My personal yoga instructor just applauded my efforts. A jingle-jangle of bells and horns sounded as my banked hours changed colors to a now golden hue. Such is the life of a star yoga student in the virtual world of Wii.

While my dogs bark at the neighbors who have the audacity to shovel their snow, I’m safe and warm during this latest barrage. Don’t they realize (the dogs AND the neighbors) that exercise is much better when you do it in front of a television?

I can consistently nail the Half-Moon pose (which really, is just standing straight and bending left or right). I’m also pretty darn good at the Deep-Breathing pose (which really, is just standing there). The other Wii avatars representing my family are in deep slumber as my Mii shows off in front of them, doing poses I couldn’t possibly do in real life.

The onscreen instructor wants me to brag to the others about how my bank changed colors. She encourages me to explain that I’ve reached the penultimate gold goal. I guess that’s supposed to shame them into joining me for Warrior, Sun Salutation or any other pose that doesn’t require balance.  Fortunately, this program doesn’t offer Child’s Pose, because I would probably use it extensively to reach platinum level if there is such a thing. I thought the whole point of yoga was to be non-competitive.

I like doing this alone. I feel serene. Nobody’s behind me snickering at how badly I suck at Chair or Triangle (and don’t even get me started on how silly I look doing Palm Tree). Downward Dog is my jam; thank goodness no one else on the planet has to witness it though.

In my first book, I wrote a chapter entitled Yoga Bear in which I pointed out how embarrassing it was to do this along with a class full of older/better yogis and yoginis. At that point, my body sounded like a Rice Krispies commercial; snap, crackle pop (or poop, when I bent too far the wrong way).

But these days, with the living room substituting for a yoga studio, I can pretend that I’m a master even though I’m sometimes admonished by my instructor’s words saying “that seemed a little rough, you pansy.” In all honesty, she says it much nicer. But I hear what I wanna hear. What kind of person am I when I imbue my pixelated partner with passive-aggressive tendencies?

Speaking of which, the distant sound of snow blowers has aroused my own downward facing dogs and they’re barking at the neighbors once again. I suppose now that I’m all stretched and relaxed, it’s best if I got out there and moved some snow. Hopefully my shovel will change to gold in the process or at least my teen daughter will pitch in before heading off to the community center for a “real” work out.