My practice

The practice I speak of is that of yoga.
Hot yoga, to be more precise.
I’ve been dabbling on and off for about a year now.
I started doing a “30 Day Challenge” last May, and on day 3, I came down with a horrible stomach flu, and I blamed it on all the germs creeping around in that hot, sweaty classroom.

I’m back at it.
And quite frankly, I find it difficult as hell.
Not the movements themselves.
I can move.
I’m very flexible you’re welcome Wayne
And I have a lot of stamina…they don’t call me the Little Engine that Could for nothing…I made that up, nobody calls me that

But I have the attention span of a two-year-old.
I cannot sit still.
When I’m supposed to be concentrating on slowing down my body and my mind, I’m wiggling my toes.
I’m fidgeting.
I’m fixing my head band.
I’m twirling my rings.

And I’m standing in front of a mirrored wall.
A big giant mirror!
I’m all about looking at myself.
But put me in this room where I’m SUPPOSED to be looking at myself in order to ensure proper posture, and I’m checking out buddy with the spandex tights or that fat lady over there.

Throughout all of this, the voices in my head are louder than ever.
Oh, I try to quieten them, to still them.
I’m like, “Shut up. Just shut the fuck up.”

And for about 3 seconds, I’m good.
My mind is like a blank slate…

And then it starts up louder than before.


image from here

We begin by placing our hands in a prayer position.
This is the perfect opportunity for me to just breathe.


image from here

But I’m all like, “I need a manicure.”
Of course this is followed by, “Oh, and a pedicure…yes, a mani-pedi!”

As I move through each posture, my thoughts range from “That girl’s top is super cute!” to “It looks like I have a mushroom on top of my head when I wear my hair like this.”


image from here

My friend, Jen, is beside me, executing perfect poses, and as I admire her in the mirror, I then get to thinking of things I need to tell her.
Now!
Like right fucken now.
So while everyone is quiet and focussing on their postures, I’m looking for opportunities to whisper as quietly as I can, “Hey! Wanna go to McDonald’s after this?”

Of course, the poses themselves are not conducive to quiet.
Each posture gives me plenty of opportunity for mental dialogue.

While maintaining this one:

I’m thinking, “Is that pubic hair growing that far down my leg?”

And this one…


image from here

…has me worrying that I’m going to fart.

The other day, when I felt my stomach bubbling with the warning of imminent flatus, I clenched my buttcheeks as hard as I could, and thought, “Shouldn’t have had dairy before yoga.”

And needless to say, several of the poses have me thinking that they could easily be adapted into very cool sexual positions.

As we lay on our matts for our final deep breaths, the instructor challenges us to stay in the room after her departure to meditate.
Is she kidding?
Meditate?
That’s like being really quiet, right?

..ummm…I don’t think so.

As soon as she exits the room, I spring to my feet, and bolt to the door.

Freedom at last!

Namaste, indeed.

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90 Responses to My practice
  1. PM Taylor
    January 30, 2011 | 6:47 am

    You have just precisely articulated the many, many reasons that I do not go to Yoga class. Although I do it at home (via Wii Fit), just to occupy the big tv in the living room and annoy my daughter. Adds to the difficulty (and entertainment) level …

    PMT
    http://thisthattheotherone.blogpsot.com

  2. Queen B
    January 30, 2011 | 6:48 am

    never look at the fat lady doing yoga… nothing good can come of that.

  3. Poppy
    January 30, 2011 | 6:57 am

    I always get the giggles and have to leave. I just can't do it…I'd rather have a brazillian bikini wax, much more productive and you have to be pretty flexible for that shit too.

  4. JUST ME
    January 30, 2011 | 7:04 am

    I try not to eat an hour before yoga…farting is just NOT COOL in a room full of sweaty people.

    But seriously? Some people need to wear more deodorant.

  5. SherilinR
    January 30, 2011 | 7:21 am

    it's like being in church. as soon as it's a quiet moment, i can't help but squirm & drift mentally. or giggle about the most inappropriate crap. maybe someone should pinch my nose & mouth shut to keep me quiet.

  6. Laoch of Chicago
    January 30, 2011 | 7:58 am

    The dark lure of McDonalds!

    I have always assumed that yoga was really a secret club for masochists but of course this is probably just sour grapes from a very inflexible person.

  7. Ann
    January 30, 2011 | 10:29 am

    I've thought about starting yoga but now I think I better reconsider. I can't sit still and concentrating on one thing, nope not going to happen for this girl.

  8. Polly
    January 30, 2011 | 10:43 am

    We should do yoga together. We could be the naughty kids up the back.

  9. Deborah
    January 30, 2011 | 11:01 am

    You're just simply a joy to read!

  10. Bouncin' Barb
    January 30, 2011 | 11:33 am

    Do you have ADD? Sounds like me. I can't meditate to save my life. I can, but it happens so rarely. I'm like you. My first thoughts go to sex, then hair, then looking at my rings….wouldn't we be a great team?

  11. Mynx
    January 30, 2011 | 11:36 am

    Love this post, although I have never done a yoga class. I think if I was there with a mirror, I would be giggling uncontrollably and be asked to leave.
    Zumba is more my thing hehe

  12. twilightgazing
    January 30, 2011 | 12:15 pm

    Ok confession time… yes yoga does stimulate thoughts of cool sex positions and has me in giggles all the time.

  13. Canadianbloggergirl
    January 30, 2011 | 12:18 pm

    I think I would be the same way. Thoughts running through my head like the ticker at the bottom of a news channel.

    CBG
    canadianbloggergirl.blogspot.com

  14. The Minute Man's Wife
    January 30, 2011 | 12:38 pm

    I would try and leave some helpful advice on how to quiet your mind but you're obviously a lost cause!! LOL!! I know this will make you more determined than ever though….

  15. Gigi
    January 30, 2011 | 12:50 pm

    I do that when I do yoga too…I have Yoga ADD. And I agree that many of the positions aid farting.

  16. jules
    January 30, 2011 | 12:53 pm

    My mind goes crazy in hot yoga too! I actually do better when it is really really hot though because then my mind is more focused on “not dying.”

  17. SkippyMom
    January 30, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    It is the pose names that would melt me into a puddle of laughter – the first time the instructor said “Down dog” I would be keigling just to keep from peeing myself.

    This is why I do not do yoga.

    Oh – and the fact that I have the flexibility of a lincoln log has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  18. Gigi
    January 30, 2011 | 1:16 pm

    I'm right there with you on the meditating thing – I can't get the voices in my head to shut up long enough for me to meditate.

  19. Nicky
    January 30, 2011 | 2:12 pm

    I meditate. Except, in my house, we call it napping.

  20. ChiTown Girl
    January 30, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    YOU are freakin' hilarious!

  21. myevil3yearold
    January 30, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    Great, now you have put the farting idea in my head and I am going to worry about it so much that I am bound to let one rip in my next class.

  22. DCHY
    January 30, 2011 | 2:31 pm

    I took a yoga class once (12 sessions) and I think I was the loudest student. My wife had to tell me to shush few times because I am not THAT flexible (too many sports-related injuries). I did worry incessantly about farting. Hehe. Out of all poses, I love the Corpse pose…not supposed to fall asleep while in the pose, but it sure felt good!

  23. Portia
    January 30, 2011 | 2:43 pm

    Unexpected farting is never good. Take it from a Celiac. Wheat + exercise = HOLY SHIT!

  24. Deborah
    January 30, 2011 | 2:48 pm

    I do have ADD and love yoga. I've decided the voices just chatter no matter what the hell I do. So have at it voices!

    Except I'm usually saying crap like, “Hey, you're really not that chubby are you”? or “Why can't you get your legs farther apart?”

    Luckily, even though I'm not very flexible, I'm very creative. Ha!

  25. RottenMom
    January 30, 2011 | 2:49 pm

    This is hysterically funny!

    We must have taken the same class!

    http://megalisfamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/yoga-and-me.html

  26. Mamma has spoken
    January 30, 2011 | 2:54 pm

    Never done yoga and I'm ok with that. My mine wanders too especially when I am in a faculty meeting and should be listening to the ramblings of the principal.

  27. suz
    January 30, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    If you ever figure out how to silence your mind (or your butt) let me in on it!

  28. Jerilee E.
    January 30, 2011 | 3:08 pm

    gah- I only did that sweaty hell yoga twice. It smelled so much like barnyard animals, I just couldn't do it!
    Not to mention that spandex was not meant for everyone… and that room surrounded by mirrors just kept reminding me of that fact.
    Good for you for sticking with it ;)

  29. Carri
    January 30, 2011 | 4:02 pm

    I tried yoga once. I was the one in the back of the class snickering when the instructor said “downward dog”. I probably farted and I know I was judging the fat girl.
    So, yeah. Haven't been back.

  30. Bibliomama
    January 30, 2011 | 4:24 pm

    From the fat girl — bite me: you people are why I don't do yoga. THBFFT

  31. Belle
    January 30, 2011 | 4:34 pm

    I wish I could quiet my mind too, but like you, I can't.

  32. EmptyNester
    January 30, 2011 | 4:42 pm

    DD2 loves her hot yoga classes in DC–me? I just muddle through a couple of the Wii Fit yoga positions…by myself…in the house…wondering how many more seconds I have to stay like that…and where farting is just fine. LOL

  33. kyknoord
    January 30, 2011 | 4:53 pm

    The butt clenching is the hidden purpose of yoga. Everything else is window dressing.

  34. Kimberly
    January 30, 2011 | 5:05 pm

    I used to take a yoga class for bad backs….yea, I was like swimming in a sea of geriatrics and depends. I had a hard time not laughing as I watched 90 year old women stretch and creak and pop worse than a bowl of Rice Krispies.
    I'd go back but yoga is fucking expensive.

  35. Diva
    January 30, 2011 | 5:48 pm

    I love this post! I wanna try yoga.

  36. Geekin' Hard
    January 30, 2011 | 6:05 pm

    You're the funnier, hotter, female version of me… and I'm pretty sure I mean that as a compliment. Fuck yoga though, I'd lose my freakin' mind having to stand there and pretend to be calm…

  37. Coffeypot
    January 30, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    I can’t do yoga. I tried. But I spent all my time checking out the chicks. ‘Look at that ass sticking up, man I would love to get behind her and…wow, that chick on her knees and leaning back on the mat, I could…and that one over there, what I would do…then the blood leaves my head for other regions and I pass out. Safer to just watch porn.

  38. Unknown Mami
    January 30, 2011 | 6:20 pm

    My brain is always jumping and most of the time I don't even have to be in downward dog to pass gas.

  39. Saimi
    January 30, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    This post has me cracking up! I just started a yoga class and let me tell you I have much to work on…All the ladies are so serious and all I can do is laugh…I laugh when I'm in pain so mind you I was laughing alot!!

    The next class I'm in for is Zumba, yep I'm really trying hard to kill myself! Every other day…Yoga and Zumba..Oh dear what have I gotten myself into.

    Your last picture has been haunting me and now I HAVE to look like that! HA!!

  40. Valerie
    January 30, 2011 | 6:50 pm

    Funny – and that's how we all start. 13 years ago I was you, but something told me to keep doing it. Now I can't live without it. It saves me in so many ways, but give Ashtanga or a Vinyasa Flow (my Yoga crack) type class a try – I think you'll dig them.

  41. Bridget
    January 30, 2011 | 6:51 pm

    I took a yoga class…one time. I rolled off the exercise ball and into a couple of the candles that were lit around the room. Thankfully, nothing caught fire, but I had candle wax in my hair …yeah, yoga is not for me.

  42. becca
    January 30, 2011 | 6:59 pm

    i've always wanted to try yoga but my balance sucks

  43. Pearl
    January 30, 2011 | 7:24 pm

    oh Sandra, as usual, you're hilarious! You've never failed to amuse me (in a good way of course..lol).

  44. Brandy Rose
    January 30, 2011 | 7:52 pm

    I'm glad I'm not the only one easily distracted by,…well everything…

  45. Kristina P.
    January 30, 2011 | 7:56 pm

    You describe perfectly why I can't do anything meditative. I can't stop my brain from thinking how I want to punch Mario Lopez.

  46. Nicole
    January 30, 2011 | 8:10 pm

    I cannot function in an athletic sense in a roomful of people, unless it's an indoor track. I can run circles with a quiet mind. But in a yoga studio (or good Lord a Zumba class?) my mind's as loud as yours.

    “Can I unwedge my panties without everyone noticing, like pretend it's a stretch or something?”

    “Where's she get that tank? I think I saw one like is at Target?”

    “I hope I look like that woman. She looks pretty good.”

  47. Madame DeFarge
    January 30, 2011 | 8:12 pm

    I just couldn't get yoga. Either I;d fall asleep or I'd remember how much ironing I had to do. Neither were very helpful.

  48. The WholeFamDamily
    January 30, 2011 | 8:15 pm

    i'm kind of like you, i think controlled, slow movements i'd be pinging to death! i need to shake it or rock 'em sock 'em, get pumped up energy kind of exerciser. i just need to be more consistent, but i want to do exercise to get away from my thoughts, not focus on them, so energy pumped fitness it is for me, i'd be daydreaming to no end in yoga..hahaha!! *especially about smoothies* ;)

  49. TheBabyMammaChronicles
    January 30, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    Haha, I'm pretty sure a lot of people have some similar thoughts in yoga. I've never done hot yoga but I really want to.

  50. Wow, that was awkward
    January 30, 2011 | 9:10 pm

    Loved the McDonalds comment, and the sense of urgency you felt to say it. Not to mention the awesome post workout reward it is. I play basketball every Monday night and most of the guys go to a seedy bar to drink beer and eat pizza afterwards. It takes every ounce of will power I have to not join them.

  51. gayle
    January 30, 2011 | 9:15 pm

    I am dying laughing……not really dying! I would be thinking all those things too!

  52. Impulsive Addict
    January 30, 2011 | 9:18 pm

    I love you! I love your writing style. You make me laugh and I kinda wanna be your bff. Is that too straight forward? I have a problem doing that. Can you teach me to be flexible? I tried yoga several times but I'm way too ADD to hold the poses.

  53. Lori
    January 30, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    LOL I can relate all too well. While I do love yoga, I have the hardest time shutting my mind down let alone my mouth…I got kicked out in the middle of a yoga/relaxation class once for laughing which only made me laugh harder…when I used to attend church the same thing happened to me…oh the times I had to walk out of there too…lol…the only thing worse is being next to someone that is just like me and well then I may as well leave before the class starts. :)

  54. Snuggle Wasteland
    January 30, 2011 | 10:14 pm

    I don't think yoga is for me. The only time my mind is 'silent' is when I'm asleep and that doesn't even last very long.

  55. Linda Medrano
    January 30, 2011 | 11:29 pm

    I like Yoga, but Hot Yoga! Christos! Oh not for this woman!

    Funny, I call my Navajo husband “the Little Injun Who Could”.

  56. Bossy Betty
    January 30, 2011 | 11:54 pm

    Tried Yoga. It hated me and made me hurt parts of my body that I had not hurt before.

  57. Julianna
    January 31, 2011 | 12:01 am

    I have a friend that goes religously to pilates. She's tried to recruit me. I have tried everything to avoid it, and finally said “What if I fart?” She replied, “Then you should just come to farting pilates on Wednesday night instead.”

    Yes. Farting pilates. That is what they actually call it.

    Now I just can't wait to go…

  58. Sparkling
    January 31, 2011 | 1:05 am

    Oh, we are so alike. I've tried so hard to like yoga. When I was out of my mind last winter, I thought yoga really would center me. And keep me exercising but not too hard. But I just spent more time thinking about what was wrong with me *which turned out to be nothing, but I thought I had gone over the edge* and it wasn't even hot yoga. That would just kill me. I'm always wondering if I got my leg just a little higher than the next girl. Look at me, I'm so flexible, and it's natural. Oh you wish you could be like me. And then I remember, I'm supposed to be thinking quiet thoughts. But I just can't. It's tough.

    When I used to teach pilates, it was a 4:30 class and I would spend a good portion of the class fantasizing about what I would make for supper and what I needed to stop and get on the way home. That's why I stopped. It got to a point where I think people could have exploded in front of me and I would have been thinking “we can't have chicken tonight, we had it last night”

    Classic story and then I have to go: I taught it for about 6 years and it was pretty routine. I loved it, and people raved about my class, but it was quite routine. My mind would wander. One day, a woman came in as I was talking about something and she said she hadn't heard. “That's weird, I said, because I think I emailed it to you…” Class starts and we are rolling shoulders, warming up, breathing, and I am thinking “I KNOW I emailed her about this”. I was so distracted by it. So, I said out loud “take a deep breath and INHALE, now EMAIL”.

    Swear to God. yeah, I'm legendary at my gym.

  59. Emma the SuperGal
    January 31, 2011 | 1:07 am

    Hoo Lawd, girl! You are FAB-u-lous. So glad to have found your blog.

  60. Sarahf
    January 31, 2011 | 1:59 am

    I gave up yoga after they had to wake me up at the end of the meditating section. Embarrassing, mostly because I'd been snoring…

  61. Mrs. Tuna
    January 31, 2011 | 2:32 am

    As you know Helga, Eva Braun's best friend is my yoga teacher. Screw the relaxation at the end, I'm trying to figure out how to escape and start checking my email.

  62. Pamela
    January 31, 2011 | 2:57 am

    Teehee – I've thought those exact things in my hot yoga class, but I've become oddly addicted to it. Which is strange because I really hate to sweat, but for some reason it feels good – maybe because I'm not that flexible & it helps me stretch.
    But, yeah, I avoid some of the poses out of sheer terror that I may fart. Also, I'm totally amazed at the flexible fat people. They just seem to defy the laws of gravity or something. Then I feel guilty for judging them.

  63. FreeFlying
    January 31, 2011 | 3:10 am

    Yet people continue to insist that “if I would only try it a few more times, it would become totally natural.” Please. I carry a book in my purse on the off chance that I will have to wait in line. There is no way I'm going to last for an hour in my own head. There is simply not enough going on in there.

  64. Jill
    January 31, 2011 | 3:55 am

    I could never get into yoga for the exact reasons your mentioning. It's just too hokie with everyone barefoot and all…

    The flexibility benefit is pretty sweet thoughj.

  65. WhisperingWriter
    January 31, 2011 | 4:53 am

    Yeah, I can't take Yoga seriously enough to ever do it.

    And I'd worry about the farting thing, too.

    I know people swear by it but I'm not mature enough.

  66. Miko's Girl
    January 31, 2011 | 6:10 am

    The last time I went to hot yoga, I left all stretched out, loosey goosey, sweaty and completely relaxed – it was like how you feel after really good sex!

    If you can't focus, then close your eyes to shut out distractions other than when you change poses. The instructor will realign you, if necessary. Then, try to focus on your breath. Sometimes, it sounds like, my knee hurts – breath go into the knee and make it stop hurting. Eventually, your brain will catch on…

    Regarding the gas thing, it happens. Not time for deep breathing, duh, but definitely don't sweat it!

    Hope you find your zen!

  67. Sex, Drugs and Bacon Sandwiches
    January 31, 2011 | 6:15 am

    Dear the little engine that could,

    I was banned from yoga for all the reasons listed in your post – although I'd never admit to the pubic hair one :)

    PS Lucky Wayne!

  68. Symdaddy
    January 31, 2011 | 8:55 am

    It took me so damned long reading all those comment that I forgot what I was gonna say.

    It was probably something really, really funny so, go on! Have a guffaw anyway!

  69. Jessica
    January 31, 2011 | 11:47 am

    I thought I was the only one whose mind wandered during yoga, I usually spend my time trying to calculate how long I have been in there and how much longer until it is over because there is NEVER a clock in a yoga classroom, every notice that? Nice to hear from someone who has just as much self-discipline as I do. Love this post.

  70. Buckeroomama
    January 31, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    You are funny!

    Wii Fit yoga is it for me. I don't think I can do proper classes.

  71. My Fitness World
    January 31, 2011 | 1:18 pm

    I'm returning the follow… Awesome colors on you blog. Very bright and colorful. Love it!!!

  72. Mad Housewife
    January 31, 2011 | 1:37 pm

    Yep, I think you just described why Yoga couldn't be my thing. I would laugh through the whole thing and my mind wanders too much for me to do the whole meditation thing. I don't get meditation anyway. What am I supposed to think about? Also, I would be the fat lady you were watching instead of doing your own yoga!

  73. Sue
    January 31, 2011 | 2:04 pm

    I got a few videos out at the library on Yoga awhile ago, but decided it def. wasn't for me. That's as far as I got with it.

  74. Slyde
    January 31, 2011 | 2:59 pm

    see? NOW i know that we would be able to hang together…

    everytime i see cute girls doing their yoga, all i can manage to think about are all those great sexual positions, too :)

  75. Diane
    January 31, 2011 | 4:00 pm

    Bwa Ha! I love yoga and while I don't have any problems being still, I do have a really hard time silencing my mind and sometimes sucking in farts during down dog.

  76. Shell
    January 31, 2011 | 6:26 pm

    It took me a while to get into yoga b/c I couldn't get still either. But, after a while, I loved it. Now. I can't sit still for a minute, so I'd be back to sucking.

  77. KittyCat
    January 31, 2011 | 6:43 pm

    The sportsman talked me into going to a couple. I do love the hot yoga. but
    I found after my first class I worked muscles I didnt even know i had and felt physically ill the next day.
    I went a few more times and really I spent more time looking around to make sure I was doing it right that I found it really wasnt all that relazing to me.

    Maybe I should give it a 2nd chance?

  78. Fizzgig
    January 31, 2011 | 8:08 pm

    yoga id sef not for people who dont like sitting still and quiet! i always wondered how hot yoga was!!

  79. meleah rebeccah
    January 31, 2011 | 9:03 pm

    Oh girl, you have just perfectly described all of the reasons I refuse to take a Yoga class!

  80. "GB"
    January 31, 2011 | 9:59 pm

    Just dropped by to visit my newest follower. I laughed out loud, I have had these thoughts while doing yoga, I so need to go back. Thanks for the inspiration!

  81. Joanne
    February 1, 2011 | 1:02 am

    This post was too funny and so true about yoga every single word of it. Thanks for the laugh. Blessings, Joanne

  82. Debbie
    February 1, 2011 | 1:14 am

    This, as well as my lack of flexibility or effort, are exactly why I don't do yoga!

  83. Not So Simply Single
    February 1, 2011 | 1:19 am

    Hot yoga and hot flashes DO NOT MIX! I tried it once, almost passed out. Tried it again, almost killed someone because THEY LOCK THE DOOR!

    Nope, not for me! I would rather poke out both eyes!

    How the heck did you get 1,000 followers?

    Have a good one!

  84. JennyBean
    February 1, 2011 | 2:08 am

    Loved it!

    Yoga definitely isn't for someone with a rabid mind. It's good practice though.

  85. MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings
    February 1, 2011 | 4:13 am

    Speaking of good writing, I think this is it. I've never tried yoga, mostly because I know this description of yourself would be me minus the female parts and plus some male parts. I'm just not that calm. Namaste!

  86. carma
    February 1, 2011 | 7:57 pm

    I tried yoga two times over the years – it wasn't for me but now after seeing that Yogi guy on Dr. Oz I may have to try it out again and get in those ridiculous poses

  87. Holly Ruggiero
    February 1, 2011 | 8:46 pm

    I love how you’ve embraced yoga.

  88. purplume
    February 2, 2011 | 6:04 pm

    You have me lol and waking up my husband. These are all the things that happen to me when I meditate, (like that feeling of having to tell her NOW). Lucky for my body I'm not doing the hot yoga part. Holy smokes, that's impressive.

  89. Kimberly
    February 3, 2011 | 1:40 am

    I can totally relate. I cannot keep my mind still. If I do, I fall asleep.

    But you had me almost peeing my pants (apparently I need to do more kegels) when you said the bit about public hair growing that far down your leg!

    Love your blog!

  90. Cake Betch
    February 15, 2011 | 3:12 pm

    Hahaha! I was super amused at the thought of you trying to sneak whisper to a friend about going to McDonalds and when I got the part about pubic hair and farting I actually laughed out loud. Good thing my boss is gone.

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