An essay of sorts on my first yoga class. I was so nervous and self-conscious I told myself that for every negative thought I had to come up with a positive one. I still do that sometimes. I’m an old hat by now. Honestly, this was the best thing I ever did for myself. I think when you first attempt it, it can be daunting, so I wanted people to see that it’s ok to struggle or feel weird your first time. Try it- you never know!
JENNY DOES YOGA.
So, I did it! I really went to yoga class. I got there on time, but a few other girls had beaten me and gotten all the good spots. So, where did that leave me? A prime spot SMACK dab in front of the glass door to the class, where the entire gym could see my efforts. Fantastic. I took a few deep breaths, threw down my yoga mat and tried not to think about it.
The first negative thought came as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror- frizzy hair and all. I immediately tried to think of something to compliment myself on- Nice ankles! Nice ankles?! THAT’S the best I could come up with? I was still wondering why I couldn’t think of anything when the yoga instructor came in and turned on the music.
If you could call it that. It was a cross between Enya and the worst version of “Kumbaya” you could EVER conjure in your mind. Oh, and add tribal drumming to that. My mind was racing in overtime, trying to decide how the man’s chicken legs could possibly support his body and simultaneously wishing I was as deaf as my mother so I didn’t have to worry about the “music.” Let’s take a look at some snippets from my inner dialogue, shall we?
“This is supposed to be relaxing?!?! Lord, I hope my feet don’t stink…”
“I bet I’ve got twenty pounds on this guy. Eat a cheesecake or something. Oh crap. Ok, um…I like my lips. I have nice lips. That’s better than the ankles thing.”
“How many times do we have to hold this downward dog thing? And if you think I’m doing THAT thing with my elbows, you’re insane. Clearly. “
“Sweet. Mother. Of. Lord. What was that? Why is my lower back burning????”
“Ew. I NEVER want to see myself at this angle. What the hell is the matter with this man? Ack! Um…I am quite intelligent.”
“Mother- bleeeeeeep!!!!!!Hmm…I think they frown on that sort of language here. Did he just read my lips?! How in the hell do people relax doing this crap?!??”
“Ok, how the HELL did he just swing his entire body back with his arms? Hasn’t this man heard of evolution?!?!? We’re not supposed to have the capabilities of a chimpanzee. That was not normal.”
“Oooo!! I like this pose! It makes me look skinny! Holy crap! I just said something nice about myself! Maybe I’ll become a yogi and get those awesome pants I saw at Lulemon.”
“Did someone just fart?! Do NOT laugh! Ok, DON’T LAUGH! Great…pretend you’re coughing. Do it! Cough!”
“Clearly this man does not understand what happens to large chested women when they are forced to hang in a remotely upside down position. Oh.my.god. I’m going to suffocate myself with my own fricking chest!!!!”
“Don’t cry. Come on, honey. Be a trooper. Don’t cry! Surely it must be over soon. Why the HELL isn’t there a clock in this godforsaken room?!?!!? BSC is a such a hellhole!”
“Hmmm…this one makes me look skinny, too. Maybe this isn’t so bad. And wow. I’m still pretty flexible. Not quite a twisty bobcat pretzel a la Sandra Bullock in “Two Weeks Notice” sorta deal, but respectable.”
“Ugh. Another angle I never want to see myself at! EVER. EVVVVVERRRRR. How is it even possible to have an ass that wide? HOW?!?!? Could it just be this particular pose? Oh! Um…I am a loyal friend and I have a decent rack. Does that count as positive reinforcement? I mean, is that a prized quality? Whatever. Still better than ankles.”
“He wants us to curl up in the fetal position? I’ve wanted to do that for the past 45 minutes! Okey dokey! THIS is more like it. Yes, I’m totally centering myself! Duh! Yes, I’m feeling the vibes throughout my body. Whatever you say. At least I think that’s what you said. It’s hard to hear you since you turned up that ear canal poison.
“Ok, you know what? This isn’t so bad. I’m starting to unwind a little. I kind of like this. This is nice. I think I’ll come back next week.”
And there you have it! I came, I saw, I conquered. I was so proud of myself for going and simply doing it, that I was so much less hard on myself that I usually am. And we were all in weird, unflattering positions and focusing on ourselves, so I really wasn’t intimidated of bothered by my self consciousness. I did feel it, but not intensely, like I expected to. I left really proud of myself, but also feeling as if I’d done something good for my body. And for my mind. As corny as I thought it was for most of the class, I really tried to open my mind and let the stress evaporate as much as possible. It worked. And I’m going back next week.