I started doing yoga about three years ago, although just writing that shocks me, since I still don’t know my Ardha Chandrasana from my Prasirita Padottanasanaa. I’ve never been good with languages. I flunked Spanish I three times, well, maybe just twice, but still. Anyway, I love yoga. For so many years, my back issues (sciatica caused by L4 S1 herniation) made me think that yoga would throw me into an “episode” of searing pain and the inability to do anything but moan, a sad and not infrequent feature of my younger life. And no, I can’t do all the poses, but I give it a good go. And I’m fucking grateful for every single pose (that I don’t know the name of) that I can do a close proximity of. Fucking grateful.
I am generally a total student during class, paying close attention to the pretzel shapes my body is trying so hard to emulate. But there are days when my focus isn’t quite as clear and I have a running dialogue in my mind of what some of the poses should really be called. Like when my teacher says to (and let me just stop and say here that I have the best, most wonderful, most knowledgeable, gifted and adorable teacher ever) get into dog pose, I am thinking (in my head, or at least I don’t think I”m saying out loud,or Jeez, I hope I’m not) why don’t they just call it “Ass in the air Pose”? Because that’s what it really is. Your. Ass. Is. Sticking. Straight. Up. In. The. Air. (And the higher, the better). In. The. Air.
Or like, tree pose. Why isn’t it just called”Stick Your Foot in Your Vagina” pose? I mean, this is exactly what’s happening. Me: I’m pregnant. Friend: Who’s the father? Me: “The heel of my left foot.”
And speaking of me not knowing the names of the poses, you should see my head swivel when she tells us what to do and I quickly, but nonchalantly scan the room for someone who actually knows the pose. I am Linda Blair in The Exorcist, I tell you.
My teacher will also say to look up from the eyes of your chest. I always want to scream, “Some of us have bigger “eyes” than others to hoist on up.” Because really, 32 E.
And then there is the pose, which my teacher does with ease, because she is a yogini in the first degree, but also weighs like 4 pounds, that I don’t know the name of, but I will just call “Impossible.” You get into criss cross apple sauce and then you pick yourself up with your arms and swing your body. PICK YOURSELF UP WITH YOUR ARMS. Hahahahahah, that’s happening. I couldn’t pick up my 32 E’s plus the rest of my body weight anymore than I could pick up my SUV. So, yeah, the “Impossible” pose is something that’s probably never going to be possible for me.
I love yoga. And the people I’ve met in my yoga community are exceptional, like really wonderful and generous and amazing. And like I said, my teacher is the best. I adore her. But you know, every once in a while my head can’t help but laugh at what I’m doing. Because like everything else in life, if you look at it just the right way, it’s just funny.
If you want to go to a fabulous yoga class, go to Roni Brissette Yoga. But if you can do the “Impossible” pose, please do not let me know.