An Epiphany at Yoga

09.16.11

I tried a new yoga class today. It doesn’t fit in my schedule well but I wanted to get to a class with plenty of balance poses and inversions.

I got there and this very young very handsome instructor was there. He had the whole Brad Pitt square jaw happening, the perfectly tousled hair, tanned just so for an audition. He looked like every unemployed actor in the city, and he is just young enough that I could have birthed him if a condom broke when I was 19.

So I was basically unimpressed.

We started with a few ohms and then he talked about the changing of the season. I zoned out a little and then he asked us to think about making just one change. I thought about changing my office.

While in a tree pose he asked us to think again about the change we were going to make and asked us to visualize how things would look after the change was made. He went on to explain that we can’t do anything until we know where we’re going.

Pretty boy was pretty insightful.

So I tried to imagine my paperless office. I tried to visualize a clean work-space. I came  up absolutely blank. I have absolutely no clue what a nice office space would look like for me. I don’t have the tools to get this job done.

Now I’m going to have to go to inconvenient yoga every Thursday with the child yogi until I can visualize a clean office.

 

Really Weird Exercise

05.19.11

This has been the week for weird exercise. Earlier this week I went to a yoga class where I was clearly party crashing. There’s a group of about a half dozen gay men and women who seem to frequent this class every week. They were all very familiar with one another, and they’re all in on the same joke. It was really nice to be there, and somehow I didn’t feel left out, just entertained. The class was a very basic level 1/2 flow and it moved along nicely until the instructor got really into it.

The more the instructor got into her teaching, the more her voice began to change. This is not unusual in a yoga class, but the manner in which it changed was odd. Her words became longer, slower and more exaggerated, and after about twenty minutes she completely dropped all the long vowel sounds. When she was telling us to point our toes to the back of the room it sounded like, “bring your taaahhhss to the bouck of the raum.” I wanted to giggle and I kept waiting for someone to come out and say, “Live from New York it’s Saturday Night!” But no one did and I had to keep my giggliness to myself.

It was a great claaaahhhhsssss.

I tried a different yoga studio later in the week and I knew it was going to be different. It’s one of these rock and roll yoga studios where they’ve made it into a workout. This type of exercise has never been my favorite, but it was a dollar a class with Groupon so I figured I’d give it a go. I was happy to find myself rolling out a mat next to a really nice lady I know from the kids’ school and I was just behind Melissa so I knew I was in a good place.

Shows you what I know.

Along the left side of the room there’s a small counter for storage and I noticed that there was a paperback that had something to do with Buddah. I figured it probably didn’t belong to the lady with the fake tits and trout pout, but I hadn’t really expected our instructor to try and read during the class. There was a very limited warm up and then a series of exercises on the left side of the body. Then our instructor said, now do that on the right side three times and meet us in down dog. I was totally confused. I didn’t realize that I was supposed to memorize the flow, so I sort of got his attention and shrugged. He looked back at me and shrugged so I said, “I have no idea what’s next.” He replied, “Someone invented this flow thousands of years ago. Invent a new one, it doesn’t really matter. Just do yoga.”

So I just did yoga. But as I created my own series (because I am NOT a quick study) I had to remind myself that I’d only paid a dollar for the class. Then I had one of those stupid internal discussions. You know, the kind of discussion you have with yourself that is so totally annoying that you go to yoga to shut your brain off.

It’s a good thing that this class was only a dollar. If it cost more than this I’d be bugged.

But it very well may be a $24 class. I don’t think I want to come back here and I paid $24 for 24 classes.

You can’t be so judgy, maybe the other instructors are great.

They probably all suck, look how happy everyone is with this class. This is a terrible class and they love it.

OMG me don’t look now but the instructor is reading a book.

I was stunned, just when I thought he couldn’t get any more mediocre he picked up his Buddah book and started reading the pages while absentmindedly saying, “repeat the series three more times and meet us in child’s pose.”

As annoying as he was, I was still getting a semi decent workout so I didn’t leave the class. Which is good because while we were cooling down he started to talk about community and that our happiness contributes to community. “This is blog fodder”, I thought, “it’s worth a dollar”. He then went on to talk about his senior year of college and how all his friends were freaking out that they didn’t have jobs, but he decided that to be a good member of the community he wouldn’t freak out about not having a job. Then he went on to tell us that his mother was very upset that he was graduating college without having a job. One phrase that was oft repeated was, “But Mom, you told me when I was a kid that you just wanted me to be happy.”

He went on to talk about how yoga could help us regain our youth even if we were really old, like sixty. I’m pretty sure the oldest person in the room was close to fifty and I couldn’t possibly have been the only one who thinking that they were relieved to not be 22 again, wearing Lululemon and talking to a room full of strangers about how I’d disappointed my parents.

 

 

Can We do this Thing Where We Don’t Touch?

03.30.11

Today was a busy day. The kids are out of school and today included three playdates and two sets of sports, all before 3pm. It’s the good kind of busy, we’re happy, the kids and I.

There was a local event here in Los Angeles that I’d wanted to attend and it was close to Mr. G’s office. I popped him an email telling him that I really wanted to hear one of the speakers, and he replied back that he’d meet me there.

I cannot begin to tell you how strange it is that Mr. G. would want to attend a speaking or networking event. I was absolutely slack-jawed, but I bought him a ticket and dropped the kids off with my mom. What I’d intended when I’d sent him the email was that he’d be home by 5ish so that I could leave him with the kids to have dinner together and I’d attend the event.

I zipped over to my mom’s house and dropped the kids off and then headed to the event. When I got in I realized that Mr G would rather slit his throat than sit in the hipster warehouse where they were serving PB&J sandwiches, milk and cookies. Although the schedule looked fabulous I couldn’t fathom sitting in a room from 7 to 10 pm with neither adult food nor drink.

So we met a few people, shook a few hands and we decided to skip out on the talks, take advantage of the babysitting and head out for a nice dinner.

As Mr G and I left the building I went to scratch my nose and realized that my entire hand smelled of cologne. Someone had just showered and shaved, gone to the event and rubbed their smelly man hands all over mine. It was nauseating, and everyone who knows me knows that I have the power of super smell. It took several tablespoons of liquid soap and plenty of hot water, yet I still faintly smell the Drakkar on my fingertips.

The hand cologne incident reminded me of why I’ve left my yoga studio for greener pastures. You see just three days ago I ducked in for a quick yoga class and had another touching incident.

First off I should have known that the class was not for me because it was some sort of yoga healing sports fusion. Which is code for I used to work at 24 hour fitness and I really need my days free so I can audition for commercials/movies/TV but I can totally put my ankles behind my head. The only types of yoga I want to practice are Hatha, Kundalini, Iyengar and Vinyasa. I don’t enjoy the hot rooms of Bikram and whatever power, core strengthening or fusion that the  gyms are offering don’t do it for me.

My Sunday night yoga class was the last class of the day. When they opened the double doors to the large studio room swarms of sweaty yogis streamed out. The room was both hot and humid. Three dozen of us moved from the waiting area to the studio, almost slipping in puddles of sweat. I have no clue why I walked into that room, I can only attribute it to group think. But I walked in, I put my mat down, grabbed blocks, blankets and straps. It was a prop class.

I hate prop classes. I’ve never seen those props get washed, I’m not the type of woman that should be sharing these things.

I am trying to embrace dirt. I’ve made a huge effort to not be shrill with my kids when they want to walk into the back yard barefoot and then into the house with moist footprints clearly visible from the right angles on my wood floors. I am trying to relax and be the lady who wants to shake your hand, and to enjoy manicures and pedicures without wanting to jump up from the table while shrieking, “Stop jamming fungi under my nails.” I really do want to be that woman, so I settled into the moist yoga class.

I stayed in the yoga class with the happy balls, and I dutifully rolled them next to my spine, and then I rolled my knuckles onto my temples all the while trying to not freak out that people had been rolling these balls next to their asses, and then onto their faces. Three dozen people who want ass juice on their heads, who am I to judge?

When the instructor pulled her shirt up to show us how our stomachs should look during a pose I thought it was odd, but once again decided to let it go. When she pulled up her shirt a second time, and a third I tried to figure out if she was trying to sleep with one of the women in the room or one of the men. To be fair she had the sort of body that deserves to be naked, but I was laying in a puddle of someone else’s yoga sweat. I didn’t need to check out her I never had a baby and I spend the whole day exercising body. I was trying to focus on not getting the germs onto me.

There were a few more poses, most of them very uncomfortable, none of them familiar (I’ve been dropping in and out of yoga classes for more than 20 years, there should be no “new” poses) and then we came to bridge.

The naked yogi asked every one in the room to gather round her while she demonstrated the adapted bridge pose. She rolled her shirt up to right under her breasts, pushed her already low pants down to just above her pubic mound and invited everyone to watch her bridge, and to feel free to touch her should they feel the need.

I left. I hate leaving a class early, the last time I left a yoga class early was when I was seven months pregnant with Alexander and I realized that I was too big to do the most basic poses. I never want to be that girl.

I need a week of not touching anyone that doesn’t share a last name with me. I’ve tried to embrace the earthy part of me, but let’s face it, the earthy part of me likes outdoor dirt, not people dirt.