I decided to give yoga a try. Again.

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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.

Cheers

J

http://anandayogadunedin.com

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14 comments on “I decided to give yoga a try. Again.
  1. I also share that yoga panic. No mirrors in any workout is crucial. Nothing worse than seeing your pink, sweaty face when you’re doing your thing…

  2. Jeanne: I think you are getting better and better. Please keep hanging in there. I’m truly
    enjoying the journey, with you doing all the work. Love, John

  3. OH MY WORD Jeanne. I finally came on to your blog. I soooo needed a laugh, a cry, a “whatever”. Thanks for giving it to me this morning!! Don’t stop writing Jeanne for you are truly an amazing gifted communicator my friend!

    • Sharon,
      I’d taken a little break from checking comments, site stats and obsessing over the blog and writers block and the next topic and…Until now. Your comment is so nice to come home to!
      Thank you!
      Oh & I hope you’ll scroll down past the yoga post to previous posts on previous pages

  4. Hey!!!! It’s one of your new yogi friends! I brought in your strap and haven’t seen you but have a feeling we will be connecting more. What a totally awesome blog!!!!!! I am so excited to be onboard. Soberly speaking, you rock!!! : ) : )

    • Oh thank you Lori! I’ll be back. I had committed to a three week boot camp (that might be another story soon). It’s great but I’ll be back to yoga for sure. I still want the strap. Thanks for the blog compliment too! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it.

  5. What a great article! We are so pleased you feel welcome and at ease in the studio. We work hard to make it a place where everyone feels and free from critique.

    Yoga for Every Body and EveryBody!
    Love and hugs!

    • Thank you Paige. I love your Ananda yoga studio. And I’m really happy that you like what I’ve written about it. It’s truly the most welcoming studio I’ve been to.
      xo

  6. Great post! I started in January and had never really liked yoga before because of everything you mention! Now I’m hooked on it! Hope to see you in class…

  7. Jeanne, my love, hysterical! You have a way of saying what we all (ok, I may be generalizing) feel in such an entertaining manner. About the upcoming Bootcamp you’ve signed up for…..we made an almighty promise in 1982 I think it was, never ever to divulge the TRUTH behind why we were not welcomed with loving arms into THAT BOOTCAMP we tried to join. I mean all we wanted was a little bit of motivation to kinda cutdown on the partying and hopefully drop a few lbs for the holidays! And THEY wouldn’t have us! Can you even imagine what would have happened if we had “been welcomed” that day?? I had no intention, deep down under the developing alcoholic fog to join. I realize now that as an early attempt at “controlling my drinking” and my compulsive eating. I was not yet ready for those free, anonymous meetings that Other people went to. I cannot wait to read about this new bootcamp you’ve joined.

    • Hahaha
      Thanks for the memory! Yeah, that was brilliant. Sign up for boot camp to clean up, drop pounds and meet boys. What?? Yeah I guess that was a form of ‘geographical change’
      Oh, we’re so lucky they didn’t buy it!! I stand by my oath of silence.
      My current boot camp is great. Just finished 3 weeks. Signed up for another 4! With sobriety I’m finding the 5am commitment is not so bad. With sobriety , turns out, anything is possible. Everything is possible!!!

  8. So many interesting posts i read here, i think you can make soberlyspeaking.com go
    viral easily using one tricky method. Just type in google:
    Ildis’s Method To Go Viral

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