Friday, March 04, 2011

New and painful forms of exercise for the inflexible

Yoga is something other people do.  It’s usually those ladies who can pick up an apple with their toes and put the thing in their mouths, while standing on the other leg and listening to music that would not only put most humans to sleep, but would render small animals quite dead – from relaxing too much.  Well, this is what I thought about the yoga crowd.

And then the Mrs. HTF miraculously got me to go get my Yoga on with her a the Y.

There were only like 7 people in the room and the instructor, Lydia, (I remember this name mostly because I cursed it in my mind a few times) immediately sensed that I was a newbie.  I guess I have that look of “guy who thought yoga was a creamy breakfast food.”  She asked me about injuries and since I didn’t even have a mat, gave me her backup.  But I couldn’t help by notice the tone of her voice as she talked to me – it was like I was asleep and she was trying to influence my dreams without waking me up.  At one point I almost poured water on my head to make sure I was actually awake.  She talked like that for the entire hour – I can only assume she has no children.

The class started off fine, but I was quickly, and painfully reminded of how inflexible I really am.  Balance was special too.  Standing on one leg while holding & extending the other in front of me totally blew my mind.  I only crashed into my yoga neighbors like 6 or 7 times.  I also had to get used to the total silence in the room.  Lydia is the only one allowed to talk I guess, and I had a sense that if Downward-Dog-Yoga-PoseI said a single word or made a noise that the group would collapse on me and pummel me with their mats – quietly.  During one pose, bizarrely named, “Downward Dog” I glanced around thinking I was doing it “right.”  At this point Lydia (can you tell I remember this lady’s name?!) walked softly towards me, grabbed my hips and lifted them in the air.  This was both confusing and painful at the same time.  At the end of class was my favorite pose – which I’m sure has an unpronounceable name – where we just laid on the mat and closed our eyes.  I totally nailed that particular pose – there was no need for instructor intervention.

A few days later a buddy took me to a Pilates class – so my experience with new and painful exercise techniques grew even more.  I’ll spare you the details, but lets just say that when that class was over I thanked the instructor and she said, “Don’t worry, Pilates is much harder for men than women.”  After which, she smoothed out her hair with her left foot and did some texting with her right foot while doing the splits and lifting a smallish Honda over her head.

So if I left you with an impression that I didn’t like this stuff, that was wrong.  I actually did dig it, and you know that by the fact that:

I went to a Yoga class by myself a few nights later.

(true story – I caught a girl copying one of my poses in the most recent class.  At which point I laughed, … silently)

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