I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m the most inflexible human on earth. You’re thinking I breathe heavy going up the stairs so this is probably not going to end well. You’re probably thinking my competitive streak is not going to bode well in this environment. You would be right on all accounts.
First, let me just say that I totally look the part. Yoga capri pants, check. Flavour “Keep Calm” tank, check. I even washed my face (what’s that you say?!?!) and reapplied mascara. Step 1: Look like you know what you’re doing. Done.
Step 2: Actually know what’s happening. Not so much.
I went to yoga once with a friend years ago. Keyword – ONCE. I can do about anything for 60 minutes. I even did a headstand. For non-yoga speakers, that’s impressive. The teacher said so. And, of course, I said so every time I told the story. What I didn’t know is that you can’t actually force your way through yoga or you end up with severe pain the next day because you put pressure on your neck (wrong) instead of your arms. Needless to say, I was slightly terrified to try again. The thing is, I have to. It’s stretch and strengthen my neck and spine with yoga or go to the chiropractor 3+ times a week just to function without headaches. Yoga, here I come. I can do anything for 60 minutes, right?
Today was my second class. Last week went fairly well. I learned that it matters when and how you breathe. I also learned that yes, I am in fact, the most inflexible human on earth. Today, I learned that in addition to being inflexible I get dizzy at the mere mention of putting my head between my legs. Awesome. We are off to a great start. But I kept going. I was determined to go as slow as need be and actually hold the poses correctly instead of taking my normal “bull in a china shop” approach. Plus, the guy next to me was breathing WAY worse than me and he had to use a block when I could touch my knee. And we all know…if I’m better than 1) the person next to me and 2) a boy…I’m golden!
So the trouble came about halfway through. The sweet instructor’s name is Grace. Isn’t that nice? Sweet Grace, however, talks some nonsense. We start with breathing and some slower stretches. Then my hamstrings start audibly screaming at me. Then my hips join in the fun and pretty soon I think the lower half of my body might abandon ship. Then Grace says “THAT WAS THE WARMUP.” She starts talking about how we’ve warmed the body and increased blood flow and all I hear is “blah, blah, blahdy blah.”
If only I’d quit while I wasn’t ahead.
We then move into poses that we hold longer. What I felt was scorching pain. What I heard was something about dogs being up and down, lizard poses, chaturanga (seriously. that’s a thing) and something about warriors. Just as I thought I might actually pass out, I felt something tickle my chest. I brush a hand across my chest only to realize that sweat is LITERALLY pouring off of me. Apparently being so aware of your breathing translates to not realizing your head is WET! Some people sweat easily. Some of us both don’t sweat easily and don’t engage in activities that would result in sweating. So imagine my surprise when the next chaturanga my hand slips because…oh, you guessed it…the mat is wet, too! Yes, kids, that’s right. I almost fell on my face because the profuse sweat from my beet red head and face had puddled beneath me.
Two lessons were learned here today:
1. Yoga is not for punks
2. That instruction to bring a towel was serious