Friday, March 27, 2009

Taking A Yoga Class: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I hate yoga. I tried it once with my fiancee Ramona for 10 minutes on a tape, and I figured out something about myself:

I don't bend.

So why did I recently agree to go with Ramona to a Saturday afternoon yoga class? Honestly, I don't know. I didn't do anything to make her angry, I had plenty of brownie points from past good deeds, and it's not like me not going would've put a permanent dent in the relationship.

And yet I went. To make her happy.

I'm a wonderful, wonderful guy.


So off we go:


We get to the yoga studio. What does the sign outside the building say?


Makes sense.


Here's something you realize early on in the class: Everything has weird-sounding, 18-syllable names. "Crouching-lounging-tubba-wabba-maca-wakie-anna-cabana-pose" means lie down.

Is there a reason why we can't teach in English? Is this against yoga code?


Exactly how does one breathe through the torso? Everyone seems to be handling this particular instruction from the teacher pretty easily but me. Apparently, it involves spreading your legs, sucking in your gut, pointing your elbows, and making some sort of whistling sound.

Can someone tell me what the hell this is supposed to achieve?


Why does this teacher feel the need to give a 10-minute speech while I'm holding a half push-up pose? It's hard enough trying to keep my arms steady with my butt halfway in the air, but having to listen to someone talk about "walking down the path to inner sanctuary" is really not helping things any.

"Inner sanctuary." Sounds boring. Like visiting Arkansas.


OK, we're halfway through this 90-minute class and I'm ready to die. I work out regularly and thus am in pretty good shape, but right now I am swaying back and forth with my left knee pointing straight and my right knee pointing northeast to find "harmony in the soul of the spirit" or something or other.

I really want to crouch-lounge-tubba-wabba-maca-wakie-anna-cabana.


This poor teacher. She's come to me 5-6 times to try to correct my poses and we're just not on the same page. She wants me to move my hip forward, and at this point I have no idea what "forward" is. Plus, my knee was bent (yes, I'm bending now) and I didn't even know it and she wanted me to not bend my knee and I thought I wasn't bending my knee but I was bending my knee because I couldn't feel my knee.

And I'm still not moving my hip forward.


We're back to doing the crouching-lounging-tubba-wabba-maca-wakie-anna-cabana-pose and we're being asked to "see out of our third eye."



Lord almighty, we're ohming. Seriously. We are saying "ohm." Not once, not twice, but three times. What possible purpose can this serve? And how is everybody doing this with a straight face?

And you know what else is weird? I'm really bad at ohming. I just don't have the vocal cords for a good ohm. Is it a cultural thing? Did I not have the proper ohm upbringing? Is there a separate ohm class taught here that I can take to improve my skills?



That means we're done.

Expect I can't stop crouching-lounging-tubba-wabba-maca-wakie-anna-cabana-posing.

And my knees remain numb.

Did my hip ever move forward?

Someone should check.


And now for this week's:


At my work earlier this week, our coffee maker broke.

Now I don't drink coffee, so for me this goes under the "who gives a damn category." But you should see the coffee addicts at my work. You'd have thought the world was coming to an end. Every day now starts with them on a mass exodus to Starbucks. They all walk in a line, like sheep.

Or folks in a prison line.


Mike said...

See, this is EXACTLY why I can't do yoga classes. I love doing yoga on my own, where I can control the pace and the poses, and I don't have to deal with fake hippy spiritual BS. I get to do things like grunt in a manly way when a pose is hard, and breathe semi-normally (I do try and not breathe really hard, but certainly not "through my torso"). Also, I of course don't feel self-conscious at all doing yoga alone; in fact, it's rather calming.

I love yoga; heck, after doing it twice a week for one month in college, I was able to touch my toes for the first time and have always been able to since. But classes, not so much.

random coffee marcher said...


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