I’ve always been an Extreme Candy BLAST kind of person. Upon surveying the vast frozen food section, I’ve always looked askance at anything else. Why, I’ve wondered, would you willingly purchase any ice cream that hasn’t been packed with chocolate chunks, a molten core of caramel, and at least two kinds of broken up pastry?
Do purchasers of plain ice cream secretly hate themselves? Isn’t unadorned neopolitan something you are given in a paper cup in a prison cafeteria or at birthday parties where the parents are sadists?
Recently, however, I had a desperate ice cream emergency (unadorned apple pie service was imminent!) – and the only practical option at Costco was plain vanilla. Real milk, fancy creamery vanilla, but vanilla nonetheless. And so into the cart it went, in unavoidably gargantuan quantities. Once it was home, of course, only those with no ethical quibbles at all would waste our world’s resources by not devouring it.
The verdict? Vanilla is actually pretty darned lovely. It’s delicate, it’s dainty, it’s subtle and complex. It’s the little black dress. A sweet little tune on just one violin. It’s a single perfect peony in your garden.
And it’s yoga.
After all, like yoga, vanilla is something that isn’t just wolfed down. You aren’t just hurtling towards the next bite of candy, the bigger helping of fudge. – just like you aren’t hurtling towards the next pose after pose. You are savoring; simply, slowly. Vanilla and yoga makes you present. This bite, this pose is good, the next will probably be as well. There’s no reason to stress about it.
Supergirl knows this – after she gets a super speedy cone from the Flash, she exclaims an exuberant “yes!!” And in the musical “She Loves Me” Amalia sings a whole song about the wonders of someone bringing her vanilla ice cream.
Of course that’s not to say I don’t still go extreme in my desserts (bring it on, Peanut Butter Cup Explosion!!!) as well as in my movements – slap a sequined dress and some jazz hands on a yoga pose and you’re halfway to Broadway, after all. It’s so exquisitely extra.
But my love for the extremes is also exactly why I need yoga, and good quality vanilla too. Still waters run deep, after all, in dessert and an Easy pose held a good long time. One day, if you are truly disciplined and ready for true enlightenment in the physical, spiritual, and mental realms, you might just advance to the next level – that would be Counselor Troi’s own personal mantra and muse, chocolate. As she wisely said, “chocolate is a serious thing.”