Monday, June 15, 2009

Am I Bendy?

No, not really. Cycling tends to bring about a certain level of inflexibility in the pelvis regions. This being the case I was keen to sign up when my work introduced a yoga class one lunchtime a week. Fortuitously, this class falls on the Thursday so I get to do it when I’m nicely zombied out from racing the previous night. I was quite apprehensive about this for the first class, as I shuffled in bleary eyed and aching from the exertions of the night before. The class quickly filled up and I soon discovered that being tired was the least of the things I had to worry about. Doing yoga with your colleagues can be a slightly uncomfortable experience initially. For me there are 3 primary sources of discomfort.

What to wear
Obviously my business suits and high heels aren’t the best for yoga so some form of gym attire is more suited. However I generally like to wear quite baggy tops to the gym. Our yoga class spends quite a bit of time in that ever-favourite pose Downward Dog:
As you can see from the picture an overly loose t-shirt worn by an unwary student could easily result in all sorts of hilarious garment slipping action. Really loose clothes, nope, not for this one!

Face to butt proximity
This is the big one, so to speak. It turns out there are quite a few budding yogis at my work and the class is very popular. This means the our mats are usually quite close together. This is fine for poses like downward dog and other forward facing poses. You’re too busy concentrating on not collapsing, exploding, falling over and keeping breathing to notice what someone a couple of feet in front of you is doing. However not all of the poses face the front, some of them we face the side, and when we face the side the person in front of you is only a foot away at best. And when you are doing a Wide-legged forward bend this does not seem like enough room:
There’s a helpful animation of this pose if you click the picture. Now imagine you are leaning forward and the person in front of you is doing the same thing, a foot away. You face will not touch their butt, but it will be uncomfortable close. Luckily we haven’t had to do that pose much.

Snoring in class
While unlikely, this is quite possible, given that I’m attending the classes in an already stupefied state. After all the exertion and twisting and bending and breathing and stretching of the class we always finish in Savasana, or Corpse Pose:
It is one of my favourites. The problem is it is very very relaxing, and we “hold” it for what seems like a long time. And the longer we hold it, the greater the danger that I’ll just dose off for a second. I can’t even imagine how horrifically embarrassing it would be if I did drop off and some sort of snoring noise escaped. Actually I can imagine, and I don’t want to have to resign my job so I best not fall asleep and start snoring in class.

So those are the three potential perils of yoga, however the benefits are fantastic. I always feel 100% better after class and even though it hurts my arm it also strengthens and straightens it. Our teacher is a gorgeous tiny creature called Katie who is great and makes the class fun, there’s no problem if you can’t hold a pose or bend just so. I’ve been enjoying her classes so much I’m going to start doing another one and I’ve put a link to her website in my sidebar. So while I may not be very bendy yet, I will be soon.


Mel said...

What's worse? Face-to-butt proximity with colleagues, snoring in class, or letting one slip while in one of the "arse up" poses??

Tinkerbell said...

LOL! Definitely option number three would be the worse, but I didn't want to lower the tone too much! :p

Zane said...

I have friends who call it "stretch and fart" instead of yoga. I just hope that it is not one of them bending over a foot away!!

pink lady said...

I had the unfortunate experience of falling asleep when pregnant with you - the teacher said she was thrilled that someone could relax enough to do so - it is not that bad.
Enjoy the bendy bits