The following article was originally published on elephant journal on March 1, 2013
Note: The following exercises are intended for advanced practitioners who have cultivated a thick skin-encapsulated ego and an understanding of satire.
First, find a comfortable position in life that allows you to spend hundreds of dollars per month on yoga classes, kombucha, raw cacao, and superfood smoothies, resting quietly in the illusion that doing so will preserve your youth and good looks indefinitely.
While taking a few deep breaths, obsess about your first world problem of having to park four blocks from the yoga studio, which made you have to walk by that homeless guy who always asks for change when what he really needs is inner transformation to help him to cultivate an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity.
Begin your formal “me time” by standing in tree pose in front of a full-length mirror. Open your awareness to just how awesome you look in your new yoga gear. While inhaling and lengthening your spine, bend over backwards to justify spending more on a pair of pants than the average Kenyan family spends on food in a month, bearing in mind the importance of moisture-wicking material that flatters your form so perfectly.
While sitting in half lotus in front of the mirror, see yourself as a living god or goddess. Press your palms together in Namaste and bow three times to your reflection while chanting your own name, or the name you would prefer to be called, such as Mahatma, Morpheus, Chrysalis, or Shamanica.
Allow your eyes to close gently. In your mind’s eye, visualize your favorite Hindu deity from among the three or four that you know. That elephant guy will do nicely. Imagine him spewing a fountain of golden light while you emit from your heart chakra your deepest intention: to cultivate inner peace and tight abs that will be the envy of everyone who sees you on the cover of Yoga Journal someday.
Form the “no evil” mudra by gently putting your thumbs into your ears and using your fingers to cover your eyes. From within your peaceful bubble, spend as much time as possible not thinking about poverty, war, racism, sexism, imperialism, global warming, mass extinction, injustice, inequality, white privilege, and other things that bum you out. Keep your thoughts focused on the positive, like how much fun you’re going to have at that yoga retreat in Bali next month.
Raise your right arm above your head and bend at the elbow to reach behind your back. Using your left arm to pull your right elbow downward, pat yourself repeatedly on the back for being so conscious and so dedicated in your spiritual practice.
Reward yourself with a decaf soy mocha latte from Starbucks. Consider getting something healthy like fruit, but opt instead for a cinnamon roll because dammit, you deserve a little self-indulgence now and then.