I’m back in Yoga class after a three-year absence. Fortunately the room is dark, or the other students would be laughing too hard to participate. I am possibly the most unflexible and definitely the most uncoordinated person to ever step onto a Yoga mat, yet here I am, giving it another try. Apparently I am unable to remember my previous Yoga stint, where after two years I was still unable to get my heels to the floor, and fell with a thud every single time I attempted tree. Although I’m the shortest one in the class, it seems that I somehow have the longest arms and legs of everyone there. As we face the mirror, everyone tucked neatly into position, all I see are my legs, my elbows, sticking out all over the place. I’m surprised I haven’t put someone’s eye out. We’re sitting in butterfly; everyone elses’ knees are nearly on the floor, but mine are almost straight up. Now we’re doing downward dog, something I think we do WAAAY too much of in this class. Everyone else moves smoothly into plank and alligator, while I just flop onto the floor, hoping no one will notice. The teacher, who is incredibly tiny except for her uncannily mannish arms, is hovering her whole body just above the mat, and expects us to do the same. Have I slipped into the super-advanced class by mistake?
Now we’ve moved into the warrior poses. Fortunately, this is something I can sort of pull off. The key is in the look. You stand in lunge position, your arms out at 90 degrees, and here’s the key part, you turn your head so you’re looking out OVER your arms. Now, assume a superior, snooty, serious expression which says “don’t mess with me I’m the warrior woman” and – I’ve got it. The don’t mess with me look finishes off the pose. Never mind that my legs are not as deeply lunged as everyone else and I keep wobbling out of the pose – at least I’ve got the look down.
Seriously, Yoga is a great exercise to improve strength, balance and flexibility. You can find Yoga classes at many different levels, from the serious, purist Yoga studios, to the gym-based classes, which tend to focus more on strength and fitness than the spiritual and meditative aspects. (My gym uses the YogaFit method.) I am definitely not an expert on Yoga, as anyone who has seen me in class can testify, so I’ll leave it up to the many expert Yoga websites available to give you the skinny on all things Yoga. If you’re looking for an alternative to your usual exercise and want a good laugh (if I’m in your class that is) give Yoga a try.
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