Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Punctuationasana: A Guest Post by Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares

Confession time: Guys, I'm super excited today. No, not about tomatoes (although they ARE exciting), or gardening, or my latest brush with crazy. No, today I'm excited because I'm featuring my very first guest post! Yay! {confetti}

Self-proclaimed grammar nerd, yogini, author, blogster, and all-around hilarious gal about town Jenny Baranick is sharing her thoughts on Punctuationasana. Read on to learn how yoga and punctuation intersect in ways you've never even imagined, then check out her blog, laugh your asana off, and then waste absolutely no time in logging onto amazon and ordering her book

I've already ordered my copy because Krishna knows I don't want any unplanned or unwanted grammar mistakes (and neither should you, so get ordering!). And full disclosure, I've never actually met Jenny and no, she's not slipping me commissions (she has to save every penny towards her dream pad, the 50 Shades of Grey Apartment, after all). I stumbled across Jenny's blog a while back and am genuinely excited for her book and the chance to support a fellow up and coming author.


I tend to subscribe to the “live and let live” philosophy—except when it comes to yoga. I am super annoying because I try to push yoga on everyone. However cliché this sounds, yoga has enhanced my life in every imaginable way—physically, mentally, and spiritually—so, sue me:  I think the world would be a better place if everyone had healthy lower backs, a calm mind, and a generous spirit. 

For a while there, I thought yoga teaching was my calling. I took a teacher training course, and I did even teach it for a while. But around the same time I began teaching, I fell in love with writing, and I felt that I had to choose because both yoga and writing would be full-time disciplines. So I chose to pursue writing as a career and take yoga classes instead of teaching it.

My first writing endeavor is the recently released grammar book Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares.  (I’m also an English teacher.) And here’s what I realized: grammar and yoga actually have a lot in common—ending punctuation in particular.

For example, Child’s Pose (Balasana) looks kind of like a period, doesn’t it? 

And like a period provides a nice long pause between sentences, we often come into Balasana when we need a nice long break between poses. 

If you use your imagination a bit, Chair Pose (Utkatasana) looks kind of like a question mark: 

And perhaps it’s no coincidence that when I am in Utkatasana I find myself asking this question: Why am I in this pose that is burning my thighs when I could be home on the couch?

And Head Stand (Sirsasana) looks like an exclamation point:            

And when I am in Sirsasana, I often feel like exclaiming, “Hey, Mom! Look at me! I’m upside down!”

Who knew yoga could be so nerdy! Or that punctuation could be so spiritual!

About the Author

Jenny Baranick teaches English composition, critical thinking, and a remedial English class called Writing Skills at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Consistently shocked at the poor grammar of her students, in January 2010, Jenny started her popular Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares blog.


  1. >> . . . If you use your imagination a bit, Chair Pose (Utkatasana) looks kind of like a question mark

    Funny, I thought I was looking at a semicolon.

    That shows ya what I know about yoga.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Stephen: I bet Jenny/book could/will school us on the appropriate use of the semicolon...both on and off a yoga mat!

  2. What a pertinent post, so full of perfect poses :) I'm really digging this grammar-yoga cross-over and am totally going to check out Jenny's blog and book!

    1. Nunnally the Bard: Send us some yoga dude pics, please.

  3. It has become clear to me:
    they are round and restful.

    Jenny---congrats on your book!
    Sara D.----cooolio first guest blogger!!!

    1. Rebeca: LOL. I love it! (And thank you!)

  4. Ha ha ha. This is really funny. I've never thought about yoga and punctuation marks, but now I'll be on the lookout.
    Congrats on your first guest post!

    1. OOOH! Fun idea: anyone who sees yoga poses looking like punctuation marks (or anything else for that matter) snap a pic and report back here. It's contest time.

  5. What a fun perspective, I love it!

  6. Sara, thank you so much for allowing me to guest post!

    1. Jenny, I was so happy to have you! Thanks for a funny, unique, and very cool post. Would love to have you back any time. :)

  7. Sara, great choice for a guest blogger!

    Jenny, I love your funny and thoughtful post. What a clever way of meshing your two interests.

    1. Thanks, Sandy! You should definitely check out Jenny's blog--funny and thoughtful abound! :)

  8. I've never done yoga. Maybe one day.

    1. Carol: You should give it a try--it can be really good for writing! It can clear out the mental clutter and help bring you into a place of mental stillness...from where really cool things can spring.
      Find a good beginner's class or a teacher your friends like and get your asana (Sanskrit for pose) on the mat! ;)