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I hated my first yoga class. A friend dragged me there, promising a physical and spiritual awakening. I was so bored. I kept looking at the clock and wondered if the yoga spirits were preventing the minutes hand from moving forward. One hour and 35 minutes. There isn’t much in life that I want to do for more than an hour and a half. Certainly, not chanting, meditating and stretching.

But after I gave birth to my first child, I was looking for something to rejuvenate my mind and body. A difficult, cranky baby can even make an A-type personality like myself ache for some quiet and solitude. So I made my way to the yoga mat again and tried more vigorous forms of the practice. This time it became an addiction.

I am hardly the ideal yogi. First of all, I hate that word “yogi.” It kind of makes me cringe, like the word “delicious” when describing something other than food. I had such a delicious walk in the sunshine. Icky. Anywho (is it just me today or is that annoying too?), enough of my literary pet peeves, back to my life as a sub par yogi.

During the chanting/spiritual message, I am anxious to get started. I get irritable if the beginning rituals drag on too long. During the class, I often forget to breathe and definitely don’t inhale and exhale at the correct times. Then comes savasana (a short restful time at the end of the class) and my mind is restless. The instructor reminds us to focus on our breath and quiet the chatter in our minds. But my brain endlessly wanders. I think of horrible things like what if something happened to one of my children? Or unexplainable things like after your child takes her first bite of sand, why does she go back for more mouthfuls?

Sometimes my husband thinks I’ve joined some kind of yoga cult. Luckily, he hasn’t noticed any of the big donations I’ve made to Yoga Sutra. He’s certainly happy that it makes his tired wife less cranky. So am I. Namaste to that.

2 Responses to the upside to the downward dog

  • Allison Teweles says:

    Ahhh, yoga. I think of it as naptime for adults. You get a mat and everything! Yes, I know you're not supposed to sleep, but that's what happens when I manage to "quiet the chatter in my mind."

    Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? I enjoyed this book for many reasons; you might enjoy how she discusses her yoga practice. Talk about wandering thoughts!

  • Daphne says:

    I am a freak…my yoga fix is bikram. Ahhh, 110 degrees with a million stinky tree-huggers! Quiet my mind whatever, that will never happen. The 2 minutes savasana we get is when I get my best ideas. If only I could hide a notepad somewhere in my sweaty jog bra I'd be golden!

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kelcey kintner