I woke up this morning and decided today would be a good day to try a class at the YMCA. I scanned the schedule online to see if there’s anything classes available first thing today. My options consisted of cycling, Zumba, and hot yoga. Right away, I ruled out cycling. That just seems exhausting. I don’t even have a bike, unless you count the tandem bike that’s hanging in the garage that I impulse bought a couple years ago on Amazon. It’s been on some great rides around the subdivision, but I highly doubt my leisurely rides around the block with friends after a glass of wine count as any kind of training for an indoor cycling class. Zumba sounds fun and all, but I’m picturing a hard-core bunch of people dancing perfectly in sync while some guy that looks like Billy Blanks leads them in a sweaty-choreographed routine to a song by Pitbull. I need to practice my dance moves a lot more in my kitchen before I work up to something like that. Soooo… that leaves me with hot yoga.
While I was making making oatmeal and pouring cereal into bowls this morning, I told my kids of my plans to take a hot yoga class at the Y today. They just kind of looked at me, cautiously. I could tell that they weren’t really sure if my yoga plans were a such good idea.
“But, you can’t even touch your toes.”
“But, Mom. You need a mat. You can’t just go and sit on the hard floor!”
“She can get one at Five Below, I saw them in back.”
“No offense, but I’ve walked by those classes, Mom. Those ladies are strong. Like their arms bigger than dad’s.”
“What are you even going to wear? People wear workout clothes. You can’t wear jeans.”
Well, shoot. Aren’t they just a bunch of little, sunshiny encouragers? I decided to ignore their “concerns” and just wear what I think look like yoga pants, which, I like to call my pajamas. I figured, after I drop them off at school, I should have just enough time to run to Walmart, grab a yoga mat, and rush to the class. My estimates put me at 1 minute to spare before the class begins.
I dashed into Walmart and quickly find the section that sells yoga mats. Who would have thought Walmart would have such a selection? Why is there a fifteen dollar price range on these suckers? I grabbed the cheapest one with the pretty design printed on the front, a bottle of water, and speed walked to the checkout. The checker says, “Just this today?” I proudly say, “Yep! That’s it. I’m doing Yoga!” He doesn’t even lift his head up from the scanner to look at me.
I make it to the Y just in time, but then realize I drank too much coffee this morning, and there is no way I’m going to be able to hold it for an hour. I use the bathroom and find the class at the end of the long hall, in the “spirit and wellness” room, or something like that. There are a bunch of shoes outside the class and it looks so dark in the room. Oh my gosh… I have no idea why I thought this was ever a good idea. I’m now five minutes late and I’m starting to panic, but I force myself to open the door and walk in.
Crap, it’s like a sauna in there! There are five people in the class, including the instructor. The participants are all in a nice row in front of the instructor, who says, “Good morning” to me, in a calm, tranquil voice.
I quickly walk to the back of the room, unroll my new mat, and sit down. Right in front of the freakin’ space heater. That was the first time I silently swore at myself that hour.
I learned right away that I don’t speak whatever language the instructor is speaking. I definitely should have done some preliminary research. Downward dog, the lizard, full-bend, planks, and salutation. Wth. All I know is every time he says, “Salutation”, I think of Charlotte spinning her web, and the I find myself, trying to remember every word she spun, and then I remember how she dies at the end. And then I think, maybe that’s a sign I am going to die of heat exhaustion in this one hour class.
I, eventually, did figure out what the downward dog is all about (you, apparently, do it a lot in yoga), but I’m pretty sure my dog looks nothing like it’s supposed to. My hands were sweating like crazy, and I’m all over my mat. Why wasn’t anyone else slipping? They must have bought they expensive mats. We also work on our “balance” and I want to start giggling because I can’t even stand on one foot for more then five seconds without wobbling over. I also want to crack up every time he says, “Ok, if you want to really challenge yourself, you can do this” because I can’t even do 90% of the not-challenging stuff. I look around the room to see if anyone else finds any of this funny, and they clearly do not. They seem to be somewhere else entirely. Somewhere peaceful. I don’t get it. There’s nothing peaceful about that lizard pose, and I’m pretty sure my hip was about to pop out of socket any second.
The last 10 minutes, the instructor says something again in Yoga language, and everyone moves their mats against the wall. I do the same, having no idea what the heck I’m supposed to do next. We all lie down and put our legs against the wall, so they’re sticking straight up. This must be the “cool down” part of class. He tells us to “watch our thoughts. Just don’t participate in them.” Again, I’m confused. I can’t stop thinking about what that even means! Obviously, I’m doing exactly what I’m not supposed to be doing because I’ve been having a conversation with my thoughts this entire class.
At the end of class, we did this bow thing with our hands in a praying position, and said some word I didn’t know, so I just moved my lips. I was a stinking, sweaty mess. I’m pretty sure I hate Yoga. But, there’s also a eensy, weensy, tiny part of me that thinks I sort of liked it too. I have to admit, my body feels less tense today. Maybe I’ll be back, maybe I won’t. Either way, I have a whole new respect for the art of Yoga and those who do this. Yoga is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I probably should have done cycling. Or came home and taken a nap.