So, on a recommendation from some of my Internet friends, I decided to give yoga a try. If you're having trouble picturing my angry, hate-swearing and occasionally violent ass participating in a yoga class, you're not alone. I felt the same way about it at first.
But, after taking a four-week intro class, followed by three hot yoga classes at another studio, I think I am ready to make some sweeping generalizations about yoga as a practice.
It really works at calming you
How do I know? Simple:
On the fourth week of my intro to yoga class, a spider fell onto my mat. It was a small spider, but given the angle at which he dropped onto my mat, it's entirely possible that he fell not from the ceiling, but from the top of my head.
Ordinarily, when faced with the prospect that a spider may have fallen onto my head and then onto the ground right in front of me, I probably would have freaked out just a little bit.
But instead, I was totally calm. I looked at the spider and thought, "I probably should not crush this spider right here in the middle of yoga class. I bet that would go over badly -- killing one of God's creatures or whatever." So instead I decided to flick him off my mat and let him continue on with his life somewhere farther away from me.
I flicked him as gently as I could, but it was still apparently hard enough to separate three of his legs from his body. He crawled around in a circle in the middle of the room before eventually succumbing to his wounds, and I continued to do yoga on the mat next to the three spider legs he had abandoned. At no point did my heart rate rise at all.
Also, yesterday at hot yoga I knocked over my open 1L water bottle, and instead of screaming "F***" as loud as possible, I just quickly threw my towel and shirt over the spreading puddle of water and cleaned it up before most people even had a chance to notice and judge me.
It is possible to be ridiculously flexible in some random body parts and embarrassingly inflexible in others
Yoga involves a lot of flexibility, especially in body parts that you don't really think much about being flexible or inflexible. I was a ballerina for a very long time in my youth, and so my body still holds on to some of that flexibility. My hamstrings? Awesome; I can put my face on my shins and kind of do the splits and all that happy horsepoo. Everyone in the class was all "dammmmmmnnnnnn" because they were jealous of my awesomeness.*
*nobody has ever been jealous of me except in my own head
My sides? NOPE. Put my arms over my head and lean one way or the other in the correct form and I could barely get past vertical. Same with leaning back. Everyone retracted their previous "dammmmmmmnnnnn."
I could only do one of these. The other two made me look like your Grandpa Joe trying to do the monkey bars.
Also, it turns out my arms aren't flexible at all? I always thought doing the splits up a wall was the ultimate sign of flexibility ... but then I saw people looking like this ...
... and I realized I'm wound up tighter than a piano string. The good news is that my quads, calves and hip flexors are really flexible, though, so ... yeah. That's pretty impressive too.
Whatever bitch, anyone can do that. Let's see you stretch those CALVES out though. I bet I could beat you.
Men who are super good at yoga are weird
Prepare for some sexism, kiddos.
Men should absolutely participate in yoga. It is beneficial for both genders.
But when I see a guy who is super duper good at yoga -- like, REALLY good -- I find that really weird and off-putting. Why are you so good at yoga? How are you so flexible? What's your story, weird guy?
There was a guy in hot yoga this weekend who was doing all the most advanced poses and doing the splits all over the place. You know those side bend stretches? He could bend his body over until his torso formed a 90 degree angle with his legs, like the girl in the picture above but with his feet together (which makes it harder).
Naturally, I assumed he was probably a serial killer. I don't trust men who can do the splits.
How many has he killed? HOW MANY??!?!?
There will ALWAYS be people who try to look cute
Hot yoga is not a good place to try to pick up members of the opposite sex. It's just not.
It is 105 degrees in that room, and you are working hard pretty much the entire time. The first time I went, I did not wear a headband, and I regretted it as I frantically tried to wipe sweat from my eyes before it blinded me. The second time, I learned my lesson and wore a super awesome 80's style sweatband on my head.
I also learned that it's better to wear pants that come to at least the knee, even though IT IS 105 DEGREES IN THERE, because sometimes you need to pull on your leg and it's awfully hard to get a grip with a sweaty hand against a sweaty leg. So, short-shorts are impractical.
By the end of class, you will have sweat through every article of clothing you are wearing. Many people take their shirts off (I did too), but then you will have rivers of sweat running down your body and pooling in your belly button. If you did any drinking the night before, everyone will know it. If you had any makeup on, it will be all over your face like a clown by the time class ends. You will not smell fresh, no matter how much deodorant you put on. (well, maybe if you put deodorant on every square inch of flesh? But that would be insane)
AND YET ... there were still people there who were obviously trying to look good.
There was a guy who had clearly done his hair. You know, with hair product.
Your sweat is going to make that Axe hair gel run into your eyeballs.
There was a girl in the smallest little shorts I've ever seen, with eye makeup on.
"Ready to get my sweat on!"
There was a girl who started out class with her hair down. It makes me shudder to even think about it. Long-haired women know what I'm talking about ... your hair is down and it's touching your skin directly. Your body starts to sweat ... a lot. Your hair soaks up the sweat like a sponge. The moisture continues to climb up your hair, and it gets heavy, stringy, and limp. It gets completely stuck to you, and every time you move, the hair has to drag along through your sweat to move with your head.
Pictured: one of those most unpleasant and uncomfortable things I can even imagine. My neck is twitching just looking at this picture, imagining sweaty gobs of hair glued to it.
Why the f*** didn't this chick put her hair in a bun. Oh god.
I forgot what I was even talking about. What does a panic attack feel like? I might be having one.