Yoga Branding, or Erma Bombeck on the Mat

“Don’t be afraid to be provocative,” said the marketing consultant, but I’m thinking, really?  Because I’m probably 20 years and two kids too late to be as provocative as most people are today.  If you saw my ‘girls,’ you’d probably agree it’s best to keep them right where they are, undercover.Many of my yoga friends have undergone branding and a few have come out without their pants on.  One yogi is now posing in underwear on her website and she offers tips on how to wear makeup and how to have sex.  I can’t make this stuff up.  I asked her recently if she could give me some advice on publishing my new book, and she replied that I would be perfect for her sex course.  Excuse me, but I know how to fuck.  I went through that stage too where expressing my sexuality was considered very feminist; It was called the Seventies.  Since then, I’ve promised myself that I won’t sleep with anyone I don’t actually like, except for possibly my husband after a weekend of non-stop football.Which brings me to my brand. For some reason, when I went to get branded nobody looked at me and thought:  “Let’s get naked.” What the hell?  They looked at me and thought, “Erma Bombeck.”  When I announced this at a recent yoga event, the whole room looked at me and said, “Who?”But let's be clear: I am thrilled!  Because growing up my idol was Erma Bombeck.  I never missed her column in the newspaper.  When I decided to go to Columbia Journalism School, it was to be like Erma. When I thought I might be a writer, and have a family, it was to be like Erma.  Now, on the back of my first book, you will see: “The Erma Bombeck of the Mat.”  OMG!  Someone pinch me.As a tribute to my original muse, and for some of my younger readers who have no idea who she was, here are a few Erma Bombeck quotes.  Enjoy because no matter how good I might become, there will never be another like her.Erma Bombeck Originals:

  • “The grass is greener over the septic tank.”
  •  “Housework can kill you if done right.”
  • “All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. ”
  • “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
  • IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER  (excerpts from a fabulous column)I would have talked less and listened more.I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back.”
  • Written on her tombstone:  "I told you I was sick.”
  • Written on my tombstone someday:  “A woman who was inspired by life and powered by grace.  She had her femurs rooted.  And she was able to laugh through the tears because of Erma Bombeck.”

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse.  She’s the author of “Finding More on the Mat”, a yoga memoir available in January from