Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Can't Fake Yoga...

I joined a gym over the weekend (yes, there's a story there . . .), and for strength training and grace, I thought I'd take a yoga class - ya know, just show up, try to fit in, and kinda "fake it" until I got the hang of it. After all, this *picture there* is what I imagined myself doing; sitting around, with a flat tummy, in odd poses, while gently stretching to the velvet sounds of someone who probably used to DJ for the classical radio station. Maybe getting a "focus" word like "Ommmmmm," and listening to bamboo music ... or whatever they call it; with all the waterfall stuff and bells and gongs dinging. I had heard it was "refreshing." Right on!

So, I went through my non-existent workout wardrobe, got dressed for my class in some swishy pants, that used to look a lot less like sausage casings *sigh*, one of Matthew's Duke Law t-shirts (for some street cred,) and my regular nursing bra. Strapped on my Nike's and put up the hair in a ponytail to go do some yoga, yah, go do some yoga and come home stretched out with a flat tummy. REALITY CHECK COMING!! Yah, THIS *picture of woman's knees in arm pits balancing ENTIRE body on hands* is what they had me doing!!! I digress, this is what they WANTED me to be doing; it is what the OTHERS in the class were doing while I was sitting there thinking to myself, "NO FREAKING WAY AM I DOING THAT! The butt-to-head weight ratio alone will never allow me to balance myself in the air like that!" I found it amusing when the instructor said, "You may be thinking to yourself that this is insane, but just keep coming back, and you'll get the hang of it - eventually." "Eventually,"???! as in, "Eventually - when hell freezes over?"

If you have ever taken yoga, you know immediately that all of my preparations were completely idiotic. You don't wear swishy pants to yoga, and you don't wear shoes. You are supposed to have capri-length cottony "silent" pants and naked feet so you can grip the mat for all these impossible moves. A ponytail gets in the way when you are lying on your back, as do "the girls."

Those, I discovered, are not supposed to be distinguishable as two entities, but rather firmly squished into a "uni-girl," with a bit o' cleavage peeping through the top. After all, so many of these women paid for their "girls," and they'd like to have the benefit of showing them off in class. Kinda like show and tell. My girls are like hermits, and don't like the light of day. Other girls like to get together, dress up, and be seen. My workout friends have told me what clues to look for when distinguishing the real "girls" from the unnatural-anti-gravity wonders.

Girls aside, you are ALSO supposed to quietly show up with your own mat and a water bottle! If you waltz in with your swishy pants, it interrupts the bamboo/gong music and makes everyone glance up from their pretzel twists enough to give you that look that says, "newbie." They have their hair in that stretchy band thing because they already know that hair in a ponytail really hurts when you do some horrendously ridiculous pose - presumably named after an animal and a verb: "camel toots,"morning warrior salute," and "monkey eating banana in a zero gravity machine." Okay, okay, maybe those weren't the exact names of poses, but I'm not that far off either.

So, as happens with disappointment, it is just a bunch of missed expectations. Whereas I expected to be doing mostly easy stretching, apparently, what the class aims for is more like this old dude that only had to keep coming back to class until he was 67 to get it right; tie yourself in a double knot so tight that "you can really feel the stretch," and then unwind yourself - provided that you can still feel any of your muscles and move them back to where they once were. That's really "taking it to the next level."

I have to wonder if it isn't just easier, and faster, to get run over by a MAC truck while driving a Mini car - two days later, you will probably feel the same, and you can get that compact look right off the bat. We'll see how it goes, but if there is a cult out there that has a good front, it's the yoga freaks. They look good, but man, just watch out for the classes they invite you to! You'll definitely come out different than you went in - it's just a question of whether you'll be able to FEEL everything you did when you went in. Ow, ow, ow!

8 comments:

Danika said...

Like I told Joey, yoga is HARD! I've taken a couple of classes at the Baron Baptiste place out here. That's yoga done in a heated, steamy room! Before you even finish your sun salutations you're dripping in sweat. I don't know if the steam is supposed to get out the toxins or what, but I felt like Gumby afterwards. Go back to this class! Now that you know what to expect I bet you'll enjoy it MUCH more. Really, it does get easier!

Danika said...

I am totally cracking up....I was just like you the first time - showed up in sweats & ponytail! But I learned to love it and even have my own yoga mat now. I need to get back to it - maybe someday when Kevin isn't working 12+ hours a day!

Kelly Merrell said...

Katrina...loved your yoga story. I still remember the first time I went to a yoga class, this 60 year old lady was totally showing me up. I'm proud of your effort, though! Dave has me running here in Colorado. If the altitude doesn't kill me, the hills will for sure.

Dickson Circus said...

wow that was weird. I was like, "look! danika commented twice! wait...her husband isn't named KEVIN!" gotcha. It pays to have TWO danikas!
Anyway, definetly the butt to head ratio a BIG problem. I would need another half a head to be able to do that pose. I would like to meet the person that sat around and THOUGHT UP yoga. Who was sitting there in pretzel formation thinking..."this is FUN! and HEALTHY!"

Dickson Circus said...

Oh hey, I almost forgot. Where are the 99 things we didn't know about Katrina??

Lisa said...

Your first yoga experience cracked me up! My favorite is when you talked about wearing a necklace and trying to keep it out of your mouth while doing downward facing dog. ROFL And if Yoga isn't your thing....no big deal. You'll find something there you like, I promise. Besides, give it a few years and doing Yoga will probably be "uncool" by then. I give you kudos just for showing up!

Joel said...

Awesome! I love my Fusion class (Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates) and my instructor is AMAZING! I have to admit, that for not moving around much I sweat like a whore in church. I feel vigorous when I am done and in 4 weeks of Yoga I was able to stretch 1.25 inches further than when I started. GREAT SUCCESS!

Meredith & Steve said...

OK - Monday nights, right? As soon as I am done traveling...I am there!!! Glad I could give you tips on how to spot a pair o' purchased boobies!! Maybe some day I can buy some too!!