Thursday, October 11, 2012


I started taking a yoga class this week. A few years ago, when I was Stressed Out Kelly, I took a yoga class with my friend Ann. She convinced me it would be so relaxing and just what I needed. She was right, I did need it, but I just couldn’t relax. The whole time the teacher was telling us to clear our mind or just feel that stretch for one more minute, I would hear the sound of my fingers snapping in my head and think “C’mon…c’mon….let’s go!” and then I would think of all the things left on my long to-do list that still had to be done that day. On Class 3, Ann and I went out for a glass of wine after yoga….to relax from yoga….and she said “This isn’t working out for you, is it?” I really wanted it to but I could never free my mind for an hour a day. All I could think of “do you know what I could be crossing off my list right now?!”

Fast forward a few years and I’m back at yoga again. On one hand it is a totally different experience and on the other hand, I still haven’t found the ability to shut myself up.  I am a much different person now, I recognize the importance of taking time for yourself, and I WANT to take that time. I am also much more relaxed in general so I had no doubt this attempt at yoga would be different.
When we walked in I immediately loved the teacher and was lulled into a yoga trance by her quiet, soothing voice. I did spend most of the class looking up from poses to see what she was doing, though. Here we are in downward dog and she is explaining the transition to the next move and I’m thinking “put my leg where?!” so I would look up and then be a few steps behind. What can I say? I’m a visual learner.  I’ll get the hang of it eventually but I did end up with a strained neck from craning to see what she was doing.

Recently, we were with some friends and I “threatened” to not say anything for a week. They all bust out laughing saying “you couldn’t last 10 minutes!” What?! I tried it right then and you know what, they were right. Can I be quiet in yoga for an hour? Yes, I can….right? Turns out, not so much. My external voice just keeps rambling on inside my head. There is no way to shut me off. Here are some excerpts of the “conversations” from yoga:
Instructor: Let’s just start with clearing our mind….clear away the stresses….stop thinking about the things you need to get done….just let your mind be blank…

Me: Okay, clearing my mind….I can’t clear my mind…are other people literally thinking of nothing? (insert me peeking at other people….they have their eyes closed and seem to be thinking of nothing)…what night is it tonight…Tuesday….okay, when I get home I have to…wait, stop…I need to clear my mind. Seriously, can you really think of nothing?
Instructor: look over your other shoulder and just feel the stretch. Connect with the muscle and just think about releasing it….

Me: ow…that hurts. Ok, shush….just connect with the muscle. What if my neck tendon just snapped right now….that would really hurt. Okay, stop….just imagine your mind as all black….hhmm…maybe I’ll wear my black pants tomorrow…
Instructor: just roll your head round, using your nose as a pencil…imagine yourself making a big circle on a piece of paper.

Me: giggle. That would be funny if my nose was a pencil. Okay, stop, focus. Oh boy…here comes the spaghetti I just had…it’s coming up…and I’m burping sauce. Mental note: don’t whoof down dinner 20 minutes before class…especially pasta and meatballs.
Instructor: okay, now just stretch as long as you can….lengthen your arms and legs…now start crawling your fingers out…..

Me: This feels like I’m trying to save myself from something….should I pretend this is life and death and with just one more stretch I’ll be home free…..oh, this reminds me of when the kids used to do itsy bitsy spider…it was so cute…Stop…just lengthen your arms…
Instructor: With your left leg behind you and your right leg bent and in between your hands you are going to lift your arms up to the sky…

Me: Am I the only one falling over?! Why can’t I balance myself? Oh boy, here comes the sauce again…
Instructor: okay, now it’s time for… (I admit, I have no idea what she called this part of the session but essentially you just lay down and completely relax and no one talks.)

Everyone got crazy giddy all of a sudden for this end part of the class. People were asking for blankets, neck rolls, eye pillows…I had NO idea what was going on. Apparently it signals the end of class. I did not take a blanket. I was afraid I would fall asleep and snore.
Me: Are people really about to fall asleep right now? Did I just hear someone snore? Do they have “clear” minds? This is relaxing. It really is. I just need to shush myself. Shhhh….just think about nothing….what happens after this? Is there more….?

Me: This is going to make a great blog post….

1 comment:

  1. So funny. My mind works like that too.
    I have always wanted to take a yoga class but need to be in a beginners class.