I have zero flexibility. When I stand up and bend over, I can reach the middle of my shins. Do you know who’s more flexible than me? My mom. Jack. My three daughters. My great uncle. Obama. A tree. Rocks. My desk lamp.
While my friends have been taking yoga classes for years, I’ve just been like… it sounds cool, in theory, but there’s no way I could do 80% of the stuff you guys do. Last Friday, I was finally coerced to take my first yoga class. Hot vinyasa, which means the room is 95 degrees. I was super nervous and ended up manically introducing myself, “Hi, I’m Roo, I’ve never done yoga before, I’m scared, please hold me,” but it was a pretty nice experience.
That said, yoga is way harder than I expected. I thought it would be super relaxing, soft stretching, and someone would wrap me in a blanket and sing me a lullaby at the end. NOT SO, Dear Reader. The room was dark, thank God, because that meant fewer people watching me fall over. In the end, I was sweaty and tired, but I thought yeah, I could try this again.
Fast forward to my second yoga class on Monday. I was feeling bold and decided I could do it solo, without my friend at my side. Instead of the tank top/bra combo I wore for my first class, I wore a sports bra with a cotton tank (mistake #1) over it and spandex leggings. And instead of finding my spot in class early, I went to the ladies’ room and took my time putting away my hoodie and phone and keys (mistake #2). And I forgot that Columbus Day meant a lot of people were off work (mistake #3).
By the time I put my mat down, the back row was packed, so I ended up front row and center, right next to the instructor. Panic ensued.
The room was bright, and I was like.. when is she going to turn the lights off so we can have dark yoga time? Why is everyone super sexy? Why is there so much muscle definition in this room? How many classes do I have to take before I look like this girl doing handstands next to me? Why are there so many guys in this class when there was only one on Friday? Wait, WHY AREN’T THE LIGHTS OFF?
“Today we’re going to work on our pelvic floor.”
“Place a yoga block either horizontally or vertically under your back and lift your pelvis into the air. Ladies, if you’re on your day one, two, or three of your menstrual cycle, position your block horizontally.”
I did not ask, because had I asked, I would have discovered that this was not a beginner’s class (mistake #4). Also, I forgot to put my hair in a topknot, and kept it in a ponytail (mistake #5).
If I thought Friday’s class was hard, this class was the Dante’s Peak of yoga classes. Within ten minutes, I was drenched in sweat, my ponytail slapping against the back of me, and my shirt hung on me like a wet washcloth. The bending and twisting and balancing – well, I failed at most of it. And I failed at it front and center (WHY AREN’T THE LIGHTS OFF), with my back end up in the air.
“Don’t worry, no one’s even looking at you,” a friend had encouraged me before I took my first class. Really? I think that’s a lie. Because I’m staring at everyone else. Okay, move my left arm.. no.. she’s using her right arm.. #%$&. Okay, right arm. That’s a cute sports bra. Back to left arm?! Sadists.
By the end of the class, I looked like a drowned rat. Stepped out into the foyer, and the cold air against my wet shirt was unbearable, so I ripped it off. In public. In front of people. I zipped my hoodie on as fast as I could, said thank you, got in my car, contemplated getting a chili dog, and then sent angry text messages to every friend that suggested I try yoga. Then I Instagrammed a photo displaying my contempt.
The next day, every body part hurt and I’m pretty sure I pulled a groin muscle after we were instructed to do handstands (I was like, LOLWUT). I am committed, however, to trying a few more classes in the spirit of trying to achieve balance and greater health and something about inner something? Something? Yea.