It is no secret to anyone that knows me even a little that exercise is not my thing. When I was a kid my legs and feet were all jacked up which made me the kid that couldn’t run or skip. I often found myself standing alone when teams were being picked for whatever barbaric game we had to play in gym…Red Rover and dodge ball were my least favorites. I wasn’t good at it so why on earth would I do more of it? As some kids played sports, like baseball and basketball, I read and played the piano.
Reading and playing piano were great things to do, but they certainly didn’t help keep my body healthy in terms of exercise. As I gained weight, it became more difficult to do anything without pain so then I just didn’t, which had it’s own consequences. I have tried lots of things…walking I can do, but to be honest it is kind of boring unless I am walking with a friend which isn’t always possible. I tried Tae Bo when it first came out and I kind of liked it but again, I hurt too much afterwards. And one time, I glanced in the mirror and realized how much of an idiot I looked like and that was the end of Tae Bo. Gyms have collected my money without really needing to serve me because I stopped showing up after awhile. I could go on and on…my point is, I haven’t found something I like.
Back in college, Joe took a yoga class because a doctor had suggested that it would help his back. He had injured it (playing paintball I think) and it had been causing him some trouble ever since. He had enjoyed it but hadn’t really stuck with it long term. I remembering thinking at the time that maybe that would be something I could do without hurting and looking like an idiot. So when I was making my list, I decided to take yoga class. I finally landed on a Saturday morning class. It was a beginners level 1 class taught by the woman that started the yoga place.
Because I am a planner, I decided to Google “what to expect yoga class”. Bad idea. The first article I open up leads with, “You may have some anxiety about your first yoga class, but what to wear shouldn’t create extra anxiety.” WHAT!?! Up until that point, I hadn’t even thought I was supposed to anxious about the class, let alone what I was going to wear. But guess what, I was now. So, I read some more to find out the proper attire and went off the to the store to get what I needed, including a yoga mat.
I had what I needed and Saturday morning I left Joe and Taelin on the couch watching Dora the Explorer and went off the class. Joe was probably so thankful that the class had finally come because he was tired of listening to me get all weird and strange about the whole thing. As I was driving, I thought about all the things that I had figured could go wrong. Here is just a little sampling… “What if I get in behind a really hairy guy with short shorts?” “What if I get so relaxed I fart?” “What if I lose my balance and fall over, creating a domino effect for everyone in the class?” Can you see why Joe was probably just glad to have me go already?
I finally pull up to the yoga place (I am sure there is a name for it), parked my car and went in. First thing I find out is that the lady who does the beginners class is gone for the morning and Josef will be subbing. I tell the lady that I was a yoga virgin and don’t have a clue. I decided to not share my whole “virgin” analogy I had created in my head and just nicely ask for help. She sends me off with a couple of yoga blocks that look like bricks, 2 blankets, and what can best be described as a belt. Umm…it was at this point that I decided completely abandon the virgin analogy, for what is hopefully obvious reasons.
I roll my mat out and just start watching everyone else, hoping that I won’t be the only clueless one. And then in walks Josef. I want to say for the record that stereotypes are too often used to judge when there is more to the picture. With that said, Josef walks in and he looks like every male yoga instructor I have even seen in a movie or read about in a book. He had long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail and a thick German accent. He was wearing a bright yellow shirt (which my research had said was a no-no) and those wind pants that people wore all the time in the ’80’s. All I kept thinking was…”Oh god. Please leave the pants on. Please don’t let their be tiny short shorts underneath. Please leave your pants on.” Looking back now I don’t know why the heck I cared, but I did. Luckily, Josef left his pants on and turned on some soft music and began telling me all about how I haven’t ever really breathed until then.
The class was only supposed to be about an hour, but two hours later I walked out of the building to my car feeling the most relaxed I have in ages. I certainly stretched muscles I didn’t know I had and I couldn’t do it all, but that was okay. It was truly a beginners class and I was concentrating so hard on what I was trying to do that I didn’t even notice anyone else…which means that nobody was probably noticing me either. I am really, really sore today, the day after the class, but I made it through and am even thinking about going back, which is saying something.
I am no longer a yoga virgin. I didn’t fall over and I didn’t fart. Everyone kept their pants on. Yoga success. Oooommmmmm……