Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Yoga Deceived Me

As the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2011, millions drank from their champagne flutes to celebrate the new year and their resolutions, which probably include not drinking from champagne flutes as often. We all know they will inevitably fail. My ambitious New Year's resolution was to do at least one physical activity a day. So, in attempting to satisfy my baleful resolution, when my mother and sister bombarded me early-ish in the morning (during winter break, mind you) to ask me to come to a yoga class with them, I acquiesced.
"It will be great!" my mother squeaked, clapping her hands. "We will work out and then get green drink!"
Hold up. Whaddahell is green drink. I accepted, in my mind, that it was some sort of magical concoction of the Yogi gods, akin to ambrosia or, the Ferraro gods and their creation of Nutella (one can only hope anything will taste as good as Nutella but, of course, that is a FOOL'S DREAM.) Alas, we departed for the Yoga studio.

Upon arrival, I already knew something was awry. Eleven dollar smoothies. I would be getting no drink of the gods.

I grabbed some squishy yoga mat and walked up the narrow, spiral, wrought-iron staircase only to see that we were slightly late. Everyone was already in some position that looked like they were bowing to the petite and perky blond leading the pack. The room was a stifling 90 degrees and I was wearing sweatpants. Intentional increase in temperature - This MUST be hell. Even worse, the room was already crowded with different types of women: one, a hardcore, warrior-woman whose every move was like a blade slicing the air and making it bleed, another an obese soccer mom who somehow managed to bend in ways that seemed impossible for a woman of her girth. The rest seemed like bored housewives looking for a way to keep their husbands interested, and peppered here and there were the incomprehensibly sweaty men - some old, some young but with weird hairlines.

I was forced to lay my mat front and center. Everyone was watching as I got into the bow-down-to-me position, or, as I thought as soon as I bent down, the I'm-going-to-fart-in-this-poor-unsuspecting-woman's-face position.

What happened next, I can't event manage to describe. My body was manipulated in strange ways.. it turned out that the class was not, in fact, the relaxing Yoga I had signed up for, but a terribly demanding and rigorous Power Vinyasa class.

"Okay, now downward dog, Brrreeeeeeeathe throughthevinyasa, scorpion, eeeeeexhalle slooooowly.. BACKintodownwarddog, bring both feet up to your palms on the outside of either wrist, exteeeeeeeend, exteeeend again, Reeeeach UP! (absolute silence.. a stoic face) Tree pose. Breathe, and relax.

How the hell do I relax when I've been called multiple animals and a tree and didn't have any idea what a vinyasa was until I was forced into one. I still don't know what it is. All I know is that at one point, my foot was too close to the lip on the wall on which a little incense burner sat. I knocked it off and it clamored to the floor, as a result, my form suffered, leading the the instructor personally walking over to me and correcting my form. Remember, I am at the front of the class.

All in all, this wasn't a terrible experience. I could have actually fallen over like my poor sister did. Arms, chest, legs, butt, nearly everything, aching, I left the deceitful "yoga" class with a dazed expression. Jovial women smiled at each other and said, "Oh, let's come back tomorrow!" All I could think was, girl you CRAY.


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