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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