Deep breaths—in, pause. Out, pause—the sequence continues. It’s supposed to be calming, but those little pauses make my lungs scream.
I haven’t used an inhaler since I was in the fifth grade—which also coincides with the last time I did any sort of physical activity—and I am sure as hell not going to re-start now.
In, pause. Out, pause.
The Lululemon clad, organic granola munching, yoga-warrior instructor calls this a “simple warm up.” However, for me—and the rest of the back row—our breathing exercises have gone out the window, as survival instincts take over.
We are huffing and puffing like our lives depend on it.
Now we’re up, standing like a mountain. I look down at my 80 dollar yoga mat—the one I impulse bought off the Internet, after drinking half a bottle of organic wine.
Hey, this is a lifestyle change after all—I’ve got to start somewhere.
Now we’re all pretending to sit in a chair. Which sounds simple, but according to my thighs—it is not. I’m just silently praying someone will fall before I do.
“Sit deeper now,” says the glistening yoga goddess. Her loyal front row followers oblige, and I’m pretty damn sure I’m going to cry. “Breathe,” she whispers. “F*ck you,” I say silently in my head.
Then, almost as if she feels my hostility, the yogini stops by to adjust me—to help me get deeper into the pose.
I can’t feel my legs anymore and can’t decide if this is good or bad. The guy in front of me now has one leg crossed over the other, all while hovering over his imaginary chair.
I sort of wish it was a real chair so I could knock it out from under him.
Now we’ve thrown out the imaginary chair and are trying to do something where one leg goes this way, and the other that way, and then we’re bent backwards. Apparently it is called “pigeon,” though I have never seen a bird do anything like this.
I’m 95 percent sure my body will shatter if I attempt this posture—but of course, I do.
The yoga warrior is saying something about “letting go of ego” and “opening your heart to the moment.”
Feel the emotions as they come and let them go? All I feel right now is rage, with a tinge of humiliation and a side of defeat.
Why did I attempt this?!
My legs are screaming. Almost on cue, I’m instructed to breathe, and since I’ve been holding my breath for the past few minutes, I surrender.
I must have broken something and not felt it, because as I release that breath I slowly sink closer to some semblance of what everyone else in the class looks like. I almost want to stick my tongue out at the yoga warrior, who is not at all hiding her “told you so” look of satisfaction.
Laying on my sweat-drenched mat, eyes closed and body sprawled out—I’m supposed to “lose myself.”
I’m too busy fighting the urge to fall asleep (and craving chicken nuggets) to lose any part of myself. The sound of the singing bowl brings me out of my fast food daydreams.
All I can think about now is whether or not I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. Probably not.
Yet, I walk out of the room and somehow feel lighter.
Not because I just sweat out a few gallons of toxins—although I think I smell like last night’s martini, but that could just be in my head.
No, I left something in that room. Something I’ve been carrying for a while.
Maybe I’m losing my mind—maybe all this sh*t is true?
I decide, if I can walk tomorrow, I’ll go back and try again.
Author: Jade Saylors
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina