Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yoga for Skeptics

When I was driving home from work yesterday, I noticed a Yoga studio has opened up in a strip mall near my home.  There was a sign outside offering daily classes for $5 for the next two weeks, so I bounced in there full of enthusiasm to find out more.  I came home armed with a schedule and some other information, and promised the girl at the desk that I would see her at 6pm today for class.

I didn't go.  I'm not saying I won't go at all, in fact I think I might try for Saturday morning's class, but I have to admit Yoga makes me a little uneasy.

There are a couple of reasons for this.  For one thing, my past experiences with Yoga haven't been completely positive.  Last year, while I lay face down and sprawled out on the mat during Hot Yoga I swore I would never again expose myself to such high temperatures unless I was getting a tan.  Another time I made a huge fool of myself when the yoga instructor clasped her hands together and bowed her head slightly towards me.  "Namaste!" she said, to which I replied "Sure. One sugar and a little milk, please."

Namaste...This brings me to the other reason why yoga makes me feel slightly apprehensive.  I'm sure Sanskrit is a beautiful language, but it sounds a little hokey coming from someone whose only enlightened experience has been in the bargain section of Lulu Lemon. 

So, in preparation for class on Saturday, I've decided to break down four of the basic poses into something understandable and meaningful to me.

1.  Tadasana 

Ok, I'm pretty sure I can nail this pose.  In fact, I'll kick butt.  I do this one all the time.  I refer to it as the Waiting Pose.  I usually combine this with folding and unfolding my arms while simultaneously drumming my fingers, but that's probably covered in a more advanced class.

2.  Uttanasana
(These next three poses require you to think carefully about where you will stand in the yoga studio.  Preferably you are in the back row, and someone you know is in front of you.)

I refer to this pose as the Flatulence Pose.  This is because I don't see how you can concentrate on the hamstring stretch without passing gas.  I know I can't, and probably the person in front of me can't either, so I would prefer to be at least on a first name basis with them.

3.  Adho Mukha Svanasana
I refer to this as the Does My Ass Look Fat in these Yoga Pants Pose.

I can proudly say that I have this one pretty much mastered, although I tend to add the popular "fix the wedgie" twist to this one.  This pose is quite fun because you can look between your legs to the person behind you (if you're not in the back row) to see if they are, in fact, checking out the size of your bum.

4.  Ashtanga Namaskara
I refuse to do this pose.  Ever.  I think I'd be embarassed to try it even if I was by myself.   This is the Flatulence II Pose. 
Look at this guy.  He looks as if he's really trying to pass gas.  Maybe he ate too much broccoli the day before, or maybe his colitis is acting up...whatever, I don't want to be the poor sod behind him. 

So, there you have it.  Some beginner yoga poses.  After writing this post, I think I'm even less likely to attend Saturday's class than before, although I read about a new yoga mash-up on this blog which combines pot and yoga.  Although I'm not a marijuana advocate, at this point I think it sounds like a damn good idea.

Until next time,


  1. yeh...I'm a bit skeptical...most yoga teachesr I have met seem to have serious anger issues....probably what drew them to yoga in the first place. I once walked into a Bikram class with my shoes on ( I didnt know!!) and was met with a most un Zen like tirade from the teacher. I felt like telling her to go and do some yoga to calm down!!

  2. That's my point exactly! One yoga instructor I had was similar - covered in Eastern type tattoos, very unapproachable - didn't understand a damn thing she said. Still can't decide whether I'll go tomorrow...

  3. Tracey,

    Who knows how or why I ended up here at 2:00 am, reading your crazy post. But it made me laugh, so thought I would tell you so. I am the Equine Nomad, riding 200 miles in every US state. I also have a blog - come and say hello!

    How about Equine Yoga?