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Friday, August 25, 2006

Let downward facing dogs lie

Many many years ago, our family vacations revolved around running, back when running was part of our lifestyle. We went to Hawaii and ran the Great Aloha Run. We went to Ie Island for Memorial Day (that's the island where the famed journalist Ernie Pyle died during WWII) and we ran. We went to San Francisco, and we entered a run.

But as I mentioned that was many many years ago. Our physical fitness routine was a casualty of this year's vacation. We've slowly transitioned to going to the gym and have made it there three times this week.

I decided I needed a new classs -- something to draw me back into the exercise routine. I've been stressed lately so decided Yoga was the key -- not too hard, but still exercise.

So I donned my "yoga" clothes and bought one of those cute mats that you sling over your shoulder with a strap. I scan the class schedule and until I see -- int. yoga. Perfect. An introductory class. I walk in and stop. The room is dark. Barefoot people appear to be praying (the mountain pose). Undaunted, I lay out my mat near the back of the room and assume the position.

After about 15 minutes of changing positions that stretch muscles I didn't remember having, sweat starts to trickle down my back, off my head and into my eyes. The room must be hot. I keep moving.

By the middle of the class, I breathing hard, and soaked in sweat. I look around. Everyone else is doing the same, they just make breathing look like part of the workout. Who knew breathing could be this hard?

Near the end of the class, the instructor directs us to a position that includes lying on your shoulders and swinging your legs over your head. My legs won't go that far, my butt, stomach and fear of breaking my neck won't let them. I keep trying.

Now this is not your usual cardio class with the loud rock or hip-hop music. The music in the background sounds like the sound track to the Lion King, and it's playing softly.

I pull my legs toward me, aiming to swing them up and over. Pffft. The sound resonates through the room. It's an unmistable intrustion into the dark, Lion King atmosphere. I look over at my fellow posers. If they heard, they don't react.

Finally the instructor takes us down to another pose. And the class is over. I'm completely covered in sweat and look like I've run 5 miles -- at least. My husband looks at me questionly as we rush out the gym door to make it to the polls in time to vote.

"Yoga's not for sissies," I say.

Wednesday, I can't move. Every inch of me hurts. Thursday, I take the Yoga basics class, having discovered that int. yoga means INTERMEDIATE yoga. I'm better.

I think I'm going to like this class.


Gina said... I miss yoga. We have a new session starting up soon, and I think I'm going to sign up even though it means leaving the house a few hours earlier than usual.

Andrew said...

Isn't it funny how often our expectations about a new experience turn out to be wrong? I hope you do like the new class.

To Love, Honor and Dismay

V-Grrrl said...

I practiced yoga at home using tapes for about 18 months, and then fell out of the habit. Today I started again and was thoroughly dismayed that I could barely make it through the easiest beginner yoga tape I had.

Sherrie said...

I try (emphasis on *try*) to do yoga once a week. I haven't managed that in weeks.

Don't feel bad. The YogaKids dvd we have puts me in a sweat every time.