How to get your Ass to Yoga Class when you Just Don’t F*cking Feel Like It.

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Warning: Adult language ahead.

There’s my mat, propped up in the corner. I’m not proud to say it, but it’s been there for a week. Yup.

It’s 7:15 in the morning when my alarm goes off. Class starts at 8:30. I have 45 minutes to talk myself into going to yoga, and all I can do is think about the leftover lasagna in the fridge.

Hey #yogaeverydamnday, bite me.

There I was, up late last night watching “Valley Girl” and eating ice cream in bed, all fired up about getting up and out of the house early for yoga. Not even an army of tarantulas could stop me.

But at 7:30 this morning, I’m cranky. Ends up, I just don’t fuckin’ feel like transforming today. Believe me, you’ll know when I’m in the mood to evolve; my hair will be dyed some variation of red, Amazon packages with books about parasites and Hindu deities will start to arrive at an alarming rate and the kitchen will be fully stocked with tasty gluten-free stuff.

Why is it so difficult to rally this morning? I’m on thin ice; it’s too bad I can’t play rocks, scissors, paper all by myself for the answer here. I need a sign from the gods, or at least a good slap on the ass from Shiva to push me out the door. If it were a trip to the fudge factory, I’d probably be long gone already.

7:45 a.m. I’m on the couch, playing Words With Friends. What the fuck is my problem here? This is bad.

These are the in-between moments, when it’s not all purple unicorns and lovely heart openers. Yoga is a sneaky bitch, and it’ll stop at nothing to get your attention when it feels ignored. I can see that unicorn now, galloping toward me horn first in an effort to plunge it into my guts and grind it like a swizzle stick in a cocktail.

How is it I never see this coming, this hideous, self sabotaging should-I-stay-or-should-I-go bullshit? Maybe because this is L.A., where everything is pretty on the outside, even emotional pain and the bondage of the supposedly infinite soul. In the 90s we called this despondent type of look “heroin chic.” Now it’s hipster chic, and it’s walking around in overpriced second hand clothes and an Etsy addiction.

By the way, this isn’t the time for inspirational sayings. I’m not in third grade, and this isn’t “Davy & Goliath.” I won’t blow smoke up your ass with nonsensical, silly dialogue and pithy adages, like “it’s all good.” Actually, it’s not. I have a bad taste in my mouth, like I just drank a sip of cigarette-butt-beer by accident. This is no way to achieve triumph over the human condition.

It’s almost 8:00 a.m. I made a cup of tea, and I’m getting dressed.

Yes friends, this is when the road starts to get a little bumpy. The way to enlightenment ain’t always smooth and glittery. I’ve had breakdowns, breakthroughs and profound moments of truth in yoga. I’ve slapped my mat down in the beginning of class, and I’ve left in the middle. I’ve cried on my mat, and all the way home in the car. I almost made a scene because one teacher had the audacity to hold us too long in Chaturanga.

It’s a sad situation, partly because without the physical practice, I might as well start counting the days until my spine disintegrates into ashes and my internal organs become like hard, dry rocks in a desert wasteland. I gotta get happy here—maybe I’ll go get that bottled water from Erewon that’s been blessed by Cambodian Buddhist monks.

I already have a foul-smelling candle for health in the proper feng shui area, and—obligatory side note about looking on the bright side—every time I watch the movie “Titanic,” I secretly hope the ship will miss the iceberg.

Now that’s optimism.

And the other part of the practice? Somewhere inside, between heaven and earth, there’s a fantastically roaring bonfire, ignited by wisdom and sustained by marvelous beauty. With no beginning and no end, it’s the Everlasting Gobstopper of truth and victory, but way bigger. It’s real, and it’s so beautiful. In some cases, it’s all for the price of a Slurpee and a scratch-off.

Let’s go, lazy. 10 million morning types can’t be wrong.

8:10 a.m. Zero hour. Time to summon up some… something. Enthusiasm? Some balls? Breath awareness? If we don’t have that, we’re a serious bunch of goners.

***

Last week, I was teaching my Saturday class and during opening meditation, when everyone was supposed to have their eyes closed, I looked up to see one of the students staring at me.

I looked away, and back at him.

Still staring.

I looked away again, and back at him again.

Still staring.

I looked away again, and back at him again.

Still staring.

There’s always one rebel who confuses being led through a yoga class for conformity. No worries, I don’t want to break your spirit, but please close your eyes, dude, you’re freaking me out.

I realize our strange stare-off probably wasn’t about me, or how I rolled into the parking lot earlier blaring Led Zeppelin, or my new Star Wars leggings or anything like that. Maybe he just wasn’t in the mood to raise his pressed juice as a toast to the gods, and spend the next 90 minutes trying to elevate his consciousness to a higher level.

We’ve all been there. And I wanted to let him know that I understand it can be daunting, going inside, deep down in the murky bowels to face your fears and missteps in life, not to mention that clusterfuck of karma you’ve been accumulating for the last thousand lives. Maybe you would like to spend a half-an-hour in chaturanga today. And you can fall apart and make a huge mess of yourself on the mat, but don’t expect yoga to pick it all up. It’s not your mommy.

8:15 a.m. I’m on my way to yoga with the convertible top down and the heat on—just like when I was 16, cruising down Sunset Blvd toward the beach in my dad’s 280ZX with the t-tops off. What a way for my life to come full circle.

I get to the studio, quietly unroll my mat and I take a moment to remind myself: I love this badass practice. There’s nothing to be afraid of—unicorns don’t exist, and most likely nothing is going to come along and impale you. And to be grateful for everything this practice has to offer, and everything we offer it back.

 

Relephant Read: 

12 Reasons to Get Back to Your Yoga Class 

 

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Editor: Travis May

Photo: YouTube Video Still

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Anne Clendening

Anne Clendening was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a yoga teacher and author of Bent: How Yoga Saved My Ass, published January, 2018. You can read her darker thoughts on her blog Dirty Blonde Ink. She is currently living in L.A. with her husband and their boxer dog Sabina.

Comments

10 Responses to “How to get your Ass to Yoga Class when you Just Don’t F*cking Feel Like It.”

  1. Elena G. says:

    That was awesome. haha. Thanks for the great read.

  2. kristinalicia72 says:

    OH… MY… GOD… (and I do not say that lightly)… you are AWESOME!!! I cracked right the fuck up reading this!! And passed it along to my motivationally-challenged yoga goers. The BEST part?! Is that I didn't know til I got to the "I was teaching…" that you are a yoga INSTRUCTOR. How dare you not be all pom-poms and nag champa about getting up and doing yoga every fucking day!!! You rock, girlfriend.

  3. shari says:

    Thank you girl! Reading this with perfect..ahem..Universal timing. Got a cold Sierra Nevada, next to bedside, taco bell wrappers next to that! The last two weeks, have been soooo off the mat! I have done this before, where veggie burgers, almond milk, raw veggies, are replaced with chips, (Ruffles please) and dip (French Onion) beer, etc. I can literally watch my gut expand in two weeks. And I wait…for the inspiration. I remember the bliss, the tears, the sore muscles, the gratitude..but they are far away, as I am a sloth in bed, watching Season 2 of "Orange is the New Black" back to back, with cookie crumbs at the corners of my mouth.
    Well, shit….so tomorrow, in the spirit of all of my yogi brothers and sisters…I will attempt the Vinyasa I II class at 530…but dont hold me to it! Enlightenment, it can be tough! lol

    • Little Orphan says:

      Shari If I could tack your words onto this piece I would, as a glimpse into what is unfolding to be a super-truth: sometimes we just don't feel like evolving/transforming/chaturanga-ing! "And I wait…for the inspiration. I remember the bliss, the tears, the sore muscles, the gratitude..but they are far away, as I am a sloth in bed, watching Season 2 of "Orange is the New Black" back to back, with cookie crumbs at the corners of my mouth…" I love your comment, thank you so much for reading and vinyasa on, baby <3

  4. Nyla says:

    Fantastic read! Fantastic comments! Much Love ~

  5. shari says:

    …Hi to Lil Orphan, Nyla and all my other yogi, / sloth-like brethren, (depending on where we are body, mind and spirit in this moment! Just a lil shout out, made it back to the mat last night! Whoop whoop!
    Felt pretty confident mat and towel clean, I hadnt exactly been at my peak before my run of Sierra Nevadas, and Ruffles. Rolled open my mat, snapped open my towel..lo and behold at the top edge of towel? A giant piece of blue chewing gum! I laughed out loud! Guess my desire for NOT evolving, transforming or any such thing was present the last time I was on the mat! I just cracked up, folded over corner of towel,and commenced with doing what "we" love. Well, you know, when we love it! Thanks for listening! ;0

  6. Nic says:

    So damn relatable.

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