I went to yoga last night for the first time in ages. I have had it in the back of my mind for a while to sign up for yoga or head down to the local Lululemon store for free yoga sessions. I need to stretch, and I really needed to stretch during marathon training, but it seemed boring. What I realized last night is that I haven’t signed up for yoga because it is HARD. I can run for hours and ride my bike hundreds of kilometres in one weekend, but I can not, for the life of me, touch my toes.
The yoga studio I went to is so beautiful. Located on the upper level of a large brick building with beautiful skylights, you can hear seagulls in the distance and watch the white curtains sway with the breeze. Sounds totally serene right? It would be if the following had not been my train of thought.
Start of class. Corpse pose. Instructor begins to calm our bodies, ask us to look inside ourselves, state our intention for the class….
Oh crap. I left my cell phone on. Should I get up and turn it off or just leave it and be annoyed at the rookie yoga student who left their cell on? No. I should turn it off. Okay, so how do I get out of corpse pose without making a sound?
I did make a sound, a lot of sounds, because the entire floor was old hard wood and I managed to creak my entire way over to my bag to turn it off so “it wouldn’t annoy anyone”.
Annoying other yoga participants? Check. Mission accomplished.
As the class continues and I try my best to position my body in the insane poses suggested by our instructor who insists that the result doesn’t really matter (i.e. touching your toes, he says this as he looks at me), but rather the process of getting there matters.
I have heard this guy’s voice before. From where? Oh yah, he sounds like Kevin Spacey, but not Kevin Spacey in ‘The Usual Suspects’ he sounds like the teacher in ‘Pay it Forward’.
The instructor, Norman, suggests that we sit on our legs, with our feet under out butts, and begin to lean back.
Oh yah, I remember this. I tried this in Whistler when I saw Jordan stretching and stated that I, too, could do stretch like that. I also remember that once I laid back in that pose I lasted .05 seconds and screamed in pain because I couldn’t get myself back up to a seated position.
I decide to just lean back a bit while the other yoga participants are leaning back on the mat with serene faces. Again, Norman states, as he looks at me, “don’t worry it isn’t about the result, it is about the process.”
Yah. Caught that one the first time around, thanks.
Despite the extreme stretching pain I felt throughout the class I did really enjoy the process, just as Norman suggested. I do like yoga once I can quiet my mind. What I noticed from last night’s class is that when I come across something difficult my mind wants to escape the situation and think of other things such as, which movie star the instructor sounds like or mentally crossing of my to-do list. There isn’t an easy fix for difficult situations, it’s a process.