Thursday night I had my first Gentle Intermediate Yoga class at the Garner Adult Education center. It was gentle! It was intermediate! It was Yoga! I wore Brian’s pajama pants.
I signed up for the class two weeks ago after I picked up the ‘Garner Adult Education Winter Catalogue’ to throw it away, but leafed through it instead. I’d been looking around online for a weekly yoga class, and I had begun to notice that the going rate per class was about the same price as a movie ticket, except with less popcorn and previews, and more downward dog. After investigating a few yoga studio websites, on which stylized lotus flowers opened and flitted across the screen and tranquil music piped in through my speakers, I’d just about given up.
Saved! By the Garner Adult Education Winter Catalogue!
The last Adult Education class I took was Hula with Laulau when we lived in Honolulu. I believe it was about 8 weeks of classes for about $8. What a steal! As the culmination of our eight weeks of Adult Education Hula Lessons, we got to give a performance in the cafeteria of the local high school during a budget meeting. It was kind of like the bonbon factory conveyer belt scene in I Love Lucy, except we were wearing muumuus. Lau and I considered the experience to be a great success overall.
As yoga time approached on Thursday, however, I found myself feeling a little apprehensive. This time I was going all by myself, and I had no idea what to expect. What if ‘Gentle Intermediate’ yoga involved complicated, difficult moves that would make me fall down and get laughed at? While I have some basic experience with yoga, I am extremely inflexible and not what you’d call ‘graceful’ or ‘aware of my own limitations’. What if everyone else in the class was a lean blonde gazelle who would touch her forehead to her mat when greeting the teacher? What if everyone else’s mat was a nicer color than mine? WHAT IF MY UGLY FEET OFFENDED OTHERS?
I have noticed that the more challenging poses in yoga tend to have names like, ‘Honorable Warrior’, whereas the easier resting poses have more ignoble names. I believe this is to goad unwilling students into pushing themselves to do more difficult poses. I mean, when the instructor says, “Now, if you are ready for it, please go into ‘Powerful Leader Pose’. If you do not feel strong enough for that, just relax into ‘Lazy Cow Pose’,”-really, what are you supposed to do there?
In any event, as soon as I was in the room with ten other barefoot adults all shifting their weight awkwardly and listening to new age music, I relaxed. Sometimes it just takes a minute for that little ‘eh, who cares?’ switch in your brain to turn on-you know, the one that makes you realize that even if your pants split in the middle of class, or the teacher tells you to point your toes and you turn red, it doesn’t matter. I once heard the saying, ‘Your most embarrassing moment is merely someone else’s temporary amusement’. It’s a phrase that’s given me great comfort through the years.