I had my first ever yoga class last night. It’s supposed to be gentle yoga, but it smacked me up hard. I am now becoming one with my heating pads. I’m taking the yoga class through the nearby rec center. It’s a really small class, only 7 of us. And I’m not actually the youngest in the class! Huzzah!
I laid my thin yoga mat down on the hardwood floor, sat down, and said, “Nope,” and grabbed a thicker communal mat to lay under mine. I’ve always hated sitting on the floor, especially without something to lean against. So I sat there, waiting for class to begin and trying to figure out how to position my body — Criss cross applesauce, butterfly, pike, bent knees, pretzel sit. None of them felt comfortable, especially since I was also trying to hide how jacked up the bottoms of my feet were.
Class began with diaphragmatic breathing, which is easy for me. As long as I didn’t have to do anything else while doing this deep breathing, I was golden. But, of course, yoga doesn’t work that way. Very quickly I found myself trying to remember to breathe, rather than hold my breath, as we did core exercises and my body melodiously chanted, Fuu-uuck youuuuu. For the most part, I had to modify the poses. Each time I lifted my arms toward the heavens, I felt like Winnie the Pooh doing his daily exercises.
It was like a sauna in the room before class began, so I was drenched in sweat by the time we were doing mountain pose — I was a strong, sweaty mountain. I’m pretty sure I lost a pound just in water weight. The skinny woman next to me was wearing long sleeves and wasn’t breaking a sweat, while I was wiping my face and fanning myself. (I probably could have used a squeegee.) I felt like offering her some of my body fat to help insulate her, so she too could sweat out her stress, toxins, and the Easter candy she ate.
As the class stood, doing tree pose, I started feeling really good. I stood there, staring at the fuzzy, tan room divider and felt fantastic. My body was calm and my mind was quiet. I was a joyous tree, swaying in a gentle breeze. Of course, I didn’t have my leaves up while I was doing this swaying, but that just means that I was joyous to the very core of my trunk. So really, if you think about it, I was the best a tree pose because I didn’t need leaves to show how good I felt through swaying.
As class began to wind down, we made our way down to our mats. From a seated position, we engaged our core by slowly lowering our bodies to a laying position. I was immediately reminded of one of the reasons I had quit aerobics and strength training; the fibro tender points on my butt were pressed. I did my best not to yelp in pain, and adjusted my breathing to the rhythm of Fuck.. fuck.. owwwww, fuck.. fuck.. owwwww. But I had finally made it to the end — deep breathing while lying on my back. I was a little annoyed that I had to relax with my palms facing the ceiling, which isn’t a relaxing position for me, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . So I breathed and stared at the dim ceiling and listened to Enya’s May It Be and thought, That’s right, Enya. I am like Frodo.
Talking calmly through emergency room-level pain
Today, I’m pretty sure I was stabbed with white-hot pokers while I slept. I talked to my family normally through, what would be for a “normal” person, pain worthy of sending them to the ER. This is slightly inconvenient, as Zoë’s birthday party is this weekend, and the house is a complete wreck. (Although the house isn’t as big of a deal, so long as my father-in-law doesn’t mind stepping around boxes, toys, and crushed goldfish crackers and a kitchen that smells like a restaurant dumpster.) I know the more I do this, the easier and less painful it will become. And anyway, you know what they say:
Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you die a slow, agonizing death in the alleyway where it shivved ya.