I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt. (I know, I know – that’s what it’s there for, but I mean A. Lot. Of. Time.) My commute is generally 3+ hours a day in the car, and most of my movement during the workday constitutes walking from my desk to the kitchen to peruse the selection of free delicious food. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that my body is becoming stiffer and more inflexible than ever. It’s gotten to the point that my body has done more popping and locking by 10:00AM than an entire season’s worth of contestants on So You Think You Can Dance.
So, today, I’m going back to yoga. I’m putting it in writing on the internet because it will shame me into actually going and not getting sucked into a marathon of The Golden Girls on Lifetime, where I would “lose track of time” and miss the class I so desperately wanted to attend.
While getting off my ass might not be worthy of a gold star, it’s a pretty big step for me. I haven’t been to yoga in 3 years, because I was scarred for life by a really shitty yoga teacher. I’ll call her “Gertrude”.
I should have listened to my instincts before I even walked in the door. I’m pretty skeptical of service providers that claim to be all things to all people, and this place had a giant sign reading something along the lines of “Gertrude’s Yoga / Pilates / Massage / Reiki / Nail Art / Qwik Oil Change”. Still, against my better judgement, I went in.
I’m also a little skeptical (I know – me? Never!) about the spiritual aspect of yoga. I honestly think it’s fantastic that people practice yoga for that reason – I mean it. For me, though, yoga is a path to increased strength and flexibility. The smell of nag champa and tinkly piano/sitar music should have been my second warning. Still, it was 5 minutes from my house and I had a Groupon.
What happened afterwards is the chronicle of an abusive relationship. Not between me and Gertrude; but between me, myself, and I. Gertrude taught most of the classes sitting atop a stool in the corner where she barked out changes in position. She would use me as the “slow” example during class because I sometimes had to use props. She repeatedly made fun of me in front of other students for “breathing funny”. (Bitch, I didn’t make fun of you for the whuffling sounds you made while slurping your giant Coolatta during savasana. Don’t make fun of the way I breathe during allergy season.)
Want to know the absolute worst part? I KEPT GOING BACK. Why? I’m still scratching my head over that one. If I have a negative experience with a service provider, I’m not afraid to pull my business and tell everyone I know about it HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU @#$%^&ERS. So why didn’t I view Gertrude in the same light and take my business elsewhere?
Anyhow, after much gentle nudging from Mr. Seeking Ambition, I’ve been researching yoga studios in my area. This was oddly more difficult than I thought it would be. Most studios around me offer their classes between 10:00AM-2:00PM Monday-Friday, because apparently the female denizens of my town don’t have to work.
However, I found a place that looks promising. The class I’m going to today is “designed for those who think that yoga is not for them due to stiffness, inflexibility or other condition”. (Is snarkiness a “condition”?) And if my instructor is Gertrude’s sister Heloise, I’ll just find another place to go.
Wish me luck!