Yoga, and Becoming "ONE"
Thursday, July 30, 2009
today I thought I would do a new thing. I would do a Yoga video. I am not going to tell you where I found this video, because I hold you in higher regard than that. Suffice that I will never do this video again.
I always think of Yoga as soothing, relaxing and calming. Of becoming "ONE" with the Universe. Of gaining grace, poise and peace. Of walking tall, straight and smoothly, the essence of tranquility in flowing white clothing with Yoga type leather sandals. I do not own such an outfit.
To begin, this guy with such a gentle voice begins telling me all the benefits I will receive within the next 20 minutes. I will become "aware", and will have clarity in my thinking for the rest of the day. I will be "ONE" with the Universe, and be able to feel my breath flowing gently through my body. I will be serene.
Then the instructions begin. He uses words I have never heard of to describe what I am supposed to be doing. Then out comes these three beautiful, skinny perfectly-poised young ladies, all in their one piece stretch yoga outfits, and they seem to have no difficulty in understanding his words.
I watch their moves, and do the "monkey see-monkey do" thing, figuring that after time, I, too, will be able to understand his words. I am doing this side bend thing, and concentrating on feeling my breathing enter into my back rib cage, and it feels good. I close my eyes for greater concentration. Yes, indeed, it does feel good, but when am I supposed to stop??
Opening my eyes, I see they are now down on the mat. When did he say to get down on the mat?? They are doing this thing where they bring up their right foot in between their hands while having the left foot (my ignorant side) stretched way out in the back, on my toes. Ok. I am willing to try that. Just a tiny little problem. My right foot doesn't reach up to the area between my hands. Oh. Wait a minute. I am supposed to be on my FINGERTIPS. Ok. I try to grab my leg and pull it up closer to my hands, and body says "Listen up, Chicky-Babe! Any more of THIS and we are going to tip over"! But I try just a teeny tiny bit more, and we tip over.
Moving on to what they are doing now. I don't remember them saying anything about standing up. But they are indeed up, at the front of their pretty mats, and they are spreading their arms wide and then reaching up to push the ceiling with their clasped fingers. Ok. I can do that. I am reaching up, feeling my breath flowing through the body when I hear him say "Embrace the shins".
EMBRACE THE SHINS???? Did he really say that? I peek, and sure enough, there they all are, bending over and embracing their SHINS. I have never embraced my shins in my entire life. I have banged them up, cut them, bruised them, shaved them, and put sun tan lotion on them. But I have never embraced them.
Keeping an open mind, I try to embrace my shins. I am doing great to be able to touch them, for goodness sakes! I finally get my hands around to the back, and am clutching my calves for all their are worth, when I hear "Push the ceiling up with your entwined fingers". Letting go of my calves, I struggle to straighten up and entwine my fingers and reach up.
This is much better. I like pushing the ceiling. I close my eyes, feeling my breath flowing down the courses of my body, and I am at peace. I am definitely "in tune".
What?? They are embracing their shins again. I try again, and this time realize I should be focusing on what he is saying in his smooth, gentle voice. I am feeling the breath flowing down my spine, but can't get it to flow down my legs. Maybe I am clutching my calves too tight, and shutting off the circulation? Relaxing my death grip on my calves, which I am sure will be a nice navy blue tomorrow where my fingers were, I pull myself up to standing. He inanely says to pull ourselves up slowly. Listen, Buster! I couldn't pull myself up any other way BUT slowly! You arenearly crippling me!
Onward to a new move. We tuck our elbows into the crook of our other arm, then wind the arms together like a serpent. Right. I finally get my arms all entwined, and now am supposed to be bending over and feeling the "gentle breathing flow across the upper back". I feel my muscles ripping apart back there. Straightening up, we do it all over, this time with the other arm slithering its way up into agony. My shoulders and back are screaming in righteous pain, while I am closing my eyes and trying to focus on the gentle breath flowing.
Opening my eyes, I now see they are down on the mat again. I wish this guy would speak English and use words I know the meaning of! But I get down, and then I am supposed to get up on my toes with my legs straight back while my arms are in the position to do pushups. I am becoming suspicious of this stuff. I take another peak, and there they are, doing the Dolphin Pose. I get my butt up in the air, my head is on the mat, and now I am supposed to be up on my toes. I have my eyes closed for greater concentration, because he is saying all this stuff about the breath and flow and becoming ONE. I don't feel like ONE. I am sliding forward on my mat, and it is pulling my hair out. My toes are quivering. My arms are shaking. I am DEFINITELY not ONE!!
I finally lower my wrecked body to the floor, rub the places where my hair was pulled out, and get my great moment of sanity: TURN THE DAMNED VIDEO Off!
I find myself sneering with an evil gleam in my eye, reach out, and shut that sucker off.
Limping over to the CD player, I flick that on. I twist. I shout. I sing. I have ARRIVED! I am now ONE!!