in a ponytail too.

[Side note: Best conversation overheard at the hair salon last month:

Pam: “Does anyone want any more of this dessert?”

Salon Owner: “No! Put it in the trash and throw some hair on it”

As if without the hair on top, it would have been tempting to retrieve it from the trash? Is this a line from Steel Magnolias?]

Anyway, when I actually “do my do” like Pam does it at the salon, its washed, conditioned, blown dry, massaged with product, ironed and then topped off with more product; and that all takes time. On a normal work-day, I don’t have to be at the office until 9:30. However, when yoga starts at 6:00 am, and I have to be at work for an early meeting, I often have to choose between my “yoga ponytail” and my “I-skipped-yoga-today-to-do-my-hair” hairdo.

So, you decide. When I have to do my hair for work instead of go to yoga, should that count as an excused absence?

While you’re thinking about it, feel free to read more musings on my tresses at this link:
http://bluemailbox.blogspot.com/2006/07/i-pretty-much-am-my-hair.html

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