I recently started including yoga in my workout regimen as a complementary aspect of physical therapy (my left side is still wonky, but slowly healing). I have a dancer friend who’s on the tall side (over 6') and I’ve heard her complain about her height. I never discounted her viewpoint, but I did kind of write it off as, “Society is shitty to women, and impossible standards of beauty make life especially shitty for any woman who’s not Photoshopped to perfection.”

No. It’s her addiction to dance and yoga that’s the problem. So, I’ve been doing two classes a week for about six weeks now; I’m hardly experienced. However, at each class, I’ve easily been twice the size of the next-closest-sized participant (even if it’s a man). In most classes, I am the only man, which is usually the dream, except that I’m surrounded by tiny pixies in human form that zip about at 50 mph, and flow into impossible positions for anyone with legs longer than 20 inches. Even though I give it my all, many of these positions are physically impossible for anyone over 5' 6." Throw in an unreliable leg, and I spend half the time just contorting myself into one or two positions (it does seem — and, admittedly, I can only see the mirrors — like a deleted scene from “Raising Arizona”). Keeping up is out of the question.

INSTRUCTOR: This next position is called “Elf on the Shelf,” and will enable you to fit in a glove box.
MY MIND: HOW IS THAT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE?! How do you — Good Lord, her knees are behind her ear!

I’ll continue to go, because, hate it though I do, it is helping me walk better, and, at this point, distaste is a distant second to doing what works. Still, it is galling that its an activity clearly geared for, ahem, the smaller-framed crowd (coming from the world of weight-training and body building, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many sports have an “ideally-sized” athlete, and, just as body-building is geared for the taller end of the spectrum, dance and yoga seem tilted toward people who don’t need to rearrange the seat when they enter a rental car).

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Science journalist, cancer survivor, biomedical consultant, the “Wednesday Addams of travel writers.”

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