I was planning on going to the afternoon Jazzercise class near downtown, but decided at the last minute that I would go to the yoga class offered at the other Jazzercise location instead. I'm not sure exactly what possessed me to choose yoga over Jazz; I haven't done yoga in years and I always struggled with the meditation/deep breathing/holding poses for a long time parts of it (which, it turns out, make up 94% of yoga). Also, I believe it's no secret that I love Jazzercise. In contrast to the way that I am poorly suited for meditation and deep breathing and holding poses for a long time, doing cheesy, high-energy dance routines to Top 40 hits is right in my wheelhouse.
But today, I decided to try yoga. Maybe it was the weepies making me feel less-than-enthusiastic about Top 40 hits. Maybe it was muscle soreness from all that Jazzercise (and also the ridiculously short run/walks Sassy and I have been going on lately). But I went to yoga, and here are some notes on my experience, as well as some lessons learned:
- First off, I arrived about 5 minutes early, and right as I was walking down the hall toward the studio the instructor peeked her head into the hall as she turned off the studio lights. I, unaccustomed as I am to the idea of taking class in near darkness, loudly blurted out, "are you still having yoga?" The instructor smiled and quietly replied, "Of course- there are lots of women here" as she backed into the room, which I could then see was full of women quietly preparing to relax on their yoga mats. The lights were off, but there were actual candles and even white Christmas lights, and of course everyone was looking at me. Yoga Lesson #1: Enter quietly.
- Everyone watched and waited patiently as I quickly took off my shoes, checked in, and unrolled my mat, at which point the class promptly began. Yoga Lesson #2: Arrive early.
- Today the deep breathing part came pretty easily (thank you short run/walks for improving my cardiovascular fitness, and thank you yoga instructor for not expecting everyone to take super long/slow breaths!). The poses were all pretty simple and most weren't held long (thank you again yoga instructor for teaching what I will now refer to as "yoga I can do!"). And, most importantly, there wasn't a ton of talk about meditating on anything (thank you for the third time, yoga instructor, for telling us not to think about our to-do lists back home, but then leaving it at that). Yoga Lesson #3: All yoga classes are not created equal (also see: Don't pre-judge the yoga instructor because she might turn out to be awesome).
- I normally love stretching because flexibility is a skill I worked long and hard for (I could not touch my toes when I started dancing at 14), and also because it feels really good. But in yoga, all the stretches are a bit wonky, and while it's true that I can dominate the stretch portion of any Jazzercise class, I still cannot touch the floor in a yoga class. True Fact. Yoga Lesson #4: Dance flexibility does not equal yoga flexibility.
- With almost 15 minutes to go, the instructor told us it was time for our deep relaxation, and that anyone who wanted to could move to the wall. I didn't really know what that meant, so I waited until a few women had moved and were lying on their backs with their legs straight up on the wall. Then I decided that that looked really comfortable, so I grabbed my mat to move while the instructor ran through instructions for anyone who had forgotten how to get their legs up on the wall. I noticed pretty quickly, though, that all the wall space was pretty much occupied by relaxing women or purses or shoes, so I went to start scooting some shoes. But then of course the instructor noticed me (she sees all, that woman), and called out for me to move to a wall space that she was clearing out for me. I darted over to that side of the room and was about to get myself situated on the wall when the instructor started going over the "getting your feet up there" instructions again, in full volume, even though everyone else was already in deep relaxation and I was clearly the only one the instructions were intended for. I'll admit that I did like resting with my legs straight up like that, but a few minutes in my toes started to tingle, and after 10 minutes my legs were completely asleep. Yoga Lesson #5: Leave "feet up on the wall" to the pros.
- While my legs were falling asleep, I started thinking about this project I did in the one grad school class I have ever taken (Fun Fact: I am 1/32 of the way to a Master's Degree!). And then that project made me think of something else, and something else, and soon I was in full-on weepy mode again, right in the middle of "deep relaxation." I am a very silent crier, and the tears usually come just one at a time, which is a blessing, but I did learn Yoga Lesson #6: If you cry while lying on your back with your feet on the wall, and you are supposed to be so relaxed that you are not moving a muscle, tears will end up in your ears.
|There are some things I have no desire to ever do. This is one of them.|