October 19, 2013

The Hardest Yoga Class. ~ May-Linn Hammer

The hardest yoga class I ever rolled my mat out for was a restorative one.

Wait, aren’t those easy and relaxing?

Easy, sure.

Relaxing? Hell no.

The longest 90-minutes of my life nearly killed me, left me with severe burns and a renewed hatred for my flickering mind.

“Now, hold this pose for five minutes.”

The charming yoga-teacher dude uttered with his hypnotic voice.

Five minutes?

Do you have any idea how many seconds that is or how many thoughts gladly buzz forth to fill that vacuum of movement?

Three hundred seconds and 549 unwanted thoughts later, we finally moved again: “effortlessly sliding over to the other side, to repeat the soothing stretch.”

To accompany the second side of annoyance, the teacher placed a hot stone on our side body.

Originally, the plan had been to attend hot yoga at three not hot-stone-on-naked-skin at eight. Therefore, my clothes consisted of an inappropriate selection of tiny orange shorts and an even tinier black sports-bra.

As the stone burned through my skin, I think I finally reached one-pointed focus of attention. The thoughts drastically reduced and now centered solely on: is this supposed to hurt? Holy shit, this hurts like hell!

Since restorative yoga falls into the box of things I don’t understand yet, I assumed this pain was all part of the supposedly soothing sensations of the practice. I laid still, kept my mouth shut and resisted any internal desire to remove the rock.

Upon leaving what felt like days of facing-your-inner-demons-practice, I ran around the corner and screamed. Then I jumped down the street, waiving my arms like a crazy person. Guess I needed to confirm my aliveness.

The next step to regain my sanity came through blasting the car-stereo with the music of System of a Down. As I howled along with the lyrics, the clarity of my mind opened space for an emerging sense of bliss.

Perhaps creating “May-Linn’s Metal Mania” should be my next endeavor on the yoga front?

A class where jumping frantically, headbanging and screaming “wraaaaaaahh” naturally completes each cycle of sun salutation. Such a practice might finally conquer my uneasy mind. At the very least, I would emerge burn-mark free with a charming new hairdo.


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Assistant Ed: Kristina Peterson/Ed: Sara Crolick

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