Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tibetan Twister


So, in anticipation of a calm, stress-relieving yoga session emphasizing breathing to activate the para-sympathetic nerve (or something like that. Look, usually, I ‘m upside down looking at the view between my thighs when we’re told about this breathing. You want I should be taking dictation?) which calms and centers the breather. That and the gentle stretching that goes on (not pushing too hard because there’s a difference between stretching and tearing and boy Howdy, you can feel it instantly) were what I needed.
Did I get them? Not so much.
No Lila. The Universe, as it is demonstrating today, has a particularly cruel sense of humor. The rise of Sarah Palin is proof.
NO, instead we had the Yoga Nazi (not to be confused with Col. Hans Landa. THAT instructor would have been infinitely preferable).
The music was the first hint that something was amiss. It wasn’t the usual quiet, meditative background sounds. In fact, I found it was damned annoying, but it raised a red flag.
First of all she started off with “I trained the trainer, so I know what I’m doing.” RED ALERT!!!! DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!! SHIELDS UP!!!! (Thereby referencing two 1960s science fiction shows to make my point) When the instructor starts off by giving you her credentials, you are in for a world of hurting because her ego is in the driver’s seat.
Then, we hear “I teach a multi-level class.” Oh yeah, right, I just bet. “But you should really push yourself to advance.” Loose translation: “I’m used to teaching advanced and I am not about to change my ways for a bunch of newbie losers like you. I’m only here to pick up an extra paycheck.”
We (the usual suspects. Actually, the class was like a great paint job: NO DRIPS!!) were expecting our usual session of hatha yoga (combine breathing and pose/movement). Nope, Ilsa the Yoga Nazi hit us with vinyasa, in which you are constantly moving. Don’t get me wrong: vinyasa is fine and a great workout, but it’s like attending a concert expecting Yo Yo Ma and getting The Sex Pistols instead (with a live Sid Vicious).
First of all, Ms. “I Trained the Trainer” didn’t have the Sanskrit terms for what we were doing (Lila always does) and she was hitting us with “Sunflower” and “Crocodile.” WTF??? We’ve never heard of these terms. Crocodile was her term for the low end of a Chadaranda push-up right before pushing up into Upward Dog. It took us a minute or two to figure that one out. Since Lila has told us several times that she  was trained in the Sanskrit terms, the sub’s credentials just got questionable.
She hit us with push-ups. Two times it was “Give me 10.” Lady, would you like to know where I want to put your 10 push-ups?  I did them to the best of my ability, mindful that back East, my friend Annie has thrown down the gauntlet for me to complete push-ups as she believes this is a key way to strengthen. I suck at them, Annie, okay? I can do a ton of other stuff, but so far, the push-up just plumb evades me.
And, and, Ilsa had the gall to refer to a couple of the poses (when we were allowed to stop) as “yummy.” UUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! PEOPLE OF AMERICA:  The ONLY time it is appropriate to use the term “yummy” is when you are trying to con a six year old into eating broccoli. It is a kid’s word (so is “tummy”). Can those of us over the age of, oh, I don’t know, TWELVE, de-infantilize our speech? Jesus, people, no wonder there are so many rug rats over the age of 2 with pacifiers clamped in their jaws. GROW THE FUCK UP.
But I digress. When you are dripping so much sweat that your footing on the yoga mat becomes precarious, NOTHING is yummy unless someone’s waving a Tanqueray and tonic in your face. Not that we got to stay in those positions for so long, mind you.
How do I know this woman was a bad fit for the class? The “big” guys, the young men of carefully built muscles who have the strength to pull off the more challenging moves off the bat, were FALLING OVER. Trust me, when they hit the ground, you hear it. I got a peek behind me in Downward Dog and they weren’t happy. I know, fellas, I know.
I tried to mentally change gears to go with the (vinyasa) flow because, after all, it’s yoga and it’s good for me and it’s something new, maybe I’ll like it. I should have applied the mindset I have for things like eating frog’s legs and snails: I don’t have to try it to know I don’t like it. However, as the class progressed, I was so stressed and wound up that if she’d laid a hand on me to adjust, I would have snarled at her at the least. As it was, I was actively plotting her death.  Untraceable to me, of course, but prefererably something  where she was found tied in a inexplicable knot lying in a pool of her own sweat and a sign saying, “So is THIS yummy?”
However, I am not a savage.
I overcame my urge (several of them, in fact) to roll up my mat and leave. I was there for an hour and by the Great Horn Spoon (no, I don’t know what it means, either), I wasn’t going to wimp out.
The hour ended with Shivasana (the Corpse Pose. You have to earn it) and then, the usual sitting up and hands to heart center, she thanked us and “Namaste” (Yeah, I’ve got your Namaste right here, Bitch), then blew out of there like her ass was on fire.
Lest you think I am a minority of one and just plain bitter, there was no small amount of satisfaction in hearing the other Usual Suspects voice their dissatisfaction with the class and instructor, among other things, the class was not meditative (If I’m getting increasingly pissed off during class, then no, it’s not meditative).
However, it was an hour, it’s over and everybody survived. Should her body turn up somewhere twisted into a pretzel, you didn’t hear it from me.

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