So I've been SUPER excited to start going to some classes at my new office-gym, and Thursday evening I made it to my first class. Friends, I present to you Random Thoughts About Yoga, in No Particular Order.
- If you are new to / out of practice at yoga, get there early for a spot in the back so you can follow what everyone else is doing. You never know when the instructor will abandon you to walk around & correct people.
- Pay attention in case other people are all getting weird props that you don't have. Even if you don't know what they are for, it is just better to have them than not. Assume that all will be made clear in time. NB: This is true in most types of exercise. (ESPECIALLY running.*)
(Also, it was kind of funny to learn that they actually are called "props" officially, I can only assume because you literally use them to prop yourself up in certain poses.)
- I know you're not supposed to think about what you're "good at" & "bad at" in yoga, but two things: 1) You don't do 11 years of martial arts without learning to breathe like a champ, and 2) If it's an ab move, I am the winner, hands down. I can sit in boat for days. For DAYS, son. This concludes the list of yoga things that I am good at.
- I love how every yoga instructor I've ever had has always been like, "So now we're going to do [whatever pose]. [Meticulous discussion of pose]. Unless you don't want to. Which is totally cool. You do what you do." This instructor was particularly fond of the phrase, "You're doing healthy things for yourself just as you are."
- It's cool that people feel empowered to not do whatever it is the instructor is saying, but it does make it really, REALLY hard to figure out what the, um, most strongly suggested (?) movements are if you have trouble keeping up with & processing the verbal descriptions (I do) and/or are not super familiar with the short-hand (I am not).
- I really just could not help snickering to myself like a middle schooler any time he talked about loving yourself. Seriously, how do adults say stuff like that with a straight face? The first time I totally thought he was being ironic & then I remembered I was at yoga. I kept wondering if I was the only one thinking about this. (Also if I was the only one wondering about the subject of farting. I mean this guy was just getting all up behind people adjusting their poses, and I couldn't help thinking that what with all the crazy inhaling & exhaling sooner or later this was going to go very badly for him.)
- If you end up behind that one SUPER good yoga girl that there's inevitably one of in any given class, you win, because you can just do whatever she's doing (if you can) and no one can complain.
- It's incredibly difficult to get that 'no-mind' thing going on when the music keeps taking you back to an episode of Battlestar Galactica.
But seriously. I love yoga. I love yoga paired with running. I can't really get behind all the spiritual/self-love talk, but what I can tell you is that Thursday was the first time in a long time when I have come home after a run not feeling like a train wreck, which was exactly what I remembered & was hoping for again. Even my feet feel better.
So a couple of questions for the yogis in the room -
What do all the different types of yoga mean? I realize I could just google this, but I'm lazy. I know I don't want the bikram one, but I've been to classes described as "vinyasa," "hatha," & "flow," & as far as I can tell they are all the same. Am I missing something?
Seriously - What is the deal with farting in yoga? Surely this must happen. Does it totally kill the mood? Is there some sort of rosary you say to absolve yourself afterward?