I Came, I Saw, I Yoga-ed!

As I entered the dimly lit room, my nerves were erupting. Ironic right? The stressed guy tries yoga to alleviate stress, and it nearly makes his heart beat out of his chest. But if you read my previous post, To Yoga or Not to Yoga, an Idea to Ponder, you’ll recall that I apprehensively agreed to try it out. As a man of my word, I parked my pride at the door and gave it a shot. Rather than give you a complete step-by-step encounter, I decided it would be more enjoyable to document the painfully awkward moments that marked the experience. I present to you, my first series of unfortunate yoga events:

The mat placement incident: So here’s the deal with yoga classes; if it’s your first time, show up early. If not, all of the spots in back corners (where you won’t be seen) will be taken. I had to set up shop smack dab in the middle of the classroom. Off to a bad start.

The “it’s cool, I’m not the only guy” incident: As I had hoped, there was one other man in the class. Considering my previous insecurities, this was a huge plus. I made eye contact and gave him the universally recognized “bro nod”1. He bro nodded back as if to say, “Yeah man, yoga is straight gangsta.”

The “I can’t even sit right” incident: I knew I was in trouble when everyone sat on their mat and instantly pulled off some variation of “criss-cross applesauce”2 where their feet were pretzled into their hips. Upon attempting this maneuver, I barely got my feet to my lap, and immediately fell on my side. The woman next to me chuckled and told me I was funny. Unfortunately, this comedic gaffe was not intentional, but I played it off like it was. Yoga class clown might be my calling.

The “my downward dog doesn’t fit” incident: I had to borrow a yoga mat, and had never actually seen one rolled out before. Apparently they’re designed for people the size of a 6 year-old child. I’m about 6’2, and have zero bending ability, so when it came time to do a downward dog, my feet stood on the back of the mat, and my hands were about 2 feet in front of it. At this point, the woman next to me realized I was never trying to be funny, I’m just wretched at yoga.

The “warrior’s pose” incident: As I had stated in my last post, I went into this with a friend (I call her “Uber Healthy Co-worker”). About mid-way through the class, it came time to try the warrior’s pose3. For the first time in this experience, I thought to myself, “Yes, I am nailing this pose!” But all of a sudden, I heard giggling from Uber Healthy Co-worker. I whispered, “Why are you laughing?” Her reply was, “I don’t know, seeing you in warrior pose is hilarious.” Confusion ran high, and all confidence in my warrior’s pose went out the window.

The post game: It was awkward, uncomfortable, and extraordinarily difficult. But after we wrapped up and “found our chi,” I felt incredible. Every muscle in my body seemed to exude a warming sensation, and my mind was completely blank. I hadn’t felt that relaxed in years. Despite the fact that my flexibility was pathetic compared to the yoga pros in my class, the session pushed my limits to places they’d never been before. So despite feeling (and probably looking) confused and defeated for most of the class, the after-effects were totally worth it.

Will I do yoga again? Absolutely! Based on my debut performance, things can only get better. And, as life gets more and more stressful, I’m going to crave the relaxed feeling I had after the class. If you’ve never given it a whirl, I highly recommend it. If you’re worried about making a fool out of yourself, I wouldn’t worry. Yoga folks are a pretty friendly crowd, and my classmates seemed to enjoy having a yoga disaster in their midst.

If you’re a yoga pro, I’d love some suggestions for next steps. There are about a million types of classes, I’d love to know which one to try next.

1 A bro nod is a non-verbal form of communication between males in uncomfortable situations. A bro nod suggests an understanding that since the other male is also in this uncomfortable position, you can both retain your masculinity. Common places for bro nods include: a theatre where a romantic comedy is being shown, women’s clothing stores, yoga classes.

2 Criss-Cross Applesauce is a term everyone learns in Kindergarten then inexplicably uses it for the rest of their life. Basically, it’s sitting cross legged on the floor, and there’s no reason for any reference to applesauce.  

3 Warrior’s pose simulates a Keanu Reeves, Matrix style “I’m about to kick you in the face” move. Of all the yoga poses I tried, this one definitely had the most street cred.

Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Way to go! Keep going and just embrace all that you’ve experienced so far and all that you’ll gain in the future. It’s like anything else – if you don’t try it, you’ll never know if it has any benefit. You’re now ready for hot yoga….fun post!

    Reply
  2. Picky Eater

     /  July 25, 2012

    I love this post, and the fierce photos are the icing on the cake! Seriously though, this reminded me that I don’t always like the actual yoga workout, but you nothing beats how great you feel when you’re done with it. You’ve inspired me to get back into the practice of it.

    Reply
  3. Charis

     /  July 24, 2012

    I think you are ready for Hard Core Yoga. Awesome post.

    Reply
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