Archive for February, 2014

Yoga, Beards, and Scented Oils

February 5, 2014

The best time for me to workout is in the morning.  Sure I’ll play basketball or run with someone after work but for me, the best opportunity to workout is in the morning.

With working at a college, there’s always easy access to a gym with workout classes.  In perusing the schedule for the Winter 2014 semester, the only thing offered in the morning is Yoga.

So, I jumped in on it.  Family, friends, stories on tv, etc. all rave about the benefits of Yoga.  It centers you.  It calms your muscles.  It awakens your mind.

First class was this past Tuesday and, well, it was an interesting experience.

Just one?

I’ve never taken a Yoga class before.  All I knew was that I was going to be doing some stretches, pointing towards the ceiling a lot, and something about a downward dog.

So I get there a few minutes early.  Gentle tribal music is playing in the background.  The teacher greets me and I see a few people have already arrived.

Thankfully someone arrives right after me so I can nonchalantly follow along at how this all works.

I see her take off her shoes.  Oh, ok, shoes off.  Check.

She joins in with the group in the front row.  I take a spot towards what I think is the back center so that I’m not in anyone’s way but have a good view of the teacher.  I continue to watch the woman who came in before me.

She’s unrolling her mat.  Ok.  Let me just…WHAP!  Heads whip around…

Awkwardly loudly say, “OH!  Sorry.  New guy here.  My bad.”

Tribal music takes back over the room thankfully drowning out the screaming red from my face.  Have to roll it out on the floor next time.  Not start at the height of my head…

She sits cross-legged in the middle of her mat.  Ok, that’s easy for me.

More people start to file in and take up a few more spots in front.  Then, before I realize it, I’m no longer in the back center.

I’m in the exact center.  Awesome.

She begins class by introducing herself and talking a little about the class.  Then asks, “So is anyone new to Yoga?”

I throw up my hand.  Not going to lie about it.

She says, “Just one?”

Hand slowly lowers as again, all eyes are now on the guy in the center of the room.  This should be fun…

So you can stick your tongue out if you want to

Yoga is a whole other language.  Spider.  Warrior.  Words tossed around that I don’t think can be spelled using the English alphabet.

I know that language will come to me over time.

What I think will really take some time are the Yoga jokes.

I’m glad she’s getting the class laughing a little.  I think that’s good to relieve stress.

But when I’ve got my arm under my other arm while my leg is off to the side and my feet are gripping onto the mat for dear life, I’m in no mood for jokes.  I’m just trying not to pass out from not being able to breathe.

I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll be laughing right along with everyone else but first I have to learn to not knock over the person next to me and start a human domino machine.

Yoga and Beards do not mix

I’ve started growing some facial hair.  My mom’s response- “Oh Jeffrey.  I like it.  I really like the new vibe.  It’s very mobster!”  Mobster.  She said it very positively which means she likes it, so I’ll take it:-)

Growing facial hair is a new experience with new sensations.

I can feel every muscle movement in my face.  The littlest smirk.  The raise of an eyebrow.  The start of a frown.  Everything is sensitive on my face.  Borderline ticklish.

When you have a hair on your face, many of us instinctively swipe at it.  My mind has not mastered the fact that now there is hair all over my face and it’s not going anywhere.  To those of you who see me take random swipes at my cheeks… I’m really not crazy.

Yoga is all about clearing the mind and focusing on the body (Says the guy who’s only taken one class).

But what’s happening is that, as mentioned before, I’m trying not to suffocate myself.  Don’t fall into the person next to you. Spine straight!  Shoulders back.  Don’t forget to breathe.  Ahhh.  Ok.  Got it.  Feels pretty go… Wait!  I’m two poses behind.  How the hell did your leg get there?

And now you throw in involuntary swipes to the face.  Which does wonders for balance.

I’m just going to put a little oil on you

At the beginning of class she mentioned that she likes to put scented oil on her students when class is winding down.  I usually pass on these experiences due to sensitive skin.

So she gets to the end of class and everyone is laying flat on their backs.  She asks everyone to close their eyes.

I close them for a brief second then open right back up to see what the heck is about to happen.

She starts on one side of the room and I see she’s got the scented oils prepped.  After a few people I see that she places a little in her hands then touches the shoulders followed by some sort of something on the forehead.

Nope.  Forehead.  No way.

She walks around the room and then gets to me.

As I’m about to say something softly to her, I think, “Aw what the hell…”

I pick up the scent in my nose and close my eyes.  She does the wavy thing on my forehead and before I know it, I am in relaxiation central, population… this guy.

Wow.  Just knocked me out.  I didn’t open my eyes.

I was amazed at how I went from, “Oh dear God she’s getting closer.  What are you going to say?  Blame the allergies?  Sensitive skin?  New guy?” to “I am a leaf on the wind.  Watch how I soar…”

……….

All joking aside, the class was great.  The teacher was really good.  I, for the most part, kept up with the movements.  Sure it was awkward a few times but I did walk out of there feeling really good.  Definitely headed back.

Thanks for reading…

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