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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Namaste? Like Hell.

Namaste?  Like hell.  I've been a yoga guy for a few years now.  And I've just recently twisted the arm of my partner to join me.  Believe me, world peace would have been easier to accomplish.  But he's a good sport.  Well, truth be told, I just wore him down over time and he gave in. 

If you've practiced yoga before, you'll know full well how difficult it can be at times to maintain focus.  To not look at the clock on the wall.  To find the stamina it indeed takes to finish out the hour class.  To put your body into yet one more pose that seemingly tries its best to put something out of joint and remind you of exactly how old you really are.  But that's all a part of the practice of yoga.  Breath control.  Centering.  Balancing.  Developing stamina that perhaps you don't have at this particular point in your life.  It is quite a workout. 

Yesterday I headed over to an atypical gym for me.  I needed to go at a different hour of the day and found a 4:30pm starting time.  With an instructor that I was not familiar with.  I was the first one in the room.  We ended up with maybe 20 folks or so when instructor Tiffany Lee came in, turned out the lights, and began her class.  She put on her audio headset microphone, started her zen-ish music and we crossed our legs on our mats, brought our hands to heart center, and closed our eyes.  Tiffany Lee placed flameless candles in front of each one of our mats.  "Wow, this might be sort of cool," I was thinking. 

And then she started talking.  Let's just say that English is not her first language.  Which is fine.  Except that I couldn't really understand her very well.  Sometimes at all.  I had to open my eyes and peek at her through the dark classroom.  I had to try and figure out what she had just said and mimic her pose.   There was no way I could keep my eyes closed and actually understand what she was asking us to do.  I was already distracted.  And the beads of sweat began to drip.  And drip.  (Did I mention the word drip?) 

And the poses.  Sweet baby jesus.  I know, I know....I've done yoga before.  Nothing should have caught me off guard.  But each instructor does it completely differently.  Tiffany Lee apparently enjoys the lengthy holding of poses.  And torture.  She enjoys torture.  My knees ached.  I had to sit down.   My lower back just couldn't keep up.  And I had to sit down.  Again and again I found myself sitting.  Waiting to restart at the next pose.  Then, Tiffany Lee cuddles right up next to me, doing her little pose perfectly.  Beautifully, actually.  I think she totally got off on putting her beautiful little yoga body next to my struggling middle-aged ass.  She brought me a block to use -- blocks enable certain poses to be done with a bit more ease.  No one has ever brought me a block before.  And then the questioning -- "How are you all doing?," she kept on asking.  I guarantee you she didn't want me to answer that truthfully.  At least not out loud in the middle of class, anyway. 

So, at 5:10pm -- 40 minutes after class began -- I did something that I've never done before.  I rolled up my mat, gathered my belongings, and left the room.  Irritated.  Dripping sweat in spite of the fact that I had spent half of my class sitting on my mat in complete embarrassment. 

And as I departed?  Tiffany Lee said to me "Thank you for coming, sir."  But you see, she was wearing that headset that projects her voice throughout the room.  The entire damned room heard her wish me a lovely evening.  And with that, I was gone. 


Blobby said...

So many things wrong there - what yoga instructor wears a headset? It's not aerobics or Spin.

BUT - so what if you can't do all she's doing. That is fine. That is the mindset you needed. If I struggle - and I do - I go into Child's Pose to catch my breath.

The yogini guides, but it's your practice. I stopped feeling bad or embarrassed bc I couldn't do something or hold a pose for a certain amount of time.

But I've also found that as much as I hate the hard hard work, when a class doesn't challenge me, I'm worse off.

Ur-spo said...

this doesn't sound like a good environment for yoga.
I am sensitive to yoga viz. want a good teacher and a class with good vibes. Hard to find these days !

Rick said...

That will teach you to be spontaneous and go at a different time. I can't believe you let her intimidate you in such a way. ;)
I'm sure you're looking good and hey, you got your sweat on.

Mike said...

Great story -- sorry the class sucked! I've been doing yoga twice a week for about three years now, and last Tuesday was the first time I seriously considered leaving in the middle of class. We had just returned from a two-week vacation in Ptown, so i was lazy and out of practice (but tan!). Don't be too hard on yourself. Like Blobby, I drop into child's pose when it gets to be too much. Next time you're in Boston, c'mon over to my class -- we've got a great teacher.