Yoga. An ancient meditative practice that dates back about 5,000 or so years could never be wrong. Right? All those dudes sitting cross legged with their hands raised to the heavens and eyes closed had to know that the human body was not so limited as to feel pain simply from completing a couple of seemingly easy stretches to elongate the muscles. Sure. Well that is the real secret of yoga that no one ever talks about; it is like being put on The Virtual Rack -- where the body is yanked apart but without the medieval shackles around the wrists and ankles. So this morning I started working on building a Rack instead of attempting yoga again because I think it would be more effective, hurt less the next day and be far less work.
Wait, let me back up for a second.
Since I can remember I have always been an active gal. From the age of seven I was in gymnastics and as a kid I also went a few times a week to Jazzercise with my Mom. I loved to run around outside and as a tomboy I would climb trees or playground structures for hours. When S and I met in sixth grade we had an immediate bond of gymnastics and we both eventually joined the High School team. After High School, years went by where my only real exercise was walking but with the amount I did I remained in great shape, and then I started painting for a living. Faux finishing is indeed a full body workout (try doing ceiling to floor strie and tell me how your arms, thighs and core feel the next day). Then the housing market crashed so I started writing (AKA, sitting on my ass in front of a monitor all day) and S got pregnant with twins. For the past year both S and I lost all of our tone but we were both determined to fight against anything called “middle aged spread”. Especially since we are only in our mid-thirties. Barely even considered Cougars; if we were single of course.
Before she went in for surgery she signed up to do a swim class for new moms and since it really is not very practical to lift two babies in a pool, she asked if I would like to join her on the weeks her own mom would not be able to make it. I love to swim so it seemed like a great idea. When we got to class and remembered that part about wearing a bathing suit in public, fear sunk in. At least she had an excuse. I on the other hand looked like I should have birthed one of those babies with my sorry excuse for an out of shape butt and little pot belly out on display for all those judgmental moms to see. It was time to turn it around pronto.
Now that S is healed up nice from her surgery we have started a workout routine together over at her place a couple days a week. They have a nice exercise room set up with a recumbent bike, rowing machine, exercise ball and a Bowflex and we have been steadily increasing our activity level on each as the weeks have progressed. So yesterday when S suggested we could throw in some yoga as a nice supplement to our workouts I thought ‘hey, I was a gymnast, I am flexible, yoga should be a breeze’.
Insert hysterical laughter here. Then again, please don’t, it hurts too much.
We put on the DVD, unfurled our exercise mats which had collected about a year’s worth of dust and, with completely false confidence due to our recent workout success, proceeded to be beat within an inch of our lives.
The video was so serene and peaceful set on the shores of a beautiful beach somewhere and Rodney, the instructor, was stretching it out right at the edge of the surf. Ah, how tranquil. He almost whispered the instruction for each pose and took us through a wonderful Awakening routine. I felt calmer, at ease and at one with my yoga mat. Then in an evil plot twist, Rodney decided it was time to teach us who is boss and I suddenly felt a strong compulsion to find that beach, locate him on it and shove him right into the ocean. Of course with the way his back bent I have a feeling he might have simply sprouted fins and a tail and challenged dolphins to a jumping contest, and win. Fucker.
We were supposed to go from bent in a triangle like shape with our head down, hands shoulder length apart, ass toward the heavens (known as Downward Dog in yoga speak) immediately into a position known as Plank where our body is completely flat as if about to do a push up and then into an Upward Dog where our thighs are touching the mat and somehow we are meant to arch our back and extend our heads so they touch the back of our knees or something. And we are supposed to move from one pose to the next within a millisecond, with completely fluid motion and complete this at least 25,000 times in a row. Damn you Rodney. Damn you and your Sun Salutation right into the pits of hell.
After S and I were finished with our special torture we all got lunch, eventually had dinner and ended up playing Rock Band with a couple beers last night. We decided to mix it up and all played our worst instruments so it would be goofy fun (and it was) and after a lot of laughs, S announced she was about ready to go in the hot tub. What a fine idea! We capped off the evening in 102 degree awesomeness and after about fifteen minutes of relaxation we all went to our respective beds for the night.
One would think that a hot tub would help ease muscles. One would imagine pulsating jets soothe away all aches and pains from Rodney’s video which I will forever refer to as “Agony (Even for Masochists)”. One would be wrong. I woke up this morning barely able to move let alone walk as every muscle in my body reminded me of the fact that until yesterday they were purely there for decoration. Namaste my ass.
This week S and I will resume our regularly scheduled biking, rowing and core training on the ball. But because I am a stubborn old broad I will force myself to take on Rodney again too. Yeah, you think you can break me Mr. Flexible with your rubber band body? Not a chance. As soon as I can bend over again I say bring it on buddy. Bring on the Agony. Because bathing suit season is only six weeks away.