Bring your mat, leave your sass at home
So, I took my first yoga class today. I mean, like my first yoga class EVER. I am at least slightly aware of the trends of the world around me, and as a 40-something Gen Xer, and have been painfully aware that yoga, along with tons of other things borrowed from ancient monks, has kinda become a thing. They even make special pants for it. If you know me at all, you might not be surprised that I’m really not “a yoga person.” I’m everything yoga is NOT: I’m essentially a klutzy, loud, awkward, generally muddy, uncouth, disheveled, irregular breather. I’ve refused even attempting it for years because, well…. refer to previous sentence. I’m also a mighty large lady, and since popping out another human, my midsection has gotten soft and wobbly (like a perfect flan). Flexibility and bending and folding and contorting my legs into TV antenna position (they might actually call it something else) is generally reserved for special occasions (AKA: the rare beast passionately called “hotel sex.”) So, why oh why, pray tell, would I impulsively sign up AND PRE PAY for a 10 week course, without even test driving it? Well, cuz why not? “Why not” seems to drive most of my decisions in life lately and seriously, why not? Not like it’s gonna hurt to try. Everyone has been telling me for 1.7 decades that the monks think it would help my back issues and my stress levels and my recurrent rage that seems to come on the heels of ovulation these days. Plus, it’s offered at lunch hour at work, and I could really use some improved balanced and core strength, and learning how to breath and shit.
So, here I am. I survived my first yoga class ever. Perhaps my last yoga class ever. Here are my astute observations. Yoga is pretty hard. Yoga is really hard the first time, and yoga is REALLY hard for this fat smushy giant body with like, zero balance or core strength (I literally rolled my ankle 3 times this week, and threw my back out yesterday reaching for a stuffed bunny in the back seat of the car). Basically, all through the class I’m working so hard to try to do everything I am supposed to be doing, trying to bend and contort and hold these poses, despite esssentially choking on my own fat, shaking so hard that I’m hoping I can convince everyone that there was actually a small local earthquake. And, of course, I’m mostly trying to follow these poses I’ve never heard of blind as a bat because by now I’m sweating so hard that my glasses have totally slid off the front of my nose. Like, I’m raining sweat. It’s fucking monsoon season over here, bitches! But I keep trying. Through lunges, and reaching for sky, and touching the earth, and pretetnding to be a tree. I feel like I’m at least starting to get the hang of it slightly kinda maybe sorta (not even close) when we finally get to kinda rest back into “child’s pose.” Finally, something that sound easy! BUT. So, turns out, child’s pose is not taking a nap, or coloring pictures, or flailing around on the floor screaming that your chicken nugget didn’t look like the right kind of bird. Instead, it’s this position where you, like, lean all into yourself and fold over and literally cram your face right into that sacred space where your boobs rule the roost. It’s bad enough that my face is now crammed into the chest furnace (seriously, those damsels put out some serious heat), but due to all that effing sweat, the furnace has transformed into a fucking suana. I can’t freaking catch a breath. Like, where are my boobs supposed to go?!?! So, as I’m rolled into myself sucking in the boob sweat aroma, I think, “F this, next week I’m bringing a snorkel so I can get some fresh air from up top.”
Sigh. And it continues. And I got through it. And I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it probably still isn’t hurting me any (in the long run). But here’s what I realized. Here’s what I disliked immensely about the whole thing: It is so fucking quiet! And everyone is soooooo serious! I’m no stranger to making a complete fool of myself: and I’m no stranger to not giving a rat’s ass about what anyone thinks of me making a complete fool of myself…..although I did find it slightly funny that the instructor keep saying “it’s ok, you are doing fine” in a very worried tone. I’m very ok at floundering at something. I’m very ok with just quitting if I never wanna go again. And totally okay with going over and over just to enjoy the process of getting better. But what I just genuinely don’t know how to handle is to be quiet through the process. I had to bite my tongue through the whole class to not make random heckling jokes aimed at my moose-ness. It occurred to me that I have no coping skill to handle awkward situations other than self deprecating humor. I have no idea who to be in awkward situations other than the class clown. And while I’m sure this lack of fancier coping skills has some dreadful dark psychological issue at its core, I’m probably not gonna bother to figure out what. I tried something new and just really damn challenging for me, and as far as enthusiasm goes, I crushed it. And don’t worry, I fully expect I might even learn something from the deep and quiet breathes and mindful awareness and (attempts at) fluid movements. I promise I’ll learn what I can from the ways of the wise monks (ya know, some monks put their energy into brewing beer……just saying), but I’m also probably not likely to stop laughing about it either, because seriously, it’s hilarious. I simply can’t leave my sass at home: I’ve become way too attached. So I think I’ll just flounder a little (despite looking like a fat flan-like fish outta water), keep getting what I can out of it, and keep being me. But maybe next time I’ll try dancing classess. I’ve always wanted to learn to tango.