Saturday, September 15, 2007

I started Yoga this week. I haven't done yoga for about 5 years, so needless to say, I am rusty.

I know there are people who absolutely love yoga, and I am fully aware of the benefits, but there are some things about yoga that people don't tell you - just like there are some ugly bits about pregnancy and childbirth that you only find out about through experience.

Here's my yoga experience.

This is a beginner class, so it is really basic. The class focusses on breathing and stretching the muscles, so I won't be expected to put my ankle behind my head in this session. Good thing, because there is little chance I could get my thigh over my head without knocking myself out.

So we start with breathing into the stomach. No problem. Then we work on breathing into the sternum (ie rib cage) and the chest. Ummmm....what? Have you seen me? I haven't seen my ribs in 4 years and after 2 kids my chest has sort of worked itself downward into that region. I cannot tell the difference. I think I'm breathing into the sternum, but then I feel my boobs hit my chin, so I'm not sure. No matter, I'll just keep going.

The legs & butt are next. Various streches and bends and twists. I am pretty flexible, so that's not the issue. What happens is my thighs get in the way (sigh...again). It may not look like it, but my butt is on the floor and my legs are up in the air. It's just tough to tell where they separate.

But believe me, my lower back knows the difference, because it is now starting to hurt. I've messed things up by shifting the weight. My legs, so used to taking the brunt of my bulk, are now laughing their...well....ass off, because they are happily in the air enjoying a break while the back is groaning.

And I've completely lost focus on my breathing. Why? Because as I bring my legs to my chest, I'm focussing on one other thing: trying not to pass gas. Think about it - how do you relieve a baby's gas? By bringing their legs up to the chest and moving the legs around. JUST LIKE IN YOGA!!! Why wouldn't it have the same effect on adults?

Still, I keep trying the stretches, while trying not to let one go. And eventually we move on to the arms and back which turned out to be really uneventful.

I think for next week, I'll do some knee bends at home before I go to class. Let all the gas out before I get there. That way, I can concentrate on feeling and listening to my body. I'm pretty sure I know what my body will be saying - and I don't think that kind of language is appropriate in a yoga class.