Rachael Yamagata Wishes You Love: Yoga

When singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata was growing up, she went to all-girls school that she says warped her into the relationship-obsessed woman she’s become, at least in the lyrics of her songs. She began singing with a funk-crazed dance band called Bumpus while she was in college studying theater. While touring and recording with Bumpus, she was also writing confessional, deeply emotional songs that didn’t fit the band’s format. Happenstance, her first solo album, was a folk/pop charmer. Her tunes have appeared on The O.C., The L Word, Grey’s Anatomy and Alias, and Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst all expressed admiration for her vocal style. Having just issued Chesapeake (Frankenfish), Yamagata will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Yamagata: My favorite yoga that I’ve tried is Vinyasa Yoga (flow yoga). I found a yoga DVD that I’ve used for years thinking I was some sort of limber badass until, of course, I actually took class and got said ass kicked in the most limber of ways. Bali, me there for shows, me go to 10 classes, me get fit. If I was out there long enough, I would’ve gone for 21 days and made it a habit. Unfortunately, I didn’t and haven’t done yoga in five months, but hey, favorite things don’t have to necessarily mean you do them all the time. You should do them all the time, but again, I’m no preacher. But yoga stilled my never-still mind and got me to go to a class and challenge myself. I am no fan of classes. I have a strange reaction to groups of sweaty bodies and grunting and instruction, but hey it’s not so unlike playing shows. I have the stage as a barrier though, so quite I surprised myself when I kept returning to yoga class last March. Every time stretch a little bit further just a litttllle bittt more. Find the zone. I do not wear yoga pants, and I’m not a constant tea drinker (although, funny enough, I had some last night). I smoke and drink and even discussed starting “drunk yoga,” so I’m not exactly the picture of health. But, I do try. I can dream.

I equally fell in love with boxing, but then fell off a ladder and broke my wrist and just can’t risk it anymore. But back to yoga. You move differently through your day when you do it. I’ve even picked up yoga CDs and, yes, have started my mornings with them. Now my challenge is actually doing yoga. I have an unwrapped mat and DVD in my back closet at the moment, and before I give it away as a gift, I will will myself to open it and use it and go back to that place I discovered. I will rekindle my relationship with “muuuttthhha eeearrrrth” as my one Australian instructor used to chant, and I will someday even venture into Bikram Yoga. Of course, I insist on a few years of Vinyasa to get in shape enough to wear the little bikini they suggest for Bikram, but hey if you see it, it will happen. Yoga, give it a try. As for drunk yoga, I’ll post if the classes ever begin.

Video after the jump.