Monday, February 4, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Yoga?

My error, folks. I thought I pressed "publish" earlier but it turns out I pressed "save". So let's pretend we're waaaay back at 5pm this afternoon. There, now we've saved the timing of the blog post *and* used our imagination. We're streets ahead on our to-do list for today.

First off, don't bother groaning- even I can admit that's a terrible post title and I'm the queen of puns. One of the only victorious moments I can recall during my year of full-time French training was when I made my first pun. It was what made me believe I could one day actually communicate and annoy people in that wonky language.

Anywho, lowest form of humour aside, I'm looking at the clock in the lower corner of my screen, wondering whether I want to bother going to yoga tonight. I usually go with a friend/former fellow French student and she just let me know she's bailing so now I have to decide whether I have the wherewithal to suck it up and cram my fleshy chubpot into my Lululemons.

Confession: I also just realized I forgot my sports bra and am a woman in need of a certain tensile strength of strap to pull off the feats of yoga so it's unlikely.

I used to belong to a gym. There was a YMCA on the same block as my old apartment building and on a whim one day, I just walked in and signed up. I was with them for about a year but once I moved into my house, I cancelled the membership since it was now about a 25 minute walk away - and I knew I would never bother to go there enough to make it worth it. I was right.

Fast-forward 5 months or so and I was feeling pretty sedentary. So when beginner hatha yoga classes opened up at my work, I decided to give it a try, just to see what was involved. And honestly? My first exposure has been pretty positive. The class is small, only 6 people at its max, and is done in the Oz-like-prison gym in our work's basement so there's no real snobbery to be had. Hard to have your nose in the air when it just makes the smell of unwashed sit-up mats that much more noticeable.

I've made two important discoveries while doing yoga:

1. I have "muscles" in my "stomach" that hurt when I "stretch" them.
2. While I may not consider myself competitive, I am in fact a crazy competitive nightmare.

You may argue, "Hey, you can't be competitive doing yoga! It's a deeply personal exercise meant to make you more in tune with your own body, not compare yourself against others." Oh darling friend, I used to think like you. I wanted to believe it was all cow/cat child pose-positivity. Now I know that when I yog' it's Om like Donkey Kong*.

I fully recognize how ridiculous I am but almost immediately I singled out the most flexible yogi in the room and silently vowed I would out-stretch her. Sure, now on Tuesday morning I end up walking like I'm holding a medicine ball between my knees but it is WORTH IT.

Meanwhile, I deeply fear that if I ever had to attend a "real" yoga class** I would fail miserably, everyone would have Lululemon perfect butt save for me, and the whole ordeal would culminate in a prolonged mocking session that would closely resemble the pivotal scene in Carrie except with  a bucket of Tazo chai tea standing in for pig's blood. Thanks, but I'll stick to the dank basement. I'm only competitive in arenas where I'm fairly certain I at least have a shot at winning. I'm an ass, not an idiot.

Sometimes I wish I could find a form of exercise that feels right for me. Just the idea of running makes me so annoyed and and nauseated (plus, there's this to contend with) so that doesn't seem like a good choice. I've never been one for sports, especially since I can't win at them (ass, not idiot), biking downtown frightens the bejeebus outta me and I only really like going to the gym when someone will go with me, and with no gym near our house and no car, it looks like that's on hold again. I'm looking forward to spring when I can walk everywhere again with ease because at least that's enjoyable.

For now I'll stick with what's working so far - strapping on the spandex, rolling out the mat, and getting as namaste-nasty as I wanna be. If nothing else, people will be coming from miles around to see my inner thighs.

*See? I literally cannot stop with the puns.

**Make no mistake, the instructor is lovely and the class is fun and challenging but it's also safely ensconced in a dingy basement and with other beginners like me.


  1. God, i had hoped to never utter(type-utter) this sentence... But, have you tried Zumba?

  2. Its the latest thing! (said in guy smiley voice)(hate myself) So, its basically an hour long dance jamboree of humiliation (in my case) but its super fun and i actually love going at my gym, even though these hips lie when they say "yeah, your epileptic fit makes you look goooood"... summation: latin type dance, sweat your ass off, really fun.