Thursday, May 3, 2012


I just had my first real experience with yoga this evening. I actually went to a class on Monday, but it had a meditative focus that meant a lot of lying down quietly in the dark. I can do that at home for free. Tonight was a lot more intense, but not as hard as I thought it would be. Mostly because it was a million degrees in the studio. I know they're trying to get you to sweat out your toxins, but if you're wearing gray yoga pants for the first time, you sweat so much it looks like you peed your pants. (You're welcome for that image by the way).

I still love this movie.

It was hard for me to relax, since I raced over to Burbank from Studio City after work, cursing traffic and lack of convenient parking spaces. I just barely made it in time, so I didn't get a chance to go to the bathroom beforehand. I try to drink a lot of water these days, so I spent the whole hour with an uncomfortably full bladder being twisted into new and unusual shapes. (Sidebar, I had a similar experience with my first pap smear. Talk about uncomfortable! ... Too much information?)

The last thing you want when your bladder is about to burst 
is someone literally poking it. Yowza!

As for the session itself, I liked that it was set to Bob Marley rather than far out New Age-y music. But like the first time, the instructor kept using words like 'chakra' and 'energy' and 'third eye' in a deliberately soothing voice. I sympathized with a lady in back who couldn't stop giggling at the absurdity of it all. I kept my s--- together, but there were times I just balked at some of the terms. I almost lost it when we literally started by chanting 'oooooooohm' and ended with our hands in front of our hearts and bidding a farewell 'namaste.' I guess it's just been so parodied in pop culture that it was bizarre to think that people are genuine in their yoga spirituality. As a skeptic, I find it hard to buy into all that.

 Sidebar, the word 'namaste' always makes me think of this toolbag from "Lost."

Since we've already wandered into and gotten lost in too much information territory, I will tell you my other problem with yoga: my ass. It is just too big to do many floor exercises comfortably. There's a major height difference between my ass and lower back when I'm lying down and it's down right painful to try and roll back and forth like a rocking horse. Forget about The Plow position, I didn't even attempt it. My only other complaint was that halfway through my "dead man's pose" (that name I actually dug), the instructor started giving everyone mini-massages. I don't like to be touched. Especially by complete strangers. I dare say the massage had the opposite effect.

Is there a yoga school of thought that isn't all trippy hippy-ish?
Or does it just come with the territory?

It was a great workout though and I do feel really nice and relaxed. I just can't decide if it's worth the extra $15 a month. There aren't that many classes that work with my schedule, and clearly this one is just too hard to change, drive, park, and check in with only a half hour window (and that's IF I get off work on time. Note the big IF.) I should probably just get over myself though and suck it up. I mean, I already bought the yoga mat and everything. (It turns out they provide yoga mats for you. There goes that $12. I'm glad I have my own though. I'd hate to think about rolling around on a communal mat soaked with other peoples' sweat. Blech. You're welcome for that one too!)

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