Yoga Jerk Beats Pretzel Lady with Rubber Mat

19 Sep

Downward Facing Dog

My wife is a yoga instructor. This morning I attended one of her classes for the first time. We walked the four blocks in the rain to the Edwardsville Fitness studio, me clutching my mat close to my body to keep it dry under the umbrella. We arrived in time for Jennifer to turn the empty, dark studio into an atmosphere of peace, love, and tranquility. I watched her go through her pre-class routine of turning on a series of strategically placed dim lamps, electric candles, fans, and some soothing new age music that almost put me to sleep right there as I leaned against wall.

After collecting an eye pillow, a booster, and a pair of blocks from the supply area in the far corner, I rolled my mat out and claimed my space in the back so I could keep an eye on the others without them able to see me, a classic social-phobe strategy that ultimately failed in this case because the four walls are covered with floor to ceiling mirrors.

I heard the door creak open. Damn. There goes all hope of nobody showing up. I was all for doing some yoga, but I didn’t feel like meeting new people so early on a Sunday morning, not that it would have been any different on, say, a Saturday night. I walked quickly to my mat and sat down and pretended to do some serious pre-class stretches. Good morning I said to the first female who entered the room. Of course, I immediately inspected the shape of her body. Wide butt. Muscular arms. Then, good morning to who I gathered was her husband. They spread their mats out in front of me. A third student entered, a neighbor that we have talked to several times this summer.

As Jennifer began her instruction, I thought immediately of how impossible it would be for me to lead a yoga class, even if I knew all the moves. I never thought of it as a form of public speaking, but that’s what it is. She took on her fake (not in a bad way), gentle, yoga tone and guided us this way and that with confidence and ease. Her volume was not too soft, not too loud. I could do the poses easily relying on her instructions alone. That’s my review paragraph.

I can picture me up there with a frozen, panic-stricken look on my face, my body stiff as a tree limb, with my yoga knowledge seeping out of my ears, down my shoulders, and onto my mat. Yoga? Yoda? Yogi Bear? Okay class, put your right foot in. Put your right foot out. Put your right foot in and you shake it all about. As the center of attention, expected to lead these people, I know–I just KNOW–that something embarrassing would befall me, a sudden cacophony of uncontrollable flatulence enters my mind first, of course, for I can turn any topic to bodily functions as fast as you can say “enlightenment.” Me, the center of attention = not good.

I was the youngest, but not the most flexible this group. Thankfully, this group included no NFL quarterbacks, but, amazingly, I still felt myself comparing the depth of my stretches. We were sitting on our butts, legs out in front, toes pointed to the ceiling. We were to bend over and grab our shins, ankles, or feet depending on our bodies’ abilities. The woman in front of me was able to fold over like a closed pocket knife, nestled tight into the folds of her legs. It appeared as if she could go farther, underneath herself, to take a good look at her own ass if not for the floor blocking her movement.

Girl Looking at her own butt

I reached my toes, but I couldn’t fold like that, not even close. As I strained to get my forehead closer to my knees, I wondered if Jennifer was prepared to break up a fight or if they had ever instructed her on handling unruly, bitter, competitive pricks. I mean, I know beating people with a rolled up yoga mat goes against the principles of yoga, but I’m just a beginner and, it seems to me, that yoga instructors need to be able to handle those who bring a professional wrestling mentality to class, those unaware that yogis are normally tranquil, gentle, and non-violent.

Later, standing, we were to “fold” over and touch, again, our shins, ankles, or toes. Proud that I could easily touch the floor, I strained my neck around to see, in horror, pretzel lady, with the top of her head touching the floor between her legs. What the hell? Luckily, the depth of my pose was equal to or better than the other two, but I was in second place. I prefer first place. I wanted to suck it up and go for the lead, you know, find that extra gear, hit one out of the park, really go for it, but, unfortunately, yoga is not like that. My body, today, is what it is. Would I really feel better about myself if I were to whip that lady with a yoga strap? Maybe, but for the long term it would be better if I simply put today behind me and do more yoga tomorrow, then again on Tuesday, and so on.

Then, next Sunday, I’ll try it again with a body that’s just a little bit stronger than it was this morning.

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7 Responses to “Yoga Jerk Beats Pretzel Lady with Rubber Mat”

  1. Aimee September 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I Can sit on the floor legs forward and bend waaaay past my feet. i have the hs record to this day i think…the sit and reach..ya im good at that and i can bend over standing up to my toes and put my face near my knees…i have no idea whyim so flexable ..wish classes were closer

    pana sucks

    • fightn4it September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

      Oh, yeah, I remember you telling me that before. Pana really has no yoga classes?

  2. Aimee September 21, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Everyone in town here Zumbas!

    • fightn4it September 21, 2010 at 8:51 am #

      Yeah, everybody is commenting about it on FB. J did Zumba at the Y a couple of times.

  3. me September 21, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Wide butt. Muscular arms. I resemble that remark!!!

    • fightn4it September 21, 2010 at 8:55 am #

      Ha Ha. “Wide butt” is a relative term then. On the IWBS (International Wide Butt Scale), she was a five. You’re nowhere near that.

      • me September 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

        yeah uh huh….

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