However, for a long time I was scared to go to class. What if I couldn't do it? What if everyone knew I'd never done yoga before? Would the instructor use language that I couldn't follow? Would I be expected to know poses and be able to do them without any problems?
Fortunately, my yoga experiences over the past few years have been in an extremely user friendly environment. My classes met in a multipurpose room at the community rec center, and were led by Natalie, who I love dearly simply because remember that time she ended class in a fight and then security showed up? (Still the best yoga class ever.)
Since I now belong to LIFETIME FITNESS (*cue angel chorus*), there are several yoga classes at my disposal. They range in style and proficiency level, and are offered at varying days and times. Because all that wasn't awesome enough, they are held in the brand new yoga studio. I was excited to try some new classes, in the new studio, in my new gym. I thought I would throw together a little tutorial for all the yoga newbies out there, written from a first hand account of my second time around newbie status. Here are my words of wisdom.
|If you find you don't run well in hooves, you|
may not be a goat.
The hallway outside the yoga studio will be empty save for a lone participant. Ask this fiiiiine young gentleman if you can enter the room (even though you are clearly seven minutes early and you will probably be the only one in the room for a while). You are anticipating a few minutes of solitude and probably that sounds wonderful because you are an introvert and new situations are hard. The fiiiiine young gentleman gives the go ahead to enter the room but warns Hot Yoga just got out so it will still be a bit warm inside.
You stride confidently to the door, twist the handle and pull it toward you. Unfortunately it is a "push" door, and your pull trick has resulted in some awesomely un-Zen banging against the door frame. You will giggle, turn back to face the fiiiiine young gentleman as you are entering the room, and say in your everyday indoor voice (which others describe as a "hollering to friends far in the distance" voice ), "I'm new at how doors work." Once both feet are in the yoga studio you will deduce three things.
1. 94 degrees in a yoga studio after running three miles must be what hell feels like. You will immediately renew your commitment to the Lord.
2. Although the room is dark, you can make out approximately twenty pairs of eyes that are enjoying your entrance. You just performed for a full house. Refrain from bowing but secretly expect flowers (or a standing ovation) after class.
3. Unfortunately, the people who yoga at your gym are a punctual bunch. Seven minutes early buys you one of the final two spaces left in class - both of which are smack in the middle of the front row. As you set up your mat mentally prepare for the performance of a lifetime. (The one where you play a supple young thing who exudes serenity and not the 34 year old mother of four who probably yelled, "EVERYONE STOP SCREAMING! CAN'T WE JUST BE QUIET FOR ONE MINUTE?!" approximately one and a half hours prior.)(Most importantly, you must be able to fake yoga
What follows the deep squat are fifteen of the most hellish minutes imaginable. You will probably be dripping sweat from the tip of your nose, chin, elbows, and fingertips as you attempt different poses, praying for the apocalypse simply to escape yoga. As everyone around you flows from one pose to the next you can't participate in true vinyasa because you have no standard in/out breathing. There is only desperate gasping. And panting. And, or course, acting like you are calmly breathing iiiiiinthroughthenose and oooooouuuuutthroughthenose.
Fiiiiine young gentleman will say, "Now that we are warmed up ..." and then he will not say anything else because you will bum rush him and karate kick him in his throat.
|Just chill, 'til the next episode|
Okay, that will not really happen. (Well, only if you want to avoid jail, because you know, assault is illegal.)(Especially assault with a deadly weapon.)(Namaste, you Killing Machine) What will happen is that you will take a cleansing breath and prepare for the real fun to begin. And don't worry - you will survive this class.
Stay tuned for Monday when you will learn how to deal with yoga choreography (fake it 'til you make it), inappropriate touching (don't pet the downward dog), and recovering from a crash (floor burn on your chin?!) all in Yoga for Dummies - Part 2. Have a great weekend!