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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yoga Kicks Ass

Yeah, mine.

Last night, after a shameful absence of many months due to, well, laziness, I got off my keister and actually used one of the 20 class passes that have been sitting in my little bowl for at least half the length of the brit/fed-ex marriage.

It was invigorating. It was refreshing. It was rejuvenating.

It was nauseating. Literally. I almost barfed.

Now, this was no Madonna/Esther yoga-work-camp-I-must-keep-up-with-the-20-year-olds regime, but this ain’t your grandma’s yoga class either. Ashtanga flow, people. I was sweating.

I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. With all organized physical activity, actually, but especially with yoga. Because if you get to know me at all, you’d think, I bet she does yoga. You know, I eat tempeh; I have a naturopath; I own hemp clothing. Clearly, yoga is right up my alley. Except my alley is really just a one-way, dead end road to the couch.

Even when I wasn’t a tired mother, it took a lot to get me to the gym or the yoga studio. Much like my crafting aspirations, I have high hopes when it comes to exercise. I join gyms, I get cute workout gear, I tell everybody of my plans. And I go twice and make excuses and hockey season begins, and that’s that. The problem is, in those days I was partying and going out dancing and couldn’t conceive of turning 30 and I hadn’t built a baby. In other words, I was young and skinny. Now, not so much.

There were two times in my life when getting me to yoga was not a motivational endeavour even tony robbins would have given up on – in Israel, and post-natal. In Israel, going to yoga was so easy that really, I would have been a loser not to go. I was on a Kibbutz, where everything is about 3 minutes from anything else, and the yoga studio was right next to the dining room. Yoga, then food. No-brainer. Plus, we did our yoga class in a bomb shelter. That is a huge statement on how people who live in a war zone deal with war. But that’s a post for another day. Let’s keep things light.

So, this one time, when I was doing yoga in a bomb shelter in Israel, I farted as I was in a shoulder stand. Pretty loud. Nice. There was an old guy next to me, and I pray that everybody just blamed him. (btw – people fart all the time in yoga class, as you are doing all sorts of good, healthy things to your digestive track. if you are going to do yoga, make sure your studio has good ventilation.)

And post-natal yoga, well, that was more of a survival tactic; a reason to get out of the house and show off my cute newborn with all the other desperate new moms showing off their cute newborns. It’s almost mean that you are not allowed to do post-natal yoga once your baby is mobile. Talk about rejection.

Well, I’m not in Israel anymore, and I’m probably closer to prenatal yoga again than a mom & baby class, but off to the studio I go. Where I stretch and strain and sweat and swear and seriously wonder when this is going to finally end, because holy fuck, what is this, a 5-hour class? But of course I glimpse at my neighbour’s watch and see that it has been about 25 minutes, and we have over an hour to go. WTF?! Oh wait, no time to ponder how time has entered some backwards flux, because –

– and exhale, up, and inhale, step back and spread those fingers and lift that pelvis and turn your tummy into a ladle (a ladle? My tummy is more like an ice cream scoop. With a scoop of ice heavenly hash in it. a double scoop.), and exhale, right foot forward and hands to the sky and lift your left foot and bring your right hand back and recite the second verse of the The Highwayman and heels back! Now breathe…

Aaah, isn’t this relaxing?

Ok, I must admit that even though I seriously miss on some of the choreography, and there is no way my body will ever agree to contort into the fish pose, I actually do feel pretty good by the end of the class. Motivated enough to walk home and stop along the way for a falafel, which effectively cancels out all the good I may have just done to my body. But, yummy.

Guess I’d better go back next week?


  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger nomotherearth said…

    I have the exact same love/hate thing with yoga. I recognize how much good it does, how "centered" and "grounded" I feel afterwards (are you feeling the love..?) But man, it's hard! I have spent a lot of time in the downward dog position wondering when the torture would be over. Seriously, is it supposed to hurt that much?

  • At 5:57 PM, Anonymous ali said…

    i've never done yoga. i do pilates...but all those yogies out there tell me that it's not even close to being the same...
    my sister is a huge fan of bikram (i think that's how you spell it) but that terrifies me.

    also? yoga in the bomb shelter would make a great band name!

  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger cinnamon gurl said…

    I did the desperate mum yoga too... I do always feel better after yoga, but rarely actually go. At least I get to belly dance where we usually do some stretchy warmup stuff...

  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    Endorphins baby....endorphins. I do the hot yoga, and I love the rush after, thats why I do all that stuff....Well, that and trying to stave off my middle age spread.

    PS...just linked you in a post over at my place.

  • At 11:20 PM, Blogger MotherBumper said…

    I haven't found the strength to get back into yoga since Bumper entered the picture - congrats to you for doing it. I've had some strong urges but they've never resulted in anything. Uh oh, I feel a new year's resolution coming on.

  • At 12:41 AM, Blogger jen said…

    woman. yoga in a bomb shelter. hats off to you.

  • At 7:50 AM, Anonymous krista said…

    Hey, you know what. I was an avid yogi practising at least three times a week, and since I moved I don't have access anymore to where I was doing my classes.... It's been almost a full month of nothing.

    I practice the philosophy of yoga in my daily life as much as possible.

    But the physical part... Oh, My body feels like it is dusty. Like it needs to get used.

    I hope you do go next week, and post about it too. It's nice to read about other people's yoga experiences. And the farting.... yes. Haha, people do tend to fart in yoga. How spiritual. haha.

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger metro mama said…

    I can't help but laugh when people fart in yoga. Farts are funny.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said…

    Yes, yes, love the yoga; hate the having to do it. I am soooo inflexible that whenever I take a yoga class I feel like I am in grade 8 again not being picked for the team and feeling embarassed for my schelpy, unbendy, chubby body. But then it is ohhhh so good for me, better than any other exercise I manage to get. Sadly, I can't find a decent instructor since I moved from a big city to a quaint town. No more public farting for me unless it's in an elevator.

  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger BlogWhore said…

    Better a hate/love with Yoga, than say, Pizza!

  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger Lisa b said…

    I have the same issue. My ten class pass is stuck in my mat by the front door. If I go once a week my back never bothers me. Why is once a week so hard to manage?
    I went every week when I was pregnant and I felt great.

  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger kittenpie said…

    I was only ever good about exercise for a few shortish stretches in my life. Now is, um, NOT one of them!

  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Sounds like me at the gym. I'm back in the habit now, but it's SO hard when you've been out of it for a while, to start back up. SO. VERY. HARD.

    Good for you getting through the class!! Next time will feel easier.

  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger petite gourmand said…

    I haven't been for ages...
    When I was pregnant I dragged big daddy to a
    Two & a half hour New Year's eve yoga class.
    I figured I couldn't get all soused up ringing in the new year, so why not do a little downward dog instead?
    I still owe him one.
    I never seem to get around to going anymore,
    but when and if I do I usually feel fantastic afterwards.
    Who knew breathing could be so fun?
    Namaste :)

  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger SpeakEasy said…

    I found this post to be humourous yet motivating... I learned people fart during yoga, and that I should be doing yoga to loosen up my poor stiff joints so I can play organized sports again.

    I remember doing yoga on some beach during one of the cruises we were on and besides the great yoga outfits girls wear (and almost wear) and the beautiful weather, sunrise and weather, it was fun and tough to arch your back, take deep breaths and complete the program.

  • At 11:43 PM, Blogger metro mama said…

    petite gourmand: Big daddy did yoga with you on New Years Eve!? The man must love you.

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger penelopeto said…

    my thoughts exactly!
    i don't think i'd want to do yoga with chris - i wouldn't be able to concentrate for the laughter.

  • At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Privilege of Parenting said…

    In my view parenting IS yoga—although yoga itself is easier; when parenting is hardest, I like to think of it as a difficult yoga pose and try to relax into it. Nonetheless there are times, in both yoga and parenting, when all I can think about is shivassana.



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