Yoga in the fetal position

Last night I decided it was time to get my lazy behind up and actually work it out a bit. I have always been an active person and have been an avid worker outer (my blog…I say that’s a word) since I was in high school and my track coach taught us all the finer points of navigating a weight room. From that moment on, I have made sure I had access to a gym and I exercised faithfully.

Until we moved.

Something switched off inside of me when we moved down here. Part of the problem was the stress of moving, which working out would have helped with but the other half of the equation is the fact that we decided to save some money by not enrolling in a gym. “We can just work out at home,” Lee said matter of factly.

My husband grossly underestimates my motivation and drive.

It’s true, we have a lot of weights, and we have a work out bench and a pull up bar. We have plenty for me to use, but the final nail in my active coffin was a complete lack of desire. With the kids home all day, working out didn’t feel like an escape anymore – it felt like a chore. And so I stopped.

For the first time in twenty years, I’ve gone almost six months without doing anything. I’ve run here and there and on occasion my husband has managed to get me out to the garage to lift a few weights, but mostly I’ve become a sedentary bump on a log.

Bad Mommy!

So last night I pulled out a Yoga DVD that we purchased ages ago and popped it into the DVD player. It’s an 80 minute Power Yoga workout led by Rodney Yee. Yeah, I don’t know who he is either. All I know is his royal blue biker shorts are a little too bright and a little too spandexy. It’s…awkward.

About ten minutes into the Yoga video I felt myself starting to unwind a little. I was finally working out and I had missed it. “Stand tall and feel the muscles loosen in your back,” said the soothing voice on the DVD. Rodney doesn’t talk. He just stands there in his painted on shorts on a cliff over some ocean.

I can only assume that yoga is more fun and easier on a cliff over the ocean. That’s assuming, of course, that you are able to resist the urge to shove your instructor over the side of the cliff…

About ten minutes after we loosened our backs, I began to sweat as soothing voice over dude and Rodney led me through the Warrior 2 pose for the umpteenth time. “Now slowly lower to the push up position,” The Voice told me and I did even though my arms were shaking rather violently.

Down dog.

Up dog.

Be the Cobra.

Throw up.

Six months away from working out was long enough for me to forget how blasted hard power yoga is. About thirty minutes into the workout, I lost all feeling in my shoulders, which was actually a welcome relief to the searing burn of my muscles lighting on fire. I accepted the numbness as a sign that I was either dying a slow death or my body was simply releasing a defense mechanism against stupidity.

Forty minutes into the workout The Voice instructed me to stand on one leg, the other leg straight ou behind me. “Now very slowly, reach your arms out over your head. Have one strong, straight line lead from the palm of your hand to the heel of your outstretched foot. Feel the power surge through your body.”

If power feels like pain, I felt it. I was strong.

Shortly after this, The Voice instructed Rodney and I to lay down on our backs and tuck our feet up as close to our backside as possible. “Now place your hands on the floor by your ears and slowly push up into an upward bow.”

And  upward bow? What is an upward bow?

It’s a back bend!

I pushed myself up into a position that I haven’t tried since early high school when I was competing in gymnastics and my body was under the impression that such torture was normal. Last night, however, my body laughed at me. Out loud laughed, then trembled, shook and I plopped back to the floor. I watched Rodney on the screen, folded backwards in bright royal blue spandex shorts.

I may need counseling after this experience.

We did three “upward bows.” Well, Rodney did three. I did one and a half. At this point we were 45 minutes into the workout and I was now numb from my shoulders to my knees. I attempted to continue on, but when Rodney laid on his stomach and The Torturer The Voice told us to grab our ankles behind us and raise up to form a human boat, I threw the remote at the TV and curled up in the fetal position.

This morning I woke up and found the sensation had returned to all of my limbs. Unfortunately that sensation is pain as my muscles try to figure out what happened to their extended sabbatical.

Stupid Yoga.

If you need me today I’ll be sitting quietly on the couch trying to harness my Inner Chi. Whatever that means…

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