Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First World Problems
Have you ever heard of "First World Problems?" Basically FWPs make fun of the extreme gap between the petty and selfish grievances of people living in developed societies in first world countries, and the serious, life-influencing difficulties that people in third world countries deal with every day (like the water shortages and power outages that have been affecting the whole country of Botswana the past couple of months).

Google it - there are lots of websites that list various FWPs and also also a hilarious YouTube video with quotes like these:
"I'm so cold. Somebody set the A/C at 72 and I need it at 73."
"My iPhone 5 is too big for my skinny jeans pocket."
"I bought too many groceries... now I'll have to make two trips from the car."
Anyway, I was thinking about "hot yoga" as an FWP when I was sweating in my (non-air conditioned) yoga class last night (yes, I know, yoga - A/C or no - is very first world but bear with me!)

While I imagine that the concept of yoga in itself would be ridiculous to people from many third world countries (why would you want to get together in your free time to burn much-needed calories?!), "hot yoga" - not just exercising, but paying money to exercise in an intentionally uncomfortable environment- would be even more incomprehensible. I started this train of thought because my yoga class in Botswana is held in a classroom of an old school which does not have air conditioning: HOT YOGA simply by default! It must be 85 or 90 degrees in that classroom this month, and we're already in the cooler fall season.
I have never taken a hot yoga class per se (at least not intentionally) but I know it's a trendy form of exercise now back at home. How funny to think about all those people back in the U.S. paying lots of money at their trendy gyms to do yoga in the heat and humidity... and here I am getting it for just 50 pula/ $6 per lesson! Problems currently facing Botswana: rolling blackouts, contaminated drinking water, water shortages, crumbling infrastructure, and no A/C in yoga class! Which one of these is not like the other?


  1. yes, I know, yoga - A/C or no - is very first world but bear with me!

    you realise it's a tradition over 4000 years old?

  2. although you could argue that South Asia was first world at the time until the colonists rocked up.