This afternoon I had a few blissful hours after work without my children. It was difficult for me to tear myself away from three uninterrupted hours to write, but I decided it was time for me to go to yoga class. I had just recovered from nearly two weeks of illness- bronchitis and a sinus infection- and I wasn’t quite sure whether I was ready for a yoga class again.
I decided to bite the bullet and do it; after all, the last few classes I had taken were more relaxing than challenging, and it would probably do me some good.
Imagine my dismay when I entered the studio and found, instead of the middle-aged uber-Zen studio owner, a young, athletic blond.
“Try to keep an open mind, you pessimist!” I coaxed myself. “Maybe she will be just as good.”
It quickly became clear that I had just signed up for the yoga version of Cross Fit. (*Disclaimer: I really have no idea what Cross Fit is. I am quite certain, though, that I would rather die than participate in it.)
My first indication that things were horribly amiss was the music playing. Normally we hear this really Zen instrumental stuff during our practice. Today’s selections included pop music that swung wildly between songs that would have been more appropriate in Zumba or Jazzercise, and songs that belonged on a porn soundtrack.
I began to panic when the pacing of our poses was about five times faster than what I am used to. Don’t get me wrong, back in the day when I was a 20 something non-mom I could break a good sweat in yoga and love it. Not so much these days. And I was so distracted by that bullsh-t music that I couldn’t concentrate at all.
At one point she walked over to the stereo and I thought with relief, “Oh thank God, she’s going to change it.” Nope, she was just taking a drink from her water bottle. “Oh do you need a drink?” I sneered silently. “It must be really tiring standing there ordering us to do 45 Sun Salutations in a row!”
I tried to scold my inner critic into submission, but it wasn’t working. “Your attitude is coloring your experience,” Serene Stephanie whispered. “Just try surrendering to the situation. You know, acceptance.”
Instead of surrendering, I mentally composed this entire post during the course of the class in an effort to combat my intense urge to grab my mat and leave, shouting rude remarks about her taste in music over my shoulder. (Writing while Vinyasa-flowing? That, my friends, is called yogic multi-tasking.)
It was as though our evil new teacher were grabbing the thoughts right out of my head to torture me: our class featured a hellish circulation of all my least favorite poses, no joke. I refer to them as “The 4 C’s” : Chair Pose, Crescent Lunge, Chaturanga, and Crow.”
Things went from bad to worse when our instructor began to target me as Class Loser. Normally I love it when my yoga teacher comes over and gives me physical corrections. I can feel my body relax into her hands as it properly aligns. Not today; I fought the compulsion to hiss, “Hands off a**hole! ! I just got over bronchitis and I’m doing the best I can!”
Also, the fact that nobody else was receiving these courtesy adjustments was glaringly apparent.After awhile, I just stopped whenever I felt like it and chugged water or hung out in Child’s Pose, the one “C” I can get behind
The last three minutes were tolerable, with a return to our meditative musical score and some stretching, which I could barely enjoy thanks to my shaking arms. I am somewhat flexible and have good balance, but I am a skinny weakling with pretty much no upper body strength. Or cardiovascular endurance. Instead of relaxing my thoughts, I instead plotted to try to get pregnant again so I could have an excuse to return to my dreamy prenatal yoga class. Plus, it would really be killing two birds with one stone, because then I could put on my maternity pants again. Bliss!