Last night, I made my (in)glorious return to the yoga studio. It had been over a year. After class, I emailed my friend Gesina: “I need a beer. That f*cking yoga nearly killed me.”
Zen, I am not. But since I never stretch and weight lifting bores me, I’m hoping to work on both flexibility and strength by attending this 75-minute Hot Vinyasa class a couple of times a week.
As I was sliding around on my drenched mat last night, hands and feet grasping for purchase, I thought, here is the problem with me and yoga: I’m a major sweater. Add a heated room and it becomes downright dangerous. My down dog hovers precariously on the edge of a face plant; my triangle is moments away from a painful reintroduction to the forward splits, which I haven’t been able to do since the ballet lessons of my youth.
Maybe I need a better mat? Or to slather my hands and feet with glue beforehand?
Most frustrating about this is the fact that this doesn’t appear to be a problem for anyone else in the room.
Oh yes, I know, I’m not supposed to be comparing myself to others while practicing yoga. But I do. Like, before class, when everyone is setting up their mats and waiting for the teacher to arrive. Is it just me, or is that stretch of time super awkward? I never know what to do with myself. Some people are doing complicated vinyasas on their mats (which would make me feel stupid) and others are laying down (which would make me feel lazy). So I just sit there and watch other people and wonder if I’m the only one who is thinking, when is this damn thing going to start already?
But while it sucks that everyone else’s fingers lace neatly behind their backs while mine aren’t even close to touching, or that I have to build a mountain of blocks under my palm in order to coax myself into a proper side angle, what bugs me most is that I’m poring out enough sweat to swamp the room while everyone else looks bone dry.
At one point during yesterday’s class, I was so frustrated that I swore I wasn’t going to return, despite having just plunked down $35 for a new-student-special month of unlimited classes.
Ah, but yoga. It’s a racket, I swear! After an hour of sweaty suffering, you’re instructed to lay down. Close your eyes! Take a little catnap! Here, let me put a cool lavender towel over your eyes. Just listen to this soft music and empty your mind….
What was that about drowning in a pool of my own perspiration? I’ll be back tomorrow, yoga.
But first, I definitely need a beer.