A lot of people here in the UK seem surprised when I tell them that I've never practiced yoga in my life. Like, never. I know my brown exorcist limbs would give one the impression that I came shooting out of the womb in a warrior pose but that could not be further from the truth.
For one, I never shot out of my mother's woumb despite being a tiny baby weighing no more than 2.5 kgs. Now that I think of it, I probably was doing some sort of yoga pose in there (the Firefly perhaps?) because they had to take a scalpel to my poor mother's unsuspecting belly to get me out. And two, ...I've lost my train of thought. Too many failed attempts to access my brain. Try again in fifteen minutes.
Anyway, one of my new years' resolutions was to workout in a proper class environment twice a week as opposed to just once, and to try out something I've never done before. So I finally decided to gain some knowledge in a subject area that some people might assume I already have a Ph.D. in and signed up for a yoga class.
My first class was last Thursday.
My biggest take away so far: OMG THE STUDIO HAS TWO AMAZING SHOWERS - DO I HAVE THE DISCIPLINE AND WILL POWER TO GO TO CLASS IN THE MORNING BEFORE WORK JUST SO I CAN USE THEM?
Probably need to work on some priorities there.
Every time I have been involved in any form of physical activity in a class environment, I've always placed myself on the front row, smack-dab in the middle of the room where I can properly see my instructor. My mental justification is that I'm a tiny person whose exercise potential could be minimised by the presence of someone in front of me, even if they're just an inch taller than me. Moreover, I'm always certain that I'm the tiniest person in the room so my being at the front would disrupt no one's view. I could go on.
But being naturally competitive at all times and fairly confident in my fitness levels most of the time, I've always been quite comfortable in the center of the room. That is until my first ever yoga class.
I wish I'd joined a beginners class that would have eased me into the physical demands of this particular kind of exercise my mother is fond of (she's the stereotype you're thinking of when you look at me) but I was too late to join the January block. So instead, I went to a slightly more demanding one-off class that they said would be fine for beginners who are okay with moderate levels of rising heart-rates. I'm more than fine with my heart rate going up during a workout but boy do I wish I'd checked if I could do a backflip from my kitchen counter while reaching for a fizzy drink in my fridge before the class. Because as it turns out, this body might be just as inflexible as the personality it contains.
It didn't take me long to realise that I couldn't even touch the back of one arm with the palm of the other, let alone touch my toes while seated with my legs flat and horizontal on my mat. And all these realisations came pouring down on me while I was, you guessed it, smack dab in the middle of the room, surrounded by absolute goddesses who transitioned from pose to pose with easy grace. And speaking of toes, I would like to announce to the internet that I wore socks to my first yoga class. Why? Because I'm self-conscious about my toes and I know nothing about yoga.
So as you can imagine, halfway through a downward dog, my socks started to come off. And as I began to clumsily rock from side to side with my butt in the air, my instructor stopped everything she was doing to come yank those socks off my feet, thus revealing my dick-stubs for all to see.
We coined the term "dick-stubs" in reference to my toes last night as two of my friends and I were catching up over dinner. I was relating this humiliation to them and describing how my toes start off looking lean and thin from the base only to mushroom at the tips. Literally like a penis. I have five tiny penises for toes on each foot. If that doesn't paint an adequate word picture, I don't know what will.
Anyway, setting all those insecurities aside for some time, I'm about to go to my second yoga class this evening. Being the knucklehead that I am, I've gone and chosen what might turn out to be a slightly more intense class than last time without considering the repercussions of this decision on my self-esteem. Right now, my ego is as big as the pinky-dick on my left foot - the "deformed one" as Shane pointed out recently while examining that particular toenail.
This one is going to be 'power yoga', a kind of 'hard yoga' where "you won’t need the skills of a gymnast" but will be made to work really really hard, according to their app. This class is open to absolute beginners who're up for a challenge and I'm not sure my pinky-dick ego is ready for that yet.
Any tips on how to get better or stories of getting better over time would be most welcome right now! And thank you very much for reading till the end of this whine-fest.
Update: Thanks to all of you who reached out and enriched my life with the knowledge of the existence of YOGA SOCKS. They're just what the dick-stubs need, thanks!