|I mean look at her! She's 83! I couldn't do that at 23!|
I'm not sure exactly what I expected to get out of it but I have to admit, yoga turned out to be shockingly good exercise. The first time I tried it I couldn't believe how worn out I got just from stretching and breathing! Now I'm no yoga expert, I still can't do all the poses and I definitely can't twist myself into a pretzel. However I am definitely stronger and more flexible than when I started, the regular neck and lower back pain I've had for years is gone so my painkiller use went from "alarmingly regular" to "almost never". Best of all, the mysterious** leg injury that had me functionally crippled for over a year and that simply would not heal was gone for good within two months.
Here's the thing though, I never actually read all the way to the back of the book. I stopped at the exercise descriptions, but there is a long chapter in the back that forced me to rethink my original judgement that this book contained no New Age Woo. There is all kinds of questionable diet and health advice, most of it pretty much harmless*** but others - like suggesting that the right juice diet can cure cancer - maybe not so harmless.
One strange thing really stood out amid all the strange dietary advice though. Way at the end there is an endorsement for something called "Ezekiel 4:9 Bread" which immediately caught my eye. I looked it up and found arguably the best demonstration of why you shouldn't treat the Bible like a book of magic spells (or in this case recipes). Now if you look at the verse in Scripture you certainly do find a recipe for the 100% flourless bread promised by the Ezekiel bread people:
""Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself." (Eze 4:9)
However, that is not all it said. When you see something advertised like this it creates the impression that you are dealing with a magic recipe straight from God so surely it must be meant to provide great health benefits. When you actually read the entire chapter 4 in Ezekiel you will however get an entirely different impression really quick. See Ezekiel had to eat this - and apparently only this - for 390 days while lying on his left side. (He then had to do 40 days on his right side.) He only got to eat 8 ounces (about 0.2 kilogram) of this per day with 2/3 quart (about 0.6 liter) of water. This was all part of a prophetic display of the horrible times about to befall the nation of Israel. Verse 16 makes it pretty clear:
"He then said to me: "Son of man, I will cut off the supply of food in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin."
See? This wasn't about eating a healthy diet, this was about suffering with small amounts of terrible food. The bread wasn't made without flour because flour is a bad dietary choice but rather because Ezekiel was telling the nation that things would be so bad for them that there would be no flour for bread!
Doesn't seem like such a magic health recipe now, does it? I bet you the people who sell this product didn't even do the recipe correctly! Pretty sure they left out an important ingredient:
Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel." The LORD said, "In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them." (Exe 4:12-13)
Yeah I'm pretty sure they left out the poop vapors... Way to half ass a Biblical recipe guys!
And that, dear friends, is why you shouldn't use the Bible like a spell book. You may just end up eating poo flavoured bread!
* It even renamed some of the poses to give it more manly sounding names.
** I still don't know what happened. It was fine before I went in for surgery and then I woke up feeling like something was torn!
*** Or not, its pro Atkins and I've heard that it may be bad for you but since I'm not knowledgeable on the subject I'm letting that one slide. I don't care how much you try testosteroning it up though, there is no way you can make eating a hamburger wrapped in lettuce leaves in lieu of a bun sound manly!