Yoga Stylin’

Let me preface this by saying I am not trying to make fun of anyone in particular, except maybe myself. I’m a very easy target and there is so much about me to laugh at, I don’t need to mock anyone else. In an effort to get in better shape, stronger and leaner, I have started taking yoga classes again. A noble quest, to get stronger, balanced and more at peace with myself. By now you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah right,” and you would be correct. Me balanced and at peace with myself? Not going to happen, ever. But I keep working at it. You know what they say, it’s the journey not the destination and for me a long journey.

As I was saying, I started taking a yoga class at a local yoga studio. I decided that I would start with one class a week for five weeks. This way I could get a feel for the class, instructor and if I could even keep up. Surprisingly, I kept up well with the movements and flow, moving into poses that I had forgotten I could do. I even tried my hardest not to look around at the other students, knowing if I did, my super competitive nature would take over and I would be challenging myself to do each move faster, higher or lower than anyone else. Even though yoga is not a game to win, but a lifestyle, I have to be mindful not to try and turn it into a competition.

I noticed that all the other participants seem to know each other and the instructor quite well. I was the odd man out so to speak. In order to not try and interject myself into everyone else, I would place my mat at the back all the way to the left so I could observe and stay somewhat separated from the others. Plus added bonus, I was closest to the door, so if I did something truly embarrassing, I could pick up my stuff and be out the door without walking past everyone else. You know, something like crashing into the next person, while trying to stand in tree pose or farting while in dead bug pose. It happens.

On my last class, we were going through a series of movements, from downward dog to plank, then back to downward dog when I looked up to see what the instructor wanted us to do next and instead I saw the rear end of the woman in front of me and to the right. Not trying to stare, but she just happened to be in the right position with her butt stuck up in the air and her yoga pants were stretched tight. Her black stretch pants were not very thick, instead quite thin letting me see that she had on white underwear under the pants. I could not look away fast enough. Now I had this visual I couldn’t shake, no matter how hard I tried. All I could think of was, “Oh god, does my butt look that bad? Don’t look again, no don’t look.”

For the rest of the class I tried to watch the instructor but not see the “see-through show” in front of me. I am sorry to say I didn’t say anything to the woman, but at the same time what would I have said? “Nice white underwear or I bet you didn’t get hot in class.” All I wanted was to get out of class, go home and look in the mirror.

Future yoga classes will see me in something very opaque, maybe leggings and sweats?

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Exercising With Your Dogs

You hear it all the time; get more exercise in by walking your dog. It’s supposed to be a win-win situation. The dog benefits by getting needed exercise, stays slimmer and burns off energy. You are moving more working your muscles and getting your heart rate up also staying slimmer and wears you out. Of course we all know how well my walks with dogs go in the morning. My heart rate definitely raises and I work lots of muscles, upper body and locked legs doing the “no, no, no” extensions when confronted with wildlife.

Yesterday in a further attempt to get back in shape after three surgeries in a twelve month period, I decided to start doing Yoga at home. I loaded the Yoga DVD in the DVD player, pushed the coffee table out of the way, unrolled my yoga mat and sat down for the opening breathing exercises. I was immediately face to face with Charlie who wanted to help me by sticking his nose right in my face to make sure I was breathing correctly. I pushed him away but he pushed right back and got even closer. He was determined to help me breathe. I tried to ignore him and stood up to move to the next series of moves. I dropped to plank and Charlie dropped down right next to me too. I sank into cobra pose and Charlie scooted closer. I moved into downward dog and Charlie rolled over onto his back right underneath me and whacked my face with his paw in an attempt to get me to pet him.

This was turning into more effort to avoid him than in doing the yoga moves. Cat/cow was equally a challenge because now Orso had decided that watching Charlie annoy me to distraction looked like lots of fun and jumped off the bed to come and join in helping me exercise. As I arched my back for cow and looked up I got a great big wet slobbery kiss from Orso right in the face. Yuck! That almost caused me to drop on the floor and squish Charlie who was still underneath me being a huge pain in my backside. I pushed Orso aside, tried to move into child’s pose and ended up putting my knees on Charlie’s tail. It did not make him happy. He jumped up causing me to jerk and lose my balance falling over into the coffee table, cracking my elbow on the table’s edge.

That definitely got my heart rate up.

I Got Rhythm – Not!

When I was supposed to be concentrating on my breathing and clearing my thoughts in yoga class, I started thinking about my performance or lack there of, at my last Zumba class.  I was thinking about Zumba class partially because it was on my mind and partially because I don’t dare totally relax in the breathing exercise for fear of falling asleep.  Mitch swears that I snore and even though I know I don’t snore, God forbid some fluke accident and I did maybe snore, I would be mortified.  And that would be the end of yoga.  Yoga classes twice a week and Zumba class once a week are my most recent attempt to get back in some semblance of shape.  I really love yoga class and the way I feel since starting the class last summer.  I can do a tripod again, something I hadn’t been able to do for decades.  I can’t remember the yoga name for it, but we called it a tripod in school.  A tripod is where you are on your hands and knees.  You lower your head to the mat between your hands, with your arms bent at a right angle, then bring your knees up and place them on your bent arms and balance yourself on your head and hands.  When you get really good, you can move up to a headstand, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.  Since I’ve had such great success doing yoga, I figured I’d branch out and take more challenging classes, like Zumba.  Yeah right.

I’ve had two classes so far, the first with two other women and the second was just me alone with the instructor.  I really like my instructor.  She is the sweetest person.  Young in shape and she says positive things to me.  I stood behind her off to the side so that I could watch her and myself in the mirror.  Big mistake!  I should have just watched her and not me.  Her moves were fluid and in perfect rhythm to the music, while I was stiff, graceless and behind on every move.  She would signal the upcoming move but half the time I was going the wrong direction, doing the move backwards, sideways or not at all.  Basically I suck at Zumba.  Maybe I was wearing the wrong clothes.  A baggy t-shirt and sweats are not especially sexy or hot looking when trying to dance to sultry Latin tunes.  Even the creepy old guy that came to gawk in the doorway took one look at me and ran screaming into the street.

Halfway through the class, as I was sucking air, sweating like a racehorse and becoming even more wooden in my moves, it dawned on me, maybe I should take up kickboxing.  I don’t have to be able to sway my hips in a sexy manner when doing a roundhouse kick.  I think I can do tough, because fluid and rhythm are definitely not in my body’s vocabulary.