Monday, June 28, 2010

Yoga - The Great Debacle

**Update October 2010 - My Yoga story below got published!! Woohoo! Here's the link: - October 2010 issue, pg. 32.

Breakfast and snack 1 complete. Though I made quite the woops when I poured cinnamon into my little baggie... have you ever had oatmeal with too much cinnamon? It's quite the experience. Note to self... use a measuring spoon.

Great weekend! Hope yours was too! My back felt great throughout the weekend, and I was able to do Yoga on Sunday! I'll share more about that shortly. Bill and I decided we had Mexico on the brain, so we indulged in a game of pretend, lol. We spent the weekend pretending we were on vacation and simply hung out around the pool. It was wonderful! So relaxing! I ended up with some great color (coconut oil = no burn still working!), though now that we're back in the real world, I do have to say that the poolside bar service sucked! Never did get my order of tacos! LOL! :-)

I did get my Sunday Food Prep done... I've been eating Quinoa for quite some time now, and thought I'd try the boxed Kashi 7-grain Pilaf mix (clean). The bite I sampled was pretty tasty so we'll see how it goes through the week. I do have some quinoa to finish up, and then I'll be eating the Kashi. My proteins prepped for the week are grilled Mahi Mahi, grilled chicken breast, grilled London Broil, plus 2 lbs of ground beef (lean) prepped for spaghetti, tacos or whatnot, and a crockpot of chili. Veggies are steamer bag giant portabellos (with feta, spinach and salsa), asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini with yellow squash, plus all my salad fixin's (spinach, kale, shredded cabbage, romaine, etc.). Fruit is strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, kiwi, and bananas. I even whipped up a batch of Tab's protein bars, much to the delight of Bethany and Bill. Can I just insert here that they taste much better than they look? :-)

On to yoga. Disclaimer... some aspects of this recountment may be slightly exaggerated (very slightly), others are not (not even a little).

Tab (aka The World's Greatest Trainer, my best friend, and sometimes workout buddy, also the Lucy to my Ethel) and I wanted to try out the Sunday morning Yoga class at our local gym. By 7:45 am, we've staked out our spots at the back of the classroom (the better to not cause profound bodily harm to innocent people). Tab, who has taken yoga before, is prepared and has her block by her side, while I am still fighting to get my shoes off (barefoot? really?). Once my shoes are safely stored behind me, we begin to stretch while watching folks enter and take their places. By the time class starts, it is clear we are the only newbies in the room. We choose to not be disconcerted by this.

The lovely instructor takes her place to begin class, and suddenly the lights dim. Ah, I think. Yoga in the dark! This isn't at all a recipe for Chelle-disaster! Then the heater kicks in. Wait, the schedule didn't say "Bikram Yoga", just yoga! As the room heats up, and we contort our bodies into truly unnatural positions, the sweat begins to roll... from my scalp all the way down to my bare feet. Relax, I tell myself, you can do this! I breath deeply and exhale away my fear and discomfort, seeking a new zen. Gracefully I stretch my arms as directed, smile gently as I realize I can indeed do this, then bobble dangerously (to the poor innocent folks on either side of me) as The Black Eyed Peas suddenly boom into the room. From this, the music melds into David Bowie's cover of Queen's "Under Pressure". Where is my bubbling brook? My rushing waterfall? My gentle ocean waves? "I gotta feeling" that this is not going to end well!

Reaching deep for my calm, and inner balance (still looking!), I continue to mimic the moves of those around me (except for the beyotch at the front who is doing the Feathered Peacock pose - this is yoga 101, lady, keep it to yourself!). I discover that some moves come more easily than others, and still others yet, do not come at all (No, I simply cannot grasp my right ankle by reaching my hand over my head and twisting left. Not gonna happen.).

As perspiration continues to seep (read "pour" - as in, "found my rushing waterfall"), we move into pushup position. This I can do! I hold position for a 5 count, then slowly lower halfway and return to position as our gentle, quiet voiced yogi requests. "Next, lower to your forearms and assume the plank." Easy, peasy, I think. Me & the Plank go way back. What I had not taken into account, was the dampness (read "soaking wet") of my yoga mat, or my forearms and feet.  (Not so) quietly, I add to the strange-musical accompaniment in our 108° closed room full of heat-generating bodies... Slip! Slap! "F@¢K!"   My wet forearms and feet having made contact with the (als0) wet mat, fly forward and slide back, causing my body to THUNK on the mat, forcing a whoosh of air and the unfortunate expletive to escape from my lips. Tab snickers as she continues holding her plank, and I wonder if she's as aware as I am of the vast legions of bacteria surely housed in these mats, one inch from our noses, as other class-goers must have experienced a delicate sheen (sweat - I'm talking surface of the sun hot here, people!) during yoga 101, before us. Maybe I should mention it to her.

Class is winding down as we take Pigeon Pose then extend forward, lowering our torsos. Our drill sergeant yogi floats through the room, correcting form as she goes. She comes to me and gently presses between my shoulder blades (brave woman, ever pushed your fingers into a wet sponge? Yeah, I'm seriously drenched) to lower me further... and further... and, Wow, really? If I go any lower I really will be one with the earth! 

Finally, our hour is up. The lights come back on, the heater switches off, and I try to quickly and unobtrusively mop up my 3x6 splash zone before anyone slips and falls, breaking a well-toned leg. Tab and I make our escape before the next class rushes in. Desperately we run for the front doors, throw them open and take great gulping breaths of... seriously? It's 110 out here!

Ahhh, yoga. The path to serenity madness.

Lol, no seriously, I liked yoga. It's a personal challenge now to be able to hold some of those positions (and I will someday be able to grab that right ankle!). I am truly sore, my hamstrings and arches still cramping. It's a good workout, and I'll definitely go back. Though next time, I'm bringing a towel.

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