Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My First Yoga Class

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“Namaste,” the diminutive, caramel-skinned, bangin’-bodied, bald instructer greeted us in a soothing voice that was laced with a Spanish accent. “Is anyone here new to yoga?”

I raised my hand shyly. Calmly delighted,
the instructor went on to welcome me to his class and explained what Ashtanga Yoga was. Great! I was ready.

You see, at some point last year, I really, really needed some Zen in my life, so I decided to look into yoga. I’d been meaning to take a class forever and I reasoned that I’d be naturally decent (if not outright good) at it. After all, I’m really bendy, I danced competitively for a few years (aren’t many yoga practitioners also dancers?), I’m good at breathing, and I like depositing myself on mats. All this combined with the facts that yoga clothes are almost as cute as they are comfy, yoga-doers all seem to have slammin’ bods, and I’d get to go barefoot (which is how I’d like to be all the time) – yoga seemed like the perfect thing for me.

The instructor then led us through a series of poses, which he would gradually string together in combos. As I turned, tucked, and twisted, I became aware that I had never put myself in such positions before, bendy though I was, and that various parts of my body were screaming in protest, kind of like how different instruments in an orchestra would chime in to specific patterns in a song.

Pain in the hamstrings! Inner thighs! Biceps, triceps, and butt!
Abs, abs, abs, haunches! 
Back, abs, love handles, quads! 
Love handles…love handles…LOVE HANDLESSSS… 

Not long after the class began, I started to sweat. Not the ladylike, dewy mist that I’m accustomed to feeling on myself, but fat drops of perspiration began to sluice off me in rivulets. I wasn’t sure if it was from pain or from physical exertion. Before I knew it, I was kind of sticking to my mat, which I was dismayed to see, at a closer distance, was obviously quite dirty.

“Take a deep breath…” the instructor said, as I wondered if the communal mats were ever cleaned. I also couldn’t help but stare at the obvious yoga masters at 9, 12, and 3 o’clock – were they professional contortionists?

“Now exhale slowly…”

God, can I catch something from these mats? How many people’s sweat am I touching right now? I think they also use these in bootcamp classes, where people sweat like pigs. Ew... 

“Feel all the tension leave your body…”

Oh &^%*&, I forgot to take out the garbage last night and I still have to do two loads of laundry, pick up something from the post office, and renew my driver’s license. I wonder what time the waste depot, government office, and post office are open until. Maybe I could make it after work tomorrow…

“Let go of all the negative energy that have been pent up throughout the week…”

Man, it feels like I’ve been lying on this filthy mat forever. And is that strange odour coming from the large, sweaty man to my left, or the large lady beyond him? 

“Just relax and breathe deeply…”

This is getting boring, but I guess the painful part’s over. It feels like such a waste of time to be lying here though. I could be running all my errands and doing stuff for work…I have to look into a bunch of stuff for several prospects and a few new clients… 

The class went on in the same vein until finally, with a gentle “Namaste”, we were dismissed. As I walked out with my limber, relaxed classmates, all I could think was, #$%^&*(#$%^, I do NOT have the patience for this.

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