Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yoga 102

Who needs yoga classes? Why humiliate myself in front of limber 20-year-olds who think it's perfectly normal to bend in half, grab your ankles, bend in half again, stretch one arm towards the ceiling, open your heart to the sky, and rise onto your left hand in the position known as the Bean Sprout Rising In The East?

I can do all this at home, with my Yoga 102 Video from Target.

My video begins with peaceful flute music and a lovely blonde woman, sitting peacefully on her mat.

I can do that.

She begins very slowly, apparently recognizing my total lack of coordination. Let's breathe in. And out.

I'm doing great. In. Out. My confidence is growing.

Lovely Blonde Woman quickens the pace a bit, challenging the fledgling followers who were lured into purchasing her video by the 20% discount on a green flowered yoga mat that smells like a recycled Goodyear tire but is definitely an improvement over the disgusting black mats at the gym that smell like two year old socks that have never been washed.

I see you connecting with your inner rhythms, LBW.

I admire your ability to contort your body into the ShmarmaBarmaPharmaDownwardDog position.

I even enjoy your video, which I am watching from the comfort of my couch with a bowl of popcorn on my lap as I type this blog post.

I think I'm getting the hang of this yoga thing. It's a spectator sport, right?

Got it. I'm with ya. Breathe in. Breathe out. Downward dog. All is well.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Yoga 101

Some things in life are exactly what they seem to be. Take, for instance, a two year old who wants to eat cookies for dinner. She makes it perfectly clear what she wants.


No, we're not having cookies for dinner.


No, mac and cheese. You love mac and cheese.


As the mac and cheese goes hurtling across the room and splatters all over the wall, the two-year-old continues to communicate quite clearly.


At this point, most normal parents scramble to the pantry, throw open a bag of cookies, and dump them all onto the high chair. This is not giving in. This is basic survival.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with yoga. Let me explain.

Yoga instructors are the cosmic opposite of two-year-olds. I learned this over the weekend, when I came up with the extremely bad idea of trying a basic yoga class at the gym.

Here's what yoga instructors say - and what they mean:

"welcome. sit quietly on your mat in whatever position is comfortable."

This is going to hurt.

"breathe in and out. cross your legs in a simple, relaxed position. like me. one over the other. you can do it."

I see you in the back row. You can't even cross your legs. What are you doing in my class?

"now stretch forward, bringing your legs into the upward downward sideways dog position while rising in slow motion onto one hand and lifting your right arm towards the ceiling."

I've been pretty bored this week. This should be really fun.

"as you inhale, cross your left arm over your shoulder and grab hold of your right ankle."

Perfect. I heard something crack.

"pay no attention to the people around you. enter your own private space. dwell in each breath. in. and out."

You still breathing, there in the back row? Here comes the grand finale.

now pull your ankle in towards the center, exhaling as the gentle motion rolls you over onto your side, in a graceful arc that mirrors the rotation of the earth"

Ha! There she goes. I love my job.

(You just wait, Yoga Instuctor. I bought a Yoga video at Target yesterday. I'll be ready for you next time.)



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