OT: Yoga… sucks, errrr – sOcks.

Yoga socks! They are a thing! I had no idea – which is not surprising, because I generally have no idea about yoga at large. Turns out, you can even knit or crochet yoga socks, like so:

Or like so.

Which is fitting, because I now have created a connection to my crochet blog, which otherwise wouldn’t exist.

(No, I will not knit/crochet yoga socks – but I do want to talk about my yoga class today.)

Yoga class! Me! I am not into esoteric mumbo-jumbo, and much less into sports. The latter, I realize, is a real problem – at least my scale insists that it is, and my orthopedist isn’t too happy about my back, either – even though he gets to stick some needles into it every once in a while, which may or may not be fun. (Truth to be told, I am very unhappy with my back, too. Due to some issues I was put into a medical corset, which I refuse to wear most of the time, because I can’t friggin’ move in it – which kind of defeats the purpose, wouldn’t you say.) It was part of my New Year’s Resolution new attitude towards life to at least try and become a bit more fit, and lose some weight. So one of the first things I did in the new yaer was to sign myself up for a beginner’s yoga class in a yoga studio literally right next to my office.

I may or may not have been drunk at the time? I can’t remember. Long story short – today was the day. Thankfully I wasn’t alone, but a co-worker friend joined in on the fun. I have to preface this with: I’ve already been to yoga class in my life – maybe twice. My first time was “pregnancy yoga”, which – let’s be honest – plain sucked. Try being 8 months preggo, holding “the fish” or some such position, while being told to smile and “breathe love into your belly”. Yeah, that was that, then. Then, a few years ago, there was this class that was taught by a friend of a friend… I can’t remember, and it doesn’t matter. It was pretty advanced and it was assumed that one came in with previous knowledge of the asanas. Needless to say: pointless and frustrating. Also needless to say: my expectations for this new attempt weren’t very high. Especially when I walked into the studio and it smelled like incense and this Indian music was filling the air. Ugh. Just my thing. However, I was resolved to keep an open mind, no matter what.

And it all worked really well. Nice teacher… good explanations of what was supposed to be done. No utter frustration at not being able to do what I was meant to do – yet a very negative sense of surprise at what seemingly basic things my body can’t do (anymore). What if I told you that my butt doesn’t touch my heels when I kneel? It just kind of hovers above them, because… well, I don’t know. It just does. Maybe my tendons aren’t long enough. The supposedly very relaxing *whateverthehellitscalled* asana that just consists of laying on your back and relaxing hurts like hell – because I can’t lay on my back on a flat, hard surface without pain, much less for longer periods of time. (Savasana, the Corpse Pose – I’ve looked it up now.) I’ve got next to no core strength, but that wasn’t really surprising. I barely managed to get myself into a shoulder stand, something I did as a kid for hours without even thinking about it – ouch.

Yoga

Factoid: slowly releasing myself from said shoulder stand resulted in a loud crack and a yelp – which then resulted in a really light and floating feeling in my back from relocating one of my sliding vertebrae into what’s probably a more comfortable position for it. Ah, spondylolisthesis. So fun!

Another factoid: when the weather turns the corners of your mouth into sores and scabs, it’s not the best idea to follow the teacher’s instructions to “stretch your face” as much and as wide as you possibly can.

My efforts at touching the toes of my outstretched legs were downright embarrassing (- and painful), but a benevolent and encouraging smile of the teacher kind of stopped me from feeling as ridiculous as I did when – while in the shoulder stand – my knees were supposed to touch my forehead and were stopped short very effectively by my bulging belly that sat prominently in the way. Two goals: my fingers will touch my toes – and my knees will touch my forehead. My belly plays a very important role in preventing both of these things. Good thing that today I didn’t eat anything but oatmeal with fruit for lunch, and penny bun polenta for dinner, eh? (And just forget about being vain, you people. In yoga class? You can’t suck in your flabby belly like you usually do. Nope, doesn’t work. Your flabby belly is expected to rise with every breath you take – and desperately sucking it in prevents those deep yoga breaths, yo. Lesson learned.)

But the best part was at the end of the lesson. The yogis among you will know what I am talking about: the part where you get to lay around on the floor and relax. And oh, was I relaxed. The lights were turned off, the windows were wide open, a fluffy blanket was covering me. Not even my darned back was bothering me that much anymore, and I was following the instructions to relax… my feet. Done! My legs – sure thing! My butt – no problem! My back… a slight problem, but I managed. My chest, my shoulders, my neck – done, done, and done. My eyes. My tongue. My lips. All checked! My heart. It was actually beating really slowly, awesome. My brain. My brain??? Nope. Nice try. My stomach. Rumbling – but otherwise fine. I am liking this relaxation stuff! Ohmmm away!

So relaxing! No… wait… what?

“Relax your intestines. Relax, relax. Your intestines are relaxed.”

Um, no, I will definitely not relax my intestines – and I direly hope that my relaxation neighbors won’t either. Manners, yo! For all that is holy – keep your intestines tight, thank you very much. Ugh – and I’d been so relaxed up to this point. Barely feeling my body anymore at all. And then – potty humor in yoga class. Ok, put the relaxed intestines out of your mind, sez I to myself, and continue relaxing. There, there… that’s better. Much better.

*heavy breathing*

*actual snoring*

Eyes snap open – I can’t unhear it, can’t make it blend into the background. *snore snore snore* My eyes are still open, out of the corners of which I can now see the yoga teacher gracefully rise, walk over to the relaxation offender, and gently touch and shoosh him. Shoosh! How embarrassing. To no avail, though, because the snoring didn’t cease. Monumental effort on my part – back to relaxation, despite the snoring. Ah, perfect. Wonderful. So relaxed, so calm, blah blah. But seriously. We’ve been doing nothing but lay around on the floor for minutes already! This isn’t very efficient, is it? Can we start to move on now? I am here to learn yoga, after all, not lie around idly, wasting time. How much longer do I have to relax? Can I go home now? So much to do, after all! Gotta get home and study for my exam – gotta get home and crochet – gotta get home and…

Yoga - ain't nobody got time for that

My brain, seriously. It just never shuts up. So used to “being productive” all the time. I lol’d at myself, for being incapable to really slow down, even when I actually paid for just that. Maybe…

Yoda Meme

It was an overall really positive experience, though. Mostly because nobody audibly relaxed their intestines.

So I come home feeling really accomplished and positive that I will stick with the class until it’s finished – all 4 weeks of it. Maybe even sign up for the follow-up? Who knows. All optimistic-like I open the door of our building, ready to collapse on the couch in front of the TV with some crochet in my hands – only to find myself face to face with a broken elevator. Not even making this up. Extra points for climbing five floors after yoga class – six, when you count the fact that I live in a two-storey apartment where the bedroom is upstairs.

Another set of extra points – not for me, but for Gryffindor the yoga class, for challenging me, and making me feel my body in really unexpected ways without making me break a real sweat – which is part of the reason why I abhor physical exercise so much.

By the way – you can also crochet carriers for your yoga mats:

Now, to find some ointment for my overstretched mouth…

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