I need exercise. I need it like I need food and water and love. I know this. And still I forget. I take a day off. And then another. Next thing I know it’s been weeks. Sometimes months. Then I find myself in a terrible rut.
The rut situation used to baffle me. It would take me forever to figure out why I was feeling so crappy. Now I know. Intuitively I know. Uh oh, I’ve got that old crappy feeling again. I better get moving.
I’ve never claimed any particular sport or activity as my own. I’m not a runner, a tennis player, a yogi, a cyclist, a body builder or a……fill in the blank. I’m not any one of these things, but I’ve done them all. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes not. Let’s say I’m a fitness enthusiast who sometimes loses enthusiasm.
In a mild panic over the rut situation, I signed up and paid for a 5:30 am boot camp that’s going to start next month. Oh crap, what was I thinking? That’ll be another story.
In the meantime I decided to give yoga a try. Again. I’ve done it before. Got the mat. And the yoga pants. I’ve got a whole collection of yoga pants.
I’ve been to several yoga studios. I like yoga. Still, I usually feel just ever so slightly out of place. Okay, that’s a lie. Not slightly. Tremendously. I usually feel tremendously out of place.
Not graceful enough. Like a bull in a china closet.
And not cool enough. Like how I felt when I was a teenager at the mall with my friends. They’d suggest we duck into Spencer’s and look around. With the music and the incense and the black lights and the bongs. I was not cool enough to be there. I knew it and surely everybody else knew it too.
Or when Starbucks first came around and I couldn’t figure out how to order a friggin cup of coffee. The barista made no attempt to disguise his impatience with my incompetence. I turned that shit around pretty quick though. After a few very uncomfortable interactions with his coolness, I stood my ground. I looked him square in the eye and ordered a medium coffee with cream. Screw venti. It was a real ‘fight the power’ moment for me.
Anyway, back to yoga.
Turns out there’s a yoga studio .3 miles from my house. How did I not notice this before? Okay so it’s not strategically placed alongside a babbling brook or a bamboo forest or anything like that. It’s in a small strip mall on alt 19. It’s plain and simple on the outside. Inside it’s comfortable and clean with a surprisingly soothing neon decor. I decided to give Ananda Yoga Dunedin a try.
I silently promised myself not to barrel in late with my mat in a heap, interrupt, fidget, fall from a pose, knock things over, hyperventilate or giggle about the weird stuff.
I purchased a twenty day pass from the owner. She’s a cute, young, hip girl. Obviously cool but without a trace of ‘zenier than thou’. I noticed her eyes dance as she welcomes both new and old members to the studio.
The process was painless. I signed a waiver. Paid my twenty and was instructed to sign in old school when I come to class. No card to swipe. No data entry. Just write my name. Genius! I like it.
Real yogis were floating around quietly and effortlessly, as real yogis do. They were genuinely kind. And welcoming. Suggested I can roll out anywhere. Even close to them. I didn’t once get that old ‘oh crap, I’ve accidentally sat down at the wrong lunch table’ feeling.
There were regular people there too. People like me. I know because of our secret handshake. Wait, that’s a lie. There’s no handshake. It’s a nod. Don’t blink, you’ll miss it. It’s a nod that says ‘My uncoolness recognizes your uncoolness. Yet we’re here, among the cool, because were brave and strong.’ Om. I mean namaste. Whatever. Cheers.
The teachers are great. I just spent ten minutes trying to think of a clever way to express that. It’s all I got though. The teachers are great. They’re knowledgeable, helpful and patient. And sometimes, they’re funny. They’re cool, but in a good way.
i haven’t even told you the best part yet. Listen to this. No mirrors! That’s right. No mirrors! What’s that mean? It means I spend the entire seventy five minutes of class discovering all the wonderful things my body can do. As opposed to? Well, as opposed to looking in the mirror and comparing myself to every other body in the class. That’s a thing. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does it. It can be quite distracting. And discouraging. Take away the mirrors and it’s all about self love. That’s a thing too. It’s a good thing.
Im at day seventeen now and I’ve been to about eleven classes. Each one better than the one before. I think I might be able to stick with it this time.
Okay, I’m not saying the other yoga studios were no good. It’s possible they were great too. It’s possible I’ve changed. It’s possible my perception has changed. It’s also possible that this place is better than the rest. Who cares, right?
What matters is that I’ve found my home. Yeah wait, back the truck up. Let’s not get so melodramatic over here. Let’s keep it in perspective. It’s not my home. It’s a good place where I can learn and practice yoga without feeling like a total klutz.
For that I’m grateful. Om. Namaste. Whatever.
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