Friday, February 6, 2009

Ohman Do I Hate Yoga

I tried to love yoga, really I did. After years of deluding myself that a women in her 40's with three ripe, herniated discs could kickbox regularly without becoming a morphine addict, I reluctantly decided to hang up my gloves, and try something completely different. Hey, if Madonna can get biceps like Mike Tyson from doing a few stretchy moves, I thought, then why did I need to kill myself endlessly trying to perfect my right hook?

So, late last year I set out to transform myself from the bloodthirsty girl who wears the tshirt that reads "Get out of my way, or I will eat your heart for breakfast," into one of those serene "Yoga People" I've always seen at the gym--the ones who seem so calm, and earthy, and who I imagine buy all their groceries at stores like Whole Foods and Mrs. Greens, then pack them up in unbleached canvas totes, carry them out to their hybrid cars, bring them back to their solar-paneled homes. To get psyched up for this new me, I invested in several comfy, not-too-sexy, organic cotton yoga outfits. And I bought a colorful yoga mat, and Indian-inspired carrier for toting it to and from the studio, as well. On the nights before my classes I drank plenty of water and hit the hay early so I'd be well-rested + nicely hydrated in the morning. And, to start my yoga practice off without getting into fisticuffs stress-free, I'd make sure to arrive ten minutes prior to class in order to claim my spot on the precious slice of real estate that is the yoga studio floor.

In the past two months, I've tried my hand at Vinyassa, Hatha, and Power Yoga.

I've bent to Downward Facing Dog, dropped to Chataranga, lifted to Cobra, reached to Tadasana, twisted to Vakrasana.

Despite my Catholic upbringing and the resulting deep-rooted fear of being whacked on my hand with a wooden ruler by Sister Ann for doing so, I've said Ohm, rather than Amen.

I've placed my hands over my heart Chakra and solemnly whispered, "Namaste" even though I have no idea whatsoever what Namaste means, nor do I really care.

And through it all--the twisting, the bending, the chanting, the Namasteing--the only thing my mind honestly focused on during the entire sixty minute class was not my breathing, or my 'center' or finding peace within, but rather, "What the Hell am I doing here, and how can I possibly put an end to it?" Because really, dear reader, I would rather stick a red hot poker in my own eye, cut my right arm off with a rusty chainsaw, than sit in that stupid yoga class, minute after painful minute, day after mind-numbing day, week after boring week.

Is it bad to want to drink a cocktail before yoga class?

Is it wrong to hate the annoyingly cheery nice, peaceful people who actually enjoy chanting Ohm?

Is it horrible to want to want to screech like a demon at the yoga instructor, "Do you really expect me to hold that stupid pose for thirty seconds without passing out, you freak!!??" or, throw a roundhouse kick at her head when she says "Breeeeeathhhhhe" for the 6,000th time?!?

Because if those are feelings you are not supposed to be feeling in yoga class, then maybe yoga is not for me. Perhaps I am too Type A, too wound up, too impatient, too in need of something edgy, and gritty, and sweaty, and unpleasant to keep me mindful that life is often that way, too.

Personally--traditionalist that I am--I've always preferred to relax at the end of the day the old fashioned way--by taking a good long soak in a really hot bath, then later wrapping myself up in a soft bathrobe, and sipping on an ice cold martini. It may not be as healthy, or as fashionable as twisting up like a human cruller, but I've found it to be the perfect remedy for a bad day at the office, or--in my case--a tough workout in the boxing ring. Which is of course, where you'll be able to find me working out once again; cursing like a sailor, beating up my poor, aged, broken body, and loving every miserable, grimy, ugly minute of it.

Salt (Your choice of Epsom, Sea or Kosher. I personally like Epsom.)
Baking soda
Essential oil of your choice (I have a soft spot for Eucalyptus.)

Mix the salt, baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil together in a clean, dry jar, and seal. When you are ready to use, add about a half to a full cup of the salt mixture to your running bath.

Enter tub. Soak away your troubles. Say ahhhh... (not to be confused with Ohm).

Recipe here


hello gorgeous said...

That's great. I was going to do a Perfect Martini post. I have it written. Let me check yours and see if I agree. I loved the photo - yoga and cocktails. Makes it all worthwhile.

Elaine said...

This made my day! I stumbled upon this blog by googling "I want to want to do yoga" and then "I hate yoga".

Your style of writing had me--literally--laughing out loud. I wanted to email the link to my family and friends, just so they could enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you.

candice said...

i hate yoga too. wow, i do. haha i'm glad to see other people who gave it a fair shot agree.


Candice. Funny thing is, I actually wound up loving yoga! I simply found the right yogi and style I guess (Vinyassa Flow).

I still grunt and curse my way through it--that goes without saying--but, something must be working because I no longer have the desire to punch my yogi square in the brain....


No Cookies said...

You know, I love yoga, but I LOATHE American/western yoga instructors. I want a quiet, unpretentious little Indian man, not a breathy, phony-ass New-Age hottie in tight yoga clothes, which is what I had in a class last night. After 7 years of yoga, I'm DONE.