Yukking It Up At Yoga? Yup.

After my failed attempt at meditation, I thought yoga might be a great alternative in my continuing self-improvement quest to find inner peace and reduce my stress. After all, I know lots of people who now engage in this 5,000-year-old practice, it seems like a great non-aerobic exercise, and I like the clothing that goes along with it.

Yep, I thought all signs pointed to yoga being for me.

I was wrong – again.

Because I had not attempted yoga since a very brief foray into this activity decades ago and I’m not very limber, I figured I better start at the beginning with a novice class that moved slowly so I wouldn’t hurt – or embarrass – myself more than usual.

The first hurdle was finding the yoga studio, however. I still laugh when I think about how the co-worker I had persuaded to meet me there and I spent so much time criss-crossing the target area, on our cell phones with each other, as we tried to find it. “It’s gotta be here,” my friend insisted. I was beginning to think I was the victim of one big karmic joke again.

Finally, we spotted the tiny sign and hurdled into the building, rushing toward empty yoga mats 10 minutes after the class had begun with an opening meditation and explanations. The rest of the class looked horrified and we realized we had committed only the first of many yoga faux pas when we were advised people don’t do yoga in sneakers and socks.

As the instructor then led us through a slow and gentle sequence of poses designed to unblock our chakras – seven areas of the body where she said our energy gathered – I thought maybe I finally had an explanation to why I felt so tired lately: blocked chakras, of course! I hoped my spiffy new yoga clothing wasn’t making the situation worse.

Needless to say, my friend and I giggled throughout the class as we failed miserably at posing, meditating and balance. More than once we nearly tumbled to the floor, almost taking the other one down with us. It was not a pretty sight. And when the instructor spoke about us exercising our inner organs, our eyes widened. Since both of us freely admit we have problems exercising the visible portions of our body, it seemed highly doubtful that we’d succeed with the inner parts either.

When the teacher said in a soothing voice, “Listen to what your body wants and act on it,” I doubt she suspected mine was saying, “I’d really like a beer and some nachos right now.”

By the end of the class, my friend and I weren’t sure yoga was going to work for us but since we had stumbled into the last class of the beginner’s series, we decided to wait until the next group of lessons to make our decision. By the time that occurred a few weeks later, I had learned our health insurance would reimburse us for the classes and my desire to get my money’s worth from my new yoga clothes had become stronger than my memories of the humiliation. Since my co-worker was unavailable, I went alone and was quite proud of myself for rushing enough to arrive on time and for remembering this was an activity done barefoot.

I was still congratulating myself during the meditative opening section when I glanced down and noticed my yoga pants didn’t look quite right. I peered closer.

They were inside out.

It took every ounce of restraint not to laugh out loud and then flee into the restroom to fix this problem. But rather than risk the humiliation of my classmates suspecting I had a very weak bladder, I spent the rest of the class yanking the bottom of my shirt down over the protruding tags to hide the potential humiliation from them knowing I was such a yoga failure that I couldn’t even dress myself correctly.

Meanwhile, I wondered which chakras were now getting blocked and whether I ought to try a different activity to reduce stress.

Maybe kick-boxing. Stay tuned.

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