Friday, January 30, 2009

Pretzelling with a purpose

So ever since my slightly over-enthusiastic Sunday morning at the gym I've been feeling very tired. I kept going but I found that while once I got into it I still enjoyed myself, I was tired and not doing very well and basically just not 'feeling' it. I had promised myself a while ago that while I may skip gym if I have something else planned (within reason) I am NOT allowed to skip just because I don't want to. I also end to feel really awful about myself if I skip gym and I battle to sleep. On Wednesday, after a particularly traumatising session on Tuesday (some guy TALKED to me! Did he not understand the universal signal of BACK OFF that I was sending out by wearing earphones?) I left university early so I figured I could go to gym before dinner rather than y usual of going before bed. I checked the little timetable I grabbed a few weeks ago and saw that there was a 6:30pm yoga class.

So I thought 'great! that's nice and while not gentle, not too strenuous and it's something different because I need a break from my usual routine!' so I went home, lay down for a bit, changed and headed off to yoga. Wow. I can't believe I said that!

I should have known it was going to end badly when the instructor was 20 minutes late. Actually I should have got out of there when ten minutes after the class was supposed to start, one of the people (all girls except one guy who was enjoying himself a little bit too much...) jumped up and very perkily announced that we should start warming up. Most of the rest of the people agreed and then proceeded to start doing all kinds of weird pseudo-dance moves, accompanied by some rather heavy breathing. I did yoga when I was in high-school so I was a little bit shocked to see some of what they were doing, as it was way beyond anything I'd ever done. Worried that I had stumbled into an advanced class I checked the timetable on the board, but it just said "Yoga" so I sat and tried to think calm thoughts.

The instructor (who I would have mistaken for just another soccer-mom if it wasn't for the way everyone else flocked around her, and the weird flowy scarves she was wearing) arrived after about 20 minutes and we got started. Firstly, it was TOTALLY an advanced class, in everything but name. secondly, having any kind of a sense of humour is very detrimental to having any kind of sense of balance! So I did my best, falling over periodically, particularly when the instructor tried to tell us stories of her training with "Swami Vanuatu" and how we should practice at home (yes, of course I want to twist my spine into unnatural positions with nobody around to help me!) as we become passionate about postures (and that's a quote).

When it got really insane I refused and sat and watched as I have fieldwork coming up, and chasing lizards with a broken wrist isn't a very good idea. At one stage they were doing the "little bird" or "crane" posture and I had to watch as one girl fell and landed beautifully on her collarbone with her knees still firmly wedged into her armpits. For some reason I was the only person doing any kind of sympathetic flinching!

There was also lots of twisting into weird positions and then somehow stretching your arms around to hold hands while your left arm is wrapped around your right knee which is somewhere around your left ear... i tried, I did not succeed and after two days i still ave trouble bending over or stretching to reach a high shelf or anything.

I am quite sad at the way it turned out. I did yoga in high school and absolutely loved it (although I used to go with friends who were just as giggly as me, so we spent most of the time falling over) and I think that a lot of the stuff they were doing was really cool, particularly in the impromptu warm-up session, where it was almost like watching dancers (with a lot of double-joints) practising. It's sad that I won't be returning to yoga classes there as I didn't feel safe or comfortable and I don't want to get hurt, and even if I try a different session it's with the same instructor and I really didn't like her. And Swami Vanuatu? Really?

At the same time I love going to gym, and I hated the fact that I left there feeling useless. and as long as I want to keep exercising I have to hold on to the fact that I actually do enjoy it and not that I don't feel good enough because I can't wrap my legs behind my head while holding myself up with one finger. Now it is Friday and I'm still sore though, so I guess the bits that I did manage were very effective!

Oh and it; feeing and pouring with rain here at the moment. What's up with that? It made for a very exciting walk through Braamfontein yesterday, but I'll write about that another time!


SuvvyGirl said...

LOL I this gave me some extremely funny pictures in my mind!! I tried going through a 30 min Namaste Yoga thing on the fitness channel on tv one time and thought I was going to paralyze myself. Now I have the Wii Fit and the Yoga on there looks and feels so much better. Although my sense of balance and the sense of balance the Wii thinks I should have are completely different things :P

Candice said...

The "little bird" is impossible! Seriously! If humans were meant to be able to balance their body weight on only their hands while resting their knees on their elbows, it would make sense... But I've never been able to do it!

My yoga teacher warns us about how "challenging" postures are and tells us to do the beginner's versions rather than the advanced ones, while reminding us that if we crack a collarbone, we have no one to blame but ourselves, since we signed our indemnity forms!

Kath Lockett said...

That yoga class teacher sounds almost irresponsible;or the person who just wrote 'yoga' does. There needs to be some clear information on what level is required and as for doing it at home..... sheer stupidity...!

Actually, it wasn't the positions during yoga (yep, did it for a couple of years) that terrified me; it was letting out a fart during some of the 'now bend down' poses that invariably got me into trouble. :)