Do NOT wear short shorts to yoga class. You will end up in compromising positions. You will expose your upper-thighs to your neighbor yogis.
I should know this. I’m not a yoga novice. Yet with all my yoga pants in the dirty laundry bin this morning, I quickly threw on jogging shorts and left for class. Once in the studio, I confidently rolled out my mat and plopped myself down.
“Let’s begin in Reclining Bound Angle Pose,” the instructor said.
I slyly looked to see what others did. Many of the basic positions are automatic to me, but not this one. My neighbors laid on their backs and spread their legs in butterfly-position.
“Great, I love this pose!” I thought. Yet, as I reclined and opened my legs, I cringed – realizing short shorts was a really bad idea.
As class continued, many positions made short shorts a regrettable choice, including yoga squat, happy baby, and all warrior poses. If I authored “Yoga for Dummies,” Rule #1 would be: Wear Pants.
Nevertheless, I tried to ignore my fashion faux-pas and concentrate on my practice. Today was Day 4 of Tranquil Space‘s 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Currently, yoga is kicking my butt.
In high-lunge pose, my legs trembled uncontrollably beneath me – not quite strong enough to hold my body’s weight for that “one more breath.”
In downward dog, beads of sweat dropped from my forehead onto the mat. While cradling the baby, my “baby” (a.k.a. lower leg) slipped from my wet grip, falling to the mat with an ungraceful thump!
I’ve spent more time in downward dog these past 4 days than napping, eating or watching tv. My instructor appropriately described today, “All roads lead to downward dog.”
My perception of yoga has shifted. I used to equate yoga with stretching, not realizing how much strengthening is involved.
Yet, beneath the skin of measured movements and breathing – bodies are hard at work. Muscles are heated, hamstrings are stretching. For now, I am quivering and clawing towards greater strength and flexibility – the promise of yoga.
Hopefully yoga is like running and will get exponentially easier with time. Sore and weak, I will hydrate, take extra-strength Advil and get to bed early for tomorrow’s class. Perhaps the best cure for the aches and pains of yoga is more yoga!