Yoga Exercises

Yoga Exercises

yoga exercises

Two friends discuss yoga exercises. The English Grammar focuses on Complementation.

Becky: “I want to learn yoga.”
Safa: “I can teach you. First you must learn to breathe.”
Becky: “I can breathe! Otherwise I’d be dead.”
Safa: “Pay attention. Your breath is your life force within your body. Regular breathing exercise can be calming.”
Becky: “I want that. Sometimes I have panic attacks.”
Safa: “Good, we will start with that. It’s easy.”
Becky: “What do I do?”
Safa: “Sit with your back straight. Inhale through the nose, exhale through your mouth.”
Becky: “I can do that.”
Safa: “Inhale and count to four. Exhale and count to eight. This is one cycle.”
Becky: “Got it.”
Safa: “Repeat four times twice per day.”
Becky: “Okay, and then what?”
Safa: “That is called the ‘4-7-8’ breath. Tomorrow I will teach you the ‘Breath of Fire.'”


Life force means a vital or creative force that is thought to exist in all organisms and cause evolution and growth. Also called élan vital. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Panic attack is an episode of acute anxiety and fear, often marked by heart palpitations and hyperventilation. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Complementation

“I want to learn yoga.” It’s easy to see that “to learn yoga” is a clause with noun-like qualities (direct object of “want”) and this clause is embedded in the sentence as an Infinitive Complement. Other Complements in English are Subjunctive Complements (“We prefer that he drive.”) and that-Complements (“People know that Koala bears cannot drive cars.“).


yoga classes

Friends discuss yoga classes outside with goats. The English Grammar focuses on Complementation.

Perry: “I want you to come to my class with me today.”
Kane: “What, your yoga class? You know I’m not into that.”
Perry: “This one will be different. Plenty of poses, but not much meditation.”
Kane: “Why not?”
Perry: “Today I’m going to a class outside, in an enclosed area with baby goats.”
Kane: “Goats?”
Perry: “The site is a beautiful farm east of the city, and the instructor will be there as usual but they’ll have some dwarf goats running around during class.”
Kane: “I figured you guys had a screw loose, and now I’m sure of it!”
Perry: “It’s fun. I promise it’ll crack you up.”
Kane: “Crack up like a psycho or crack up laughing?”
Perry: “Laughing and having fun. It’ll be a blast!
Kane: “I am trying to imagine this.”
Perry: “If you don’t like it, you can just walk away.”
Kane: “And it’s outside, not cooped up somewhere?”
Perry: “Absolutely. You don’t have to take it seriously, you won’t go mental, just you and me and a few others outside in perfect weather.”
Kane: “With goats.”
Perry: “Bring a mat. The goat attendant will make sure none of the goats try to chew on it.”


Run around means to run here and there, haphazardly. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Have a screw loose means to be silly or eccentric, crazy, or unstable. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Crack up as a phrasal verb usually means either to laugh and experience great amusement, or to have a mental or physical breakdown. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Have a blast is slang for a highly exciting or pleasurable experience. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Walk away means to leave or depart. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Cooped up means restricted or confined in a small space. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Go mental means to become extremely angry, upset, or crazy. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: When is a complementizer optional?

I promise it’ll crack you up can also be written or articulated “I promise that it’ll crack you up.” The complementizer “that” is optional in these sentences. When is it required?

Studies show that “that” is omitted most frequently in conversation and least frequently in academic prose. Another factor is whether there is intervening material between the verb and the complement. If there is, “that” is more likely to be present, for example:

He said he wasn’t famous.
?He said in an interview yesterday he wasn’t famous.
??He said in an interview yesterday conducted by The Times he wasn’t famous.

In the last two instances above, the sentences would be preferred if the complement clause were preceded by “that”:

He said in an interview yesterday that he wasn’t famous.
He said in an interview yesterday conducted by The Times that he wasn’t famous.

There are other factors, but one other I will mention here is whether the subject of the main clause and the that-clause are the same. If so, deletion of the complementizer is often preferred: “I think I’ll buy a new car.

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