Full of enthusiasm from my first Yoga Project installment Friday, and with rain in the forecast, my plan was to attend another class over the weekend. But when I woke up on Saturday morning, all those down dogs were barking at me. Specifically in the shoulder region. I decided to clean the house and bake cookies instead. Sunday dawned cloudy but dry — twelve miles and two tired feet later, the couch looked really attractive. So it wasn’t until Monday that the Project could continue.
DAY 2: Monday, September 30, 4:00 pm
It’s raining lightly as I come into the studio and put my shoes into the cubby. I’ve rushed over here from across town, and I really have to go. The “washroom,” as they call it in Canada, is at the back (front) of the room, and I realize that this is a calmer area than the thoroughfare near the props where I have set up my stuff. Next time.
There are again about thirty or so people in the room — not packed, but there are a lot of bodies in here. The instructor, a short, muscle-bound Asian guy wearing a tight baseball shirt, comes in and we get started.
This class is much faster-paced than Friday’s. We morph ourselves from dogs to planks to warriors, bend into triangles, perch like pigeons. Since I have a hard enough time hearing when I’m right-side up, much less when I’m upside-down, I follow the girl next to me, who seems familiar with the routine. The instructor doesn’t do many of the poses, mainly wanders around telling us to go from one thing to the next.
And then he’s next to me, adjusting my body, pointing my hips more forwards and down in the triangle pose. I thought you were supposed to go sideways, as if your back was sliding along a wall behind you, in triangle! This is mortifying – I’m being outed as pathetic in front of all these people. After Friday’s class I had thought maybe I was okay at this – a regular yoga person. Wrong! I’m a “case” after all. My face feels hot and my eyes sting. I steel myself and carry on.
But then, lo and behold, a strange thing happens. During a seated forward bend, the instructor comes up to the young limber thing next to me and pushes gently against her lower back, easing her further into the bend. I thank whatever deity is involved with this that he’s helping her and not me, because this is one of those really agonizing poses for those of us in the “hamstring-challenged” crowd. But she is clearly a regular yoga person. She’s not pathetic. Could my interpretation of his intervention — that I’m a hopeless case — be just a wee bit off the mark? I relax a bit.
When I come out of the studio the rain has stopped and the sun is shining. Despite that bit of anxiety and the faster pace of the class, I feel pretty good. No, I feel fine. I am okay at this.
Here’s the whole project: