I took my first yoga class tonight. (Not too bad that we're only half-way through February and I'm knocking something off my 2010 to do list.)
Before getting to the yoga studio, I had visions of a Zen-like experience in which I would be temporarily transported to another, calmer, space in my head. Walking into the class 10 minutes late, however, is not very conducive to Zen.
But I quickly grabbed a mat and found an open spot on the floor, moving to replicate the instructor's (the yogi's?) movements.
I was doing well to get my body to move as she wanted, so I really couldn't be bothered with the whole inhale, exhale on command thing. In fact, I was so busy trying to get my dog facing down and my cobra raising up that I don't think I really breathed at all for the first 17 minutes I was in the class.
The room was darkened, which was nice. But the instructor's constant chatter, guiding us from one position into the next, broke any hope of silence. I'm sure if I knew what I was doing, her voice would have just melted into the background.
Instead my mind raced trying to coordinate my body, figuring out what the difference is between "look up and lengthen" and "reverse swan dive." And when I wasn't trying to figure out the difference between Warrior 1 and Warrior 2, I was actively praying that my first yoga class would not be tagged with an unfortunate display of flatulence.
Of course there was also the anatomy to consider. Raising the sacrum, stretching the hip flexors and coiling the thoracic spine. Umm...excuse me, yoga lady? Do you have some flash cards I could look at?
One piece of anatomy I didn't need help locating was my right ovary -- because I'm pretty sure I dislodged it trying to do a move that should only be reserved for professional members of Cirq de Soleil.
Then there was the instruction "make sure your hips are neutral." Honey, if my hips were neutral, I wouldn't be at the gym in the first place!
My favorite part of the whole class was the "final shimvashtah" or something that sounds close to that. It's the part where we got to put our socks on, lay back on our mats and close our eyes. I woke myself with my own snore just in time to hear "Namaste."
(Want more yoga laughs? Check out my previously-taken "yoga quiz.")