Friday, February 15, 2013

Yoga sucks. Sign me up!

So today I moseyed to my fifth attempt at yoga.  I have been trying Vinyasa yoga. I think. Except for the one time I did Bikram.

My conclusion is that yoga is very f'ing hard for me. This comes as natural to me as resting my knees on my elbows and trying to lift my feet in the ground to the left (or right) while breathing - I know. They wanted me to try to do that. Everyone else in the class could. Not me. Insane. Right?

You want me to do what?
The story usually goes like this:

I promptly let the instructor know that I'm a runner with tight hamstrings and a beginner. This is always a good/bad move - good because the expectation of my ability has been lowered, bad because I usually become the pet project of the class causing me further pose anxiety. Still. That is better than not giving an explanation of my limited abilities.

Then I peel my socks off and note my busted runner's feet and curse myself for being too lazy to get a mid-winter pedicure. I'm mortified that strangers might glimpse these ugly feet of mine but not enough to actually get a pedicure.

We begin by sitting in the lotus position. I'm already uncomfortable. I cheat by placing blocks under my knees. Off to a great start. Ohmmmm and we're off.

We begin with 1 of about 800 downward dog/plank type shit moves poses that just keep leading into other poses that I struggle with.

When everything starts to shake and I'm about to cry, I unyogaily drop to my knees and child's pose all the while trying to breathe as I silently curse myself for coming to another class. I pull it together and go back into downward dog and then transition into as close as I can to whatever is going on.

When everyone else has their palms on the floor and straight legs - I'm reaching with all my might for my shins.

My flexibility has always been bad. I remember as a kid practicing for months to try to touch my toes or do a split. It just never happened.

And then just as I'm about to swear off yoga forever it's time to lay flat and breathe and Ohmmmm out. Then I think to myself, "that wasn't so bad."

The thing is, and the thing I'm most proud of myself is, I'm not giving up. Oh I (kind of) hate it and I suck at it and if there were a hidden camera in this class it would make for mighty funny YouTube viewing but I'm not quitting. The old me would try it for five minutes and walk out. "I tried, I suck, I'm done." But now-a-days I try, I suck, I keep trying again - hoping to eventually suck less. (I don't know if this is stubborn stupidity or noble - but whatever.)

I choose to believe this is a good new quality I've cultivated.

That's a lesson from losing weight and running that I have learned. I mean I sucked at both of those things for a loooong time too. It took me a long time to get pretty good (and even liking running) and I'm still improving at that.

Took 40 years to figure out losing weight/healthy eating/maintaining -- and I'm still working at that.

I believe that yoga is going to help my calf and hamstring issues - they are very tight. Something has to give. So I owe it (at least to my running self) to keep trying. I would think it'll take 10 or more classes for me to get into a groove.

Yoga doesn't come easy for me. It's frustrating because my competitiveness and A-student mentality makes me want to be good at this and I'm not even close. But I won't give up. Thanks to being cheap (I have groupons of classes to use) and thanks to the new "don't give up and give it a chance" attitude, I'm going to just keep trying.

Do you do yoga?  If not, have you tried it? Hate it or love it? Any others out there as inflexible as me?


PS: Funnily, As hard as Bikram was - I liked that best. Unfortunately, i don't have one of those close to me in Jersey and I'm too broke right now to hop my ass into NYC to pay for class and the $15 commute fee - I do have a gift from Angela for 10 classes in Los Angeles! So I have something to look forward to when i get out that way.

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