I have all happy stuff to report for February 3, 2011, everybody.
For instance, last Saturday, I took a Yoga 101 class. It was just an intro class, with no follow up class offered, but I've always wanted to try yoga. And so I did. I contorted my body into positions with names like: Warrior Pose, Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Child Pose and Downward-Facing Dog. My favorites were being a Child and a Mountain, because these positions do not require stretching one’s limbs and muscles into positions they’ve never experienced before. My least favorite was Warrior, because you basically have to make yourself into a triangle, and that’s crazy talk. You know what else is crazy talk?
<------ And THIS.
<------ And most especially THIS.
If I were in charge of naming Yoga positions, I would call this WTF?!? Pose.
Our teacher was a perky lady with a cute blonde pony tail. Her name was Beverly, and she wore really cute yoga clothes that would be pure comedy on me. Beverly got certified in yoga several years ago, and she was trained by the most expert of yogis somewhere in Massachusetts. She also spent the first 40 minutes of our 90 minute class promising a few older ladies in the back of the room who were asking a lot of suspicious questions that yoga is not a religion. She also declared we would not be praying to gods with un-pronounceable names from faraway lands, and anyone who starts yoga looking for that is barking up the wrong tree. Yoga means “to yoke,” or to stay grounded, and that’s it, pinky promise.
Beverly told us there are some yoga instructors in Massachusetts who do spend each class saying prayers to gods with weird names, and if you ever move to Massachusetts and take yoga classes under these teachers, you will totally giggle your silly butt off the whole class at the weirdness. But this is Georgia and in Georgia we don’t pray to people whose names we can’t pronounce, and so there will be no religious hanky panky goings on in the gym Yoga Room today, just a bunch of us twisting our bodies into positions Mother Nature never intended for us to twist them into. Okay, grouchy ladies in the back wasting a lot of time? The grumpy ladies mumbled “okay” and decided to stay, and so Beverly got started.
There were about 25 of us in the class, and the nicest thing about it was that everyone was just like me: totally unable to maintain any one pose for more than 5 seconds. And then a group camaraderie quickly developed: sometimes we’d watch Beverly demonstrate what she wanted us to do and gasp out loud, "No freaking WAY, Beverly! Are you crazy?? You're crazy!!" But she managed to get us all into each position, for the most part.
The moral of yoga: everyone in that class would suck at games of Twister, and Beverly let us know that is A-okay. Yoga is not a destination: Yoga is a journey.
My favorite part of the class was at the end—there was a meditation with a CD of Sanskrit chanting in the background and when we were finished, we all sat up, cross-legged, placed our hands together in front of our bellies in prayer form, bowed slowly, and said, “Namaste.” Which basically means: “I see your light, I see your goodness.” One of the ladies in the back must have gotten suspicious again, because she crossed her arms and refused to look at other people’s goodness and light. Which is too bad, because I felt grounded and calm for at least 3 hours after. And that’s highly unusual, for me to feel grounded AND calm, all at once, for any length of time. It's kind of nice when other people acknowledge your light and goodness.
My muscles were slightly sore for a couple of days after, but I felt invigorated and full of awesome the whole rest of the day. Later that night, I even taught Melissa how to get into downward-facing dog (she held this pose for exactly 1.1 seconds and then used my Downward-Facing Dog body as a big tunnel to pretend she was a choo choo train going through).
Downward-facing Dog/Choo Choo Train Tunnel Pose.
Sadly, I’ll have to wait until summer vacation to actually do one of the regularly offered yoga classes—they’re all on late weekday mornings or at some crazy time of evening, like 8 PM. There's an Ashtanga class I could go to on Saturday mornings…except Beverly’s parting words to us were: “And stay away from that Ashtanga class on Saturday mornings until you’re a lot more advanced. You'll snap a ligament.” So that’s that.
And MORE good news! I’m tracking what goes into my mouth via my fitnesspal food log every day (I'm back on the wagon 7 days straight as I type this), and I swear I’ve only lied on that thing 3, maybe 4, times and one of those times was only because I couldn’t find the thing I just ate in their Food Search engine and didn’t have the time to google research it. Swear.
What I’m most proud of is my new No Excuses approach to becoming a gym rat. I pack a workout bag every night and take that thing into work with me, every day. At first I was changing in my classroom at school—I was taping a poster over my door’s window, locking the door, and then hiding in my makeshift closet/storage cabinet area to do my clothing change/prep before heading to the gym.
And then, one day, my friend/coworker came over (we share a classroom trailer—a door separates our classrooms…!!!an UNlockable door!!!) to ask a question and she missed seeing my naked frontal area by about 5 seconds. There are just some things which should not be shared with co-workers; Post-It notes and staplers, cool. Images of your bare-naked boobs burned into innocent, unsuspecting co-worker brains forever and ever—hellacious no! Which is when I realized: Dude, the gym has a huge changing/locker room area, with lockers and keys…why do you insist on making everything 100 times harder/more dangerous/extra embarrassing for yourself? Plus, every day as I was changing, I’d think: What if they’ve installed spy cameras in all our classrooms and the principals and school secretaries are all in the front office giggling at me RIGHT NOW!!!??? (I also sometimes wonder if they’ve bugged our classrooms.) (I admit I do have a slightly paranoid personality complex.)
And so now I just take me and my gym bag to the gym immediately after school and discretely change there. I leave Melissa at daycare for about 60 minutes longer so I can go work out and then backtrack to get her (feeling huge gobs of guilty when I show up and she’s only one of three kids left…hoping her teachers aren’t silently judging me). I race over to the gym, change in the locker room, put on my radio/headphones so I can hear what’s on one of the TVs on the walls, and I do the treadmill for 30 (sometimes 40, if I’m feeling it) minutes while Oprah schools me on stuff I didn’t even know about.
See? All good and positive news. In addition, Charles has been offered a job—it’s a Milwaukee company but we will not have to move there (he gets to work from home) and hurrah for THAT (and not having to relocate while 15 feet of snow is falling out of the sky). We can breathe a little better, financially, but more importantly, he feels empowered and excited. Though I continue to shake my fists at those responsible for this ridiculous economic mess. Because I like to do it, and I don't think the people running this place are shaking theirs hard enough, or correctly.
My analysis of all this awesomeness? Clearly, my threats to 2011 have paid off, and unlike that punk 2010, Year 2011 knows exactly who’s driving this speedboat. Say my name, say my name! And don’t forget it, 2011, or I’ll threaten you and shake my fists again.
Up next: while Charles is in Milwaukee training for his new gig, I’m going to write, direct, produce, be the camera girl, and star in my very own cooking show, during which I will be making my own version of a Giada de Laurentis recipe. I will be posting this on my next scheduled posting day if all goes well. Currently, I’m not sure how this will work out logistically, and also I have no editing skills or even a video editing program on my computer.
In addition, my current sous chef is only 2 and has the fine motor skills/attention span of a brain damaged monkey, and also switches from throwing sobbing temper tantrums to maniacal silly giggles in mere seconds. So this will either be deeply embarrassing or wildly hilarious or both. Whatever happens, I’m hoping the thing goes viral and I can somehow figure out how to market it and profit big time and/or get a last minute invite to the Oscars so I can finagle a seat next to Javier Bardem.