I am one of the very few people in the world who does not in any way enjoy yoga unless I am lying flat on the ground with my limbs hanging calmly at my sides. That is the only yoga position I am good at and the only one I will do. I thought I’d be good at yoga. I thought that maybe if I signed up for a yoga-pilates class over Spring term that I might find a way to calm my inner self and get some exercise in at the same time. And oh my God I was absolutely wrong and hated myself for it. For starters, the yoga teacher is insanely hot with no flaw on her perfect fit body. She can talk without a break in her breath, even when she’s a human pretzel and holding herself off the ground with just her pinkies. Upon first seeing her incredibly toned butt and abs I was inspired and thought that I could definitely look like that by the end of the term. Let’s just say I was wrong about a lot of things during those past three months.
I didn’t make it to the first class, so that was a good start. But by the time I finally got myself out of bed at 8:30 in the morning and dragged my flat ass to class, I was ready to tackle any obstacles lying ahead. And the first thing I needed to do was place my mat in the very back of the class, all the way at the end so the least amount of people would see my red face trying to hold my body up in downward dog for 15 minutes. I sat down on my claimed territory, ignoring the glares from the other girls who were pissed that I had grabbed the best spot, and prayed that no muscular hot men would walk in. Instead I became surrounded by girls who wore tight yoga pants and shirts that proved to everyone that yes, they were fit and only taking yoga as a torturous pre-workout. I told myself that I wouldn’t let them get me down but the more I started to hate yoga the easier it was for me to make fun of them in my mind whenever I got the chance.
The teacher would always start the class by meditating, which is something I had proved to not be very good at. During my freshman year of college I decided to take a Meditation class at another attempt to calm my inner self and it did not go as planned. But I tried to block everything out of my mind and focus on my body. Except that when I focused on my body all I could think about were how my nose was itchy, and my back was aching from trying to trick everyone into thinking that I had a good posture, and my stomach sounded like a hungry hippo, and my feet were falling asleep beneath me. So I decided to have thoughts, but only positive ones. And that’s when my anxiety decided to tell me that I could not sit and have lovely thoughts to myself. So I started thinking of the bills I had to pay, and getting more hours at work, and missing home, and Jesus Christ I’ve been in this position for all of eternity.
“Downward Facing Dog,” the teacher would say in a mystical voice as she flawlessly changed positions so that her perfect butt was pointing straight up into the air like a trophy and mine was failing to fight gravity. Well this position hurts too. All of my blood was flowing to my hands and my toes were aching and I was praying to God that the pain would end. And when it did, and we tried another exercise, I was in a whole new kind of pain. Every class was like this until I started showing up with complete resentment towards the teacher who “promised” that it would get easier. I don’t think yoga ever gets easier. I think only masochists practice yoga everyday. But at the end of the class the teacher would turn off the lights and let us lie back with our eyes closed. I would fall asleep, every single time, and when everyone began packing up their stuff I would wake up feeling groggy and cranky and ready to tackle my next class with a vengeance.
Now yoga was hard enough for me as it is. What with my muscles feeling like they’re on fire and my shirt always slipping down to reveal every single one of my insecurities. But one day a man, who was very enthusiastic about yoga, decided to join our class and to my entertainment, was very vocal about how he felt about it. To say this guy enjoyed yoga would be an understatement. We began with our meditation exercise. Everyone is supposed to inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth. This man was sitting across the court from me and I could still hear his exhale as if he was right beside me. I don’t know if he was trying to expel his soul but I ignored it until we changed positions and he started to groan as if yoga was his lover and he hadn’t seen her in a very long time. I looked around me to see if anyone else noticed the orgasmic sounds coming from him but everyone had a straight face and seemed not to care. I’ve never been successful at trying not to laugh. Once I get going it’s harder and harder to stop. And with every groan, grunt, gasp, moan, and climax I was falling over with laughter.
I have no idea how the people next to him didn’t crack a smile. He sounded like a mating whale and with each position it grew louder and louder. He was as excited about yoga as much as I fucking hated it. And by the end of the term he had stopped coming and I was angrier than ever before. My limbs hated me, and my self esteem was at an all time low, and the days I could have slept in and not tortured myself were haunting me. But I’m proud of myself for trying it. Yoga may make me want to turn into the hulk and smash the nearest town to bits. But that’s just me. And if you’re one of those people who thinks yoga is all flowers and butterflies and letting go, then I applaud you, and if you’re like me, welcome, and I’m sorry that it hurt you.