Having a 4-foot tall, lispy, grandmother bobble head doll for a yoga instructor seems to put a different twist on the whole "yoga experience."
I've been going to a yoga class every Wednesday evening to aid in my quest for peace, serenity, relaxation and hotter arms and much to my surprise, I've embraced it, enjoyed it and continue to go back. I tried yoga once in college, said 'laaaaaaaaaame,' then never went back, until now.
Talk of "energies" and holistic healing automatically makes my eyes roll around in my skull like a snotty, disgruntled teenager because it's hokie; impractical. This is probably why I never embraced religion either...or Santa Claus. But, with the state of my life right now, I'm willing to try just about anything for a little inner peace.
I've come to respect the practice of yoga...in small, reasonable doses. I see and feel the benefits of the movements, the breathing, the concept of letting go and clearing your mind, but when shit starts getting overly philosophical, I hit a wall and throw in the towel.
This is why I like the Wednesday night instructor. She's constantly saying, 'yoga is for you, the individual. Use it how you need it and want to use it.' So, I do. You can tell that yoga is a hobby and a love of hers, but she has a perfectly normal, un-yoga-obsessed life outside of the classes she teaches at the gym. She jokes during class and talks about things that are of this world. She never forces the idea on you that yoga will aid in your digestion or cure any terminal diseases you might have.
However, this was not the case with Saturday's crazy train. I'm pretty sure this woman, though probably quite friendly, lives in an alternate universe, stands on her head while watching TV and balances on one foot while doing dishes. Everything in her life revolves around the deepest and most strict interpretation of yoga. Her hybrid Toyota is surely plastered with bumper stickers advertising her dedication to her craft such as "Yoga is Life," "Yogis Do It Better" and "Chaturanga This!" all picturing a human silhouette twisted into a pretzel. Although perhaps not the last one since it's slightly threatening and she made it quite clear that "we're not violent" on several occasions.
Glassy eyed with a goofy, euphoric perma smile and an air of unstable, she flew through the hour-long class, without a thought to the beginners like me, lisping the entire time about the setting sun and massaging our organs or something, spitting yoga terms and floating on a cloud of crazy. Arms outstretched, she gazed at the ceiling while holding her positions, an eerie smile still spread across her giant face, and flung her tiny, 60-something year old body into contortions that made me look like a dumpy, immobile blob of a human. After balancing on her hands with her knees resting on her elbows like a tripod, she later suggested we go into "monkey pose" and flicked her little legs into the splits.
At one point, the authentic song she selected grew quiet as she continued to lisp and breathe into the headset microphone. Suddenly, the quiet, soothing part of the song was shattered with loud Indian-like chanting blaring through the speakers, "aaaaahhhh, oooooooohhh, IIIIIeeeeee" and she began to lisp-yell to be heard over the music. Quite the relaxing atmosphere, especially since I was holding in the urge to burst into laughter all while trying to wrap both legs around my neck.
It reminded me of when I'd go to midnight mass with many a boyfriend on Christmas Eve and crack up in church as soon as the pastor started chanting. Call it heathenistic if you must, but it just strikes me as absolutely hilarious....Every. Single. Time. I simply can't help it.
Perhaps I'll just stick to Wednesday nights...at least until I've learned to touch my feet to the top of my head and have a good, solid levitation down.