Tow All the Yoga
I tried Yoga when I was living in Vienna, a few years back. There was a gym in my neighborhood that had an early class: "wake up Yoga." I went there for two weeks, before going to work. I was optimistic and wanted to go to the office with a lot of energy. It didn't happen. In the first three sessions, I blamed my poor German skills when I was yawning half of the practice session. But the teacher was nice and very happy to have students so early in the morning (it was a 7 am class), so I convinced myself that I could learn this new hip thing everyone was talking about ever since I've moved to Austria. After two weeks, I gave up. I was struggling with the "breath in/breath out" moments - I was so bored that I decided to try Pilates. I dropped the pilates class after three sessions and canceled my gym membership. I returned to my everlasting love - riding the bike.
Three years ago I decided to try Yoga again, to shut up one of my friends. She was still living in Vienna, and I was back in Timisoara, so I watched some Youtube tutorials that she recommended. There were some exercises I began to like, after three weeks of practice. It was more like a stretching routine for me, however - I was doing Yoga. I promised her I would try it for a couple of weeks, yet it was just something I didn't look forward to it. I was continually reminding myself that commitment is about showing up and I know human beings are great adapters, so I might as well adapt to a routine. If I woke up too late for a run, I convinced myself that Yoga is an excellent way to start the morning. It was a good warmup before riding my bike to work. Unfortunately, the whole morning routine didn't last more than two months. I was impressed by my persuasion skills, though - sticking to it for two months taught me patience. One year later, I tried it again for one month. I put a stop on it because it didn't make me happy, but kept some of the exercises for stretching before or after a run.
It's 2019, and I decided to give Yoga a new trial. I have friends who only talk about the benefits of Yoga; I read articles on the internet, I hear stories from acquaintances in bars, late at night, success stories that everyone would like to experience at least once in life. Some people present Yoga being "The Oracle of Delphi" of modern times. Need to take a decision? Go to Yoga and after you'll know what to do. Do you feel too judgemental and want to be more open minded? Go to Yoga, and you'll feel better. Want to find the peace in your heart and mind? Yoga is your answer.
It was a cold Saturday morning when I showed up again. She was there - she, whom I love, and I trust completely. She's been doing Yoga for a long time, and I wanted to try it for her. Or with her, because spending time together makes me happy. I took her advice, went there without any expectations. Another friend of hers was there, so we were like a small gang. I chose a place next to her and looked around. It was a small room, painted in white, with colorful yoga mats laid on the floor, a few blankets and a gong on my right. I was ready to experience "Kundalini." All the women seemed to look forward to it, so I closed my eyes and kept my heart open.
But in the first 10 minutes, I was bored - completely and utterly bored. I was ready to leave but didn't want to excuse myself or to interrupt the session, so I took a big breath and looked at the clock. It was hanging there, on the wall on my left, mocking me. I could hear it say "maybe it's your lack of patience when it comes to standing still and focusing on the 'inner self' that doesn't allow you to experience Yoga." I closed my eyes again and tried to follow the teacher's instructions. I was on my back, my feet were up at 45 degrees from the yoga mat, and I was doing the Leg Scissor Exercise. "Ok," I thought to myself, "this is a strange way to start exercising, but I'm here not to judge, but to enjoy." But, after doing that for way too long, we were rising our head from the floor - for fun?!? I did half of it because I was bored.
Only 22 minutes have passed, and all I could think of was why on earth didn't I bail when I first wanted to? But I looked at my right, and I saw her - with her gracious moves and her sculpted body - and I remembered how much I like her and how much I want to enjoy it too. I frowned whispered to her that I am seeking a way out of this mundane, humdrum experience, but she smiled and replied that I have to have patience and keep an open mind. "It's simple. Just breath long and deep", she added. I gave her a wan smile and awkwardly, sat back down. After ten more minutes, the Gong Bath began. And that was the moment when I nodded in agreement - while talking to myself. "I should have left, I have my Kindle with me, and I also have my towel - the massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. I could wrap it around my head and could pretend I'm flying.
I have to stay here for one hour more. One hour! One hour in which I could re-read the part where Arthur Dent woke up in the Dentrassis' sleeping quarters." The Gong bath was still going on, and I imagined myself trading places with Arthur. "I would rather listen to Vogon poetry - and that's the third worst in the Universe." I opened my eyes and looked at the clock on the wall. Forty-five minutes left. I hadn't liked anything that had happened so far and didn't think things were likely to change. The Yoga instructor was also bored. She had a blank look on her face; the same look people have when watching a TV commercial for too many times. When the sounds coming from the gong ended, everybody was wide awake.
And I - I was in a dullness coma, but, as my last attempt, I tried to do the final exercise. The workflow didn't have a logic behind it, and another woman was sitting too close to me. She didn't have any socks on, and I had no interest in seeing her nail polish every time she put her legs on the floor, next to my face. There was no personal space at this point, and I was annoyed.
In the 17 minutes that were left, I decided to organize my thoughts around it all slowly. But the "aooooommmm" sound started, from deep within everyone's diaphragm and we were supposed to keep our arms in a certain position. I guess this was the time where the words should have been transformed into a sonic environment, but again - it did nothing for me. I opened my eyes, sensing someone else reacting to the noise. There was another woman whose shoulders raised, as we made eye contact. We both looked at the clock and counted the minutes.
375 seconds later, the class had come to an end. After saying "thanksbye" in supersonic speed I was feeling enthusiastic and I hugged my Kindle "hello."