The ‘Om’ Project

Since more than a month now, I have started going for Yoga classes on Fridays. I used to go for yoga once a week at San Diego State with Karen and then I stopped after I moved to OC. It could be one of the hundred things I try when I get bored of myself, or it could be a lasting thing, I don’t know. But the experience so far has been good. I feel more supple when I stretch because strength training can leave me with aching tense muscles, and I know I don’t stretch every day. The first day that I walked in, everybody’s expression was like “Hey! You are Indian! You got this!” I was feeling all gung ho about it. I had chosen to ignore the fact that I hadn’t done a dot of yoga in almost 3 years, not counting the 10 min of stretching when I used to learn belly dancing. We started with basic breathing techniques and stretching and I beamed with the thought, yes, I really got this. And that’s when things went downhill.

      “Oh my God! My wrists are going to snap! There is zero strength.”

      “Breath!”

      “Why the hell are my feet and palms so small! Such less square footage! Downward dog… Arrggghh. It’s like making a Honda Civic balance itself on skinny cycle tyres.”

      “F@$#”

      “Breath!!”

      “Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Fine, one knee down.”

      “PB, keep breathing! You are killing yourself!”

Nisha, having a lot of experience with yoga, had explained the difference between Hathaflow and Vinyasa and to my utter horror, my teacher makes us practice Vinyasa for 60% of the class. I have no sense of direction or side. With her left and rights and turning towards the front, I end up working out the same side twice and then I feel imbalanced. She has to tell us/me to not look at her with anger and smile in her delightful sing-song East-European accent. “Daunt look at mi wid angerrr. Smyle everrrybaady!”

Yet I was managing things just fine. Till a cute guy joined the class two Fridays ago. He looked at me and smiled and I so did not want him to see me contort myself in grotesque shapes with pain writ across my face.

By the end of the first class though, everybody’s ‘You got this!” look had turned into utter disappointment. It’s okay. I am used to that expression. Crushing hopes is a hobby of mine!

But I will chug along the choo-choo train of Yoga. One day I will progress from my shoulder stand to a head stand and I will have the last laugh while I look absolutely comfortable in a full-split.

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22 thoughts on “The ‘Om’ Project

  1. Haha. “She has to tell us not to look at us in anger.” Lulz. I love feeling all stretchy with suryanamaskars that I do regularly, but haven’t tried a full fledged yog class, yet barring a month long session at Bharat Thakur where they anyway make you do only suryanamaskars.

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    • I am trying to inculcate SuryaNamaskar in my daily routine but so far have failed miserably. I just can’t make myself wake up earlier to get things done other than showering, dressing up and leaving home at 7.15 am. Siigghh. In the evenings, I am already exhausted having worked out.
      But the stretched out feeling is sooo good!

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      • I hear you. When I say I do it regularly, I mean the days when I wake up early enough to fit it in 😛 Some sessions at Bharat Thakur, the instructor would end the class with some quasi Thai massage stretching out for everyone. Those days would be sheer bliss.

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        • God! Those are the best! Even simply rolling on back feels so good. I want the foam rollers but usually a muscle-ey dude is hogging it and I feel too shy to linger around and wait. Plus, it will feel gross and sweaty.

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  2. Haha.. you will get there – slowly but steadily.
    I used to go to Hatha yoga class and found it to be convenient for my body time, although I always went for level 1 out of 3 levels it had, had it easy and very relaxing, then I went to ashtanga, it was extremely difficult, and once in a while I have been taking vinyasa yoga classes and that seemed much better than ashtanga yoga relatively.
    Wonder, how many more forms of yoga exists – do you know what they teach in gym – I could never stay on for full 75 minutes of the class ever.

    Cute guys – strike any conversations yet? Are you taking your parents along as well?

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    • There’s Bikram also that I know of or Hot yoga quite prevalent in LA area where skinny girls like kale, do yoga and say namaste. 😀 There is also form where they take you to a water bay and get you to do poses on a paddle board! Then there is an aerial variety. All this caters to the LA-skinny girl demographic. Haha!
      Our class is 60 minutes and she teaches Vinyasa focusing on different areas/chakra every week. We had a sub for her last week who focused on deeper muscles. Was quite intense!
      I can now manage level 2. Sometimes level 3 but I avoid it as yet, to not injure myself. I have knee and toe issues.
      Naah, no conversation, I good with just the eye candy.
      I go alone. My parents are happy with walking mornings and evenings and pranayam.

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  3. This was hilarious, you’re so adorable PB!! I’m very inflexible and can totally relate to your yoga woes.. I tried going to a yoga class on Wednesday evenings, but make it once in a month or two lol.. to add to your list of yoga styles, there’s Iyengar yoga which focuses more on holding the stretches (I think) and I would say that I liked it except that I don’t go to the class regularly!

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    • Aah, I didn’t list Iyengar yoga because I think that’s where Hatha or Vinyasa originate from. I could be wrong. My dad’s mama’s back was made better infinitely by BKS Iyengar’s brother. Rumor has it his brother was more skilled than BKS. 🙂 BTW, BKS had come to school in Pune and taught us basics.
      Thankfully I am picking it up now. Atleast enough not to fall flat on my face during ardha-chandrasan like first 2 classes. Lol.

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  4. I have never done regular yoga so technically I can’t comment on this post. But yes, I have tried it once so I know where you’re coming from. And that need to stretch after weight training is something I can definitely relate to. I’m sure you’ll get comfy with Yoga soon cause you’re already doing great at your stage 🙂

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  5. I learnt yoga for quite a few months, but have given up the practice altogether. Need to get back to it! I know it’s really tough. But the flexibility that you attain after a while, amazes you! Keep at it!

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  6. I used to go for Yoga..it gave me a vertigo..the trainer made us do it soooo slowly..by the time i strtched a muscle, my head spun so bad that I fell down..every single time! Duh!

    But such a funny post…this! 😀

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