Anything Lime



Yogatastrophe

Yesterday I took my first yoga class. Correction: I took my first actual yoga class that wasn’t just some fake yoga class dancers take to be all, “Yeah, I take yoga. I’m a dancer and I take yoga. I’m ultra bendy.”

The class I chose is, by no coincidence, taught by my acupuncturist. Partly because it fits well into my schedule, but mostly because everything she touches turns to gold, and I’m at a point in my life where I could use me some riches.

I started off strong, feeling comfortable – a master breather. Which, let’s face it, should be expected after 23 years of practice. The rest of the class was a bit more challenging.

Wait, did you jus- You want me to put my leg where? No, I heard you, I know I’m a goddess or a warrior or whatever, I just don’t think I’m filled with the right kind of harmony that would allow me to place the arch of my foot on the back of my shoulder while balancing on my grounded, earthy fingertips while the Buddha in the corner bangs a gong.

Probably not the best attitude to bring to yoga class for show and tell.

Meanwhile, the other student (yes, only one other student was taking this particular class, and she happened to be – you guessed it – a yoga teacher) is balancing upside down in the shape of a lotus flower chanting quiet tribal sounds and flowing her arms to mimic the shapes of flowing waves and harmony. I reacted to this display of bodily insanity by submissively returning to Child’s Pose, my second favorite of the yoga postures. Corpse Pose is my first.

587 Downward Facing Dogs later, I’m dripping sweat onto a borrowed mat, stinking like a dirty gym sock and wondering what the dickens is happening among the fog of confusion around me that was pleasantly scented like essential oils and green tea. Even when I’m tipped sideways with a cramp shooting through my hip, I can’t help but feel a sense of peace. And calming. Am I on drugs? I’m not on drugs. It must be in the music. No. It must be in the movements.

“Now, when you feel comfortable, bend the leg and take the bind.” Take the bind? What? You want me to scoop one of my arms behind my back, the other under my leg and latch my hands together? You’re crazy lady, and frankly, I’d much prefer it if I could lie here in Corpse Pose while you put needles in my body. Yeah. Let’s do that.

“Slowly concentrate on your breathing as you widen your stance to form Warrior Two. Tilt the body, bringing arms overhead. Gaze remains forward. Concentrate on your breathing.”

Breathing. Got it. Really good at breathing.

“Let’s move back into Downward Facing Dog. This should feel pretty good right about now!”

“Good?” I was thinking more along the lines of “unstable.”

“Support your body with one hand on the floor, the other overhead. Now move your tricep onto your knee, shifting your weight to the front and keeping your back foot grounded.”

Grounded? My tricep touching my knee? My body has involuntarily taken me back into Child’s Pose again. Just leave me here, thanks.

“Now lift your leg to a standing split, arms latched behind your supporting ankle.”

Um… sorry. I’m not following. Did you say “Left foot green?”

My teacher was actually quite pleased with my abilities for having never taken yoga before. And for only having taken dancers’ knock-off yoga that doesn’t count as real yoga because dancers’ yoga doesn’t require bending yourself into a pretzel to feel more connected to the earth.

I feel sore and wonderful and grounded. I understand it. And after I did the Headstand posture for nine slow breaths, I felt proud.

“It’s empowering, isn’t it?” She asked.

Absolutely.

I can’t wait for Monday – Yoga Day. Maybe this time I’ll do it with fewer cramps and more finesse. And, if I’m lucky, a few extra long breaths in Child’s Pose.

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Comments

  1. * Ash says:

    hey, just kinda wanted to say that I am a bit offended by the fact that you suggest dancers can’t be yoga experts. I took yoga class for almost four years. Real yoga. I didn’t know there was fake yoga…

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 2 months ago


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