My lovely wife decided that I need to take a Yoga class with her this fall. This was a few weeks ago, so I decided that I had time to either warm up to the idea or think of a graceful way out. Procrastination is usually does not play out in my favor and this was no exception.
Then we drove to San Antonio to visit our son. I believe it was my reaction to the experience of driving in San Antonio that convinced my wife that Yoga would do me some good. Each time I would get a bit road-rage-ish she would comment that Yoga would probably do me some good.
Monday was the first class. It’s an evening class at the community college where I used to teach. Well it looks like I am still teaching there, part time, and willing to quit at any moment, but that is another story.
Yoga class was just about exactly what I thought it would be; a combination of stretching and mystical mumbo-jumbo. I am sure that the instructor was holding back on the mumbo-jumbo part, just as I was but for exactly opposite reasons. Only near the end of class did she really let her freak flag fly. At first the class was all about getting used to being uncomfortable. Supposedly this will go away in time as I become more in tune with my inner being. I feel pretty in tune as I am, but who am I to argue with the instructor’s wisdom. Besides I really need the stretching part, I get a bit up-tight from work.
I am sure the stretching exercises will do my bones some good but they did complain a bit. I sounded like a bag of pork rinds being slowly crushed. Speaking of food, one of the first things she mentioned was about eating and drinking. She basically said that it wouldn’t be a good idea to do so before class as it may prove to be uncomfortable. She also recommended against fast food. I guess my stop at burger king on the way to class wasn’t the brightest thing I have done.
The hardest thing during the class was passing wind while struggling to follow the instructor’s postures. I tell you the struggle was herculean in nature. The postures I could do, but the holding back mother nature was quite the challenge. I should have gotten extra credit.
Oh, back to the freak flag. I know, I know, Yoga is an ancient tradition and is important to millions of people world wide. It is below par to make fun of such a grand and important cultural contribution. I understand all that. But I got a little un-easy when the instruction told us to relax and turned off the lights. Everyone else thought this was perfectly normal; I was reminded of times in grade school where we were forced to take a nap even if we weren’t sleepy. It was insulting to me back in grade school, but somehow it was ok after bending and waving my arms around for over an hour.
Then I heard a little ding, and then another.
I thought “Uh-oh time to chant or something.”
The instructor was whacking a little tiny gong with a miniature hammer.
Ok, I will have to admit her freak flag was small but I could tell that under the surface she was struggling to hold back bursts of shared karma. In a way, so was I.
I guess it was time to get up. Open up another bag of pork rinds. Pop crackle crunch.
No one seemed to notice that I was making so much noise.
I felt virtuous, I didn’t share the real me with the rest of the room, just some creaking noises from my rusty joints.
I do have to say that after we got home and the dinging stopped I felt pretty good. A bit sore in places where I over did my range of motion a bit (ego) but all in all I was ok. The next morning I just about jumped out of bed. I think the creaks and groans were a bit less, or maybe it was just my imagination.
I really can’t see how Yoga could hurt, and it does bring a smile to my face every time I think about the instructor’s dinger.
Next time I am not going to eat anything for at least two hours before class. Bending like that is uncomfortable enough with out the added pressure, if you know what I mean.
I have to admit that Yoga could indeed be a good thing to a long and happy life. I firmly believe that one key is being un-afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Yoga defiantly does that! Trying new things, changing jobs, learning something you didn’t know you could learn, meeting odd people, eating odd food, it’s all about variety and challenging your mind.
A few years ago I explored being a teacher. That worked out pretty well.
So this fall it’s Yoga.