Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shanti, Shanti


I've "taken up" yoga. That's in quotes 'cuz, at the time I'm writing this, I've only gone to two classes. But I'm signed up for another one, and I think that counts. For me. I'm not much of an group exerciser. Gym memberships, yoga classes, pilates in the park, exercising in groups is everywhere. And, for as long as I can remember, people have been telling me I should 'take up' yoga. So, here I am, finally, really taking it up.

I'd been to yoga classes just two times before. One was when I was in my early twenties: I went to a class with my parents. I remember next to nothing about it, except that it seemed weird. In trying to recall what felt weird, I concluded that maybe going to yoga with your parents is weird.

The second time was in my late 20's and the two things that stand out for me are: the overwhelming amount of incense thru-out the place and I felt like I needed to take a separate class to learn the overwhelming amount of ohm shanti that was going around. I kept thinking, 'gads, let me relax while I'm stretching! my friends all told me it would relax me! but not if i have to memorize sayings at the same time!'

So, here I am, in my late something-or-others, giving it another go. It's a really beautiful space, one entire wall is windows, and I always feel excited at the beginning of a new exercise class. No, excited isn't the right word. Hopeful. Though I've admitted I'm not much of a group exerciser...I know this only through trial and error. But I like to begin with hope.

So far, so good. I did end up choosing a class that is being led by one of these somewhat cult-ish teachers. You can tell by the look in the students eyes. And the way they vie for the best spot on the floor. You can also tell by the way she talks about herself, sometimes in the third person. That can be a little distracting, especially in an hour and a half class, but I'm adjusting. The class begins with her opening up this little black box (turns out it's a hand cranked mini organ) and she starts to play the keys in which we repeate back our OMmmm's. Next thing I know, I'm working to do a headstand, which I've never done in my life, while she's talking about her upcoming vacation to Switzerland and how pleasurable that will be for her. Again, my thoughts go to, "hey, i really just want to concentrate and relax here....not think about your vacation time..."

But, I yoga on.

5 comments:

comfies said...

couldn't agree more.

billy girl said...

Nam yo ho renge . . . you go! namaste mol.

gojiearthbird said...

Yo, mom and dad showed up at a yoga class, omm shanti for them.. 1970's ? SF or PV..?

apoorva said...

I am slightly cynical about yoga. I always got distracted and it would turn into a mental competition to see if I could bend as much as the pretzel in the front row. Needless to say it did not end well.

Nancy Roberts said...

Keep at it, find a class that fits you. Three years of living in LA, I had all the cult teachers..the one who caused me to throw my shoulder out while holding downward dog for 5 minutes by saying "This looks delicious, but I want more." NO thank you, this is yoga not Debbie Allen in "Fame"!