Not So Namaste


I recently started doing yoga.  I also recently stopped doing yoga.

I suck. Athletically, that is.  Sports, exercising, working out– I basically find anything that requires sneakers and a sports bra to be highly repellent.  Thankfully, I’m one of those people with a decent enough metabolism to keep myself cruising along at a fairly satisfactory weight, without ever doing too much dieting or working out (and by “too much” I mean none at all whatsoever).  Sure, I could benefit from some salad and crunches as much as the next lazyass, but I’m not totally unhappy with the way I look.

Still I know the whole “good metabolism” thing typically wears off sometime around your mid-thirties, so I figured I might as well start doing something about it now, before I become one of those moms telling people they’re “still trying to lose the baby weight”– as they cart their youngest off to the first day of middle school.

I chose yoga because it’s pretty low-impact and I’ve heard you get to nap afterward or something like that.  Meditation, napping, same difference. I’m also fairly flexible, so I thought that would help. I can really do a mean Indian-style.  Sorry, that’s wasn’t very PC of me.  I can do a mean “criss-cross apple sauce”. That’s right, criss-cross apple sauce. That’s what the preschools are calling it these days, folks.

So I started the yoga thing. I found a class, signed up, and started yoga-ing or whatever you call it. And it went great.  I downward-facing dogged. I upward-facing dogged. I planked.  I posed like a tree, a child, a bird, a warrior. You name it, I posed like it. I really kicked ass in there. I walked out of that yoga class like a freaking boss.

I guess it didn’t exactly hurt that the class was composed entirely of post-menopausal middle-aged women, but whatever.  They were all very nice and didn’t seem to mind my ass in their face. I didn’t mind theirs either.  The ass-in-face phenomenon is apparently unavoidable in a yoga class.

So I left there pretty psyched. I did way better than I thought I would, and I actually even kind of enjoyed it.  I could have done without all that incense-burning, inner-peace, namaste bullshit, but I guess that’s part of the whole experience.  Maybe it’ll grow on me.  Or maybe not. Either way, I was still a total yogi.

Well, I was a total yogi until I woke up two weeks later with back problems.

With the exception of that time I was carrying seven-pounds of human in my uterus (and 40 pounds of pizza and chocolate bars everywhere else), I’ve never had back pain in my life.

I aged like 15 years in two days.  I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand. I was hunched over. I was huffing and puffing around like my 93-year old grandfather when he gets all worked up looking for the remote to put on The Price is Right.  When I almost couldn’t reach the top shelf to grab a wine glass (had to wash all that Aleve down with something), I finally drew the line.  No more yoga for me.

I think I’m just not meant to do the whole exercise thing.  And it’s so damn unfair. Some people are so  awesome at it. Why can’t I be one of those people who get addicted to endorphins? Like those people who run five miles a day and literally enjoy it. I can’t even be a person who purchases a two-year gym membership and uses it for longer than a week (true story).

Addicted to endorphins, sheesh. Sure, I have a few addictions. Coffee,, Big Brother (the TV show, not the conspiracy). These are things I simply cannot live without. But endorphins? I’m not even sure what these “endorphin” things even feel like.  Is it anything like a percocet before the nausea sets in? Because if so, then I can see what all the addiction is about. And if so, then maybe I need to buy me a shiny new treadmill. But I’m guessing not.

I don’t know, maybe I threw in the workout towel too soon.  Maybe when I realized I could actually work up a sweat without hurling on my yoga mat, I started to overdo it– which is what screwed up my back.  Maybe I just need to scale it back a little on all the crazy posing.

What is that cliche workout saying? No pain, no gain? Just do it? No hustle, no muscle? (I might have actually just made that last one up. I’m not sure. But it’s pretty clever, if I do say so myself.)

I think I’ll make up another one.  How about “you’re 32 and you haven’t worked out in ten years, you lazy piece of crap. Get off the damn couch, shut off Big Brother, put the bag of Fritos away, and go for a fucking walk”.

Nailed it.

Anyone up for some yoga?