The last yoga class of the year is tonight. It’s too bad. Although I find it a little too challenging at times, I will miss it. I really like the standing sequences. Mountain, Mighty, Dive, Fold, Warrior One and Two, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not as big a fan of the seated series. The last couple of weeks we’ve been doing a pose that in any other setting would be considered torture. We are meant to put our knee in/behind our alternate armpit. Fine. Are you picturing it? Now picture me doing it. Let me help. Thunder thighs. D cups. Doughy arms. The weird thing is, once you’re in the pose, it feels so right. Getting there is the problem.
One thing that I will not miss is goddamned “alternate nostril breathing.” The instructor makes us do this after our cool-down time. Here’s how it’s done. You gently pinch off one nostril, breathe out for four beats, breathe in for two beats, pinch off both nostrils to the beat of eight, release the other nostril and breathe out for the count of four. Then you breathe in with the other nostril for the count of two. 2-8-4-2-8-4. Repeat back and forth for, oh, I don’t know… forever!!!
It’s meant to be meditative. I try to make it meditative. ‘Sblood, do I try. I’m in yoga class, so I try to get into it. I go as Hindu as I can. I say, “Catherine, don’t panic. You’re not actually suffocating. This life is all illusory. Maya is fabricating attachment to lure you into samsara. You only think you’re suffocating because you’ve been told that you need air to live. Pfft. There is no spoon.”
Ok, the last stuff isn’t Hindu, but at that point in my meditation, there is very little oxygen travelling to my brain and I start mixing up Vishnu with Keanu. Easy mistake.
We’ve also been doing shoulder stands, which are fun, but make me very angry. I’m angry at myself because I can’t do even half shoulder stands because I’m too heavy to support my own weight. Or maybe I’m too weak to support my weight, but that's just as bad, if not the same thing.
I remember when I was working at the Health Spa in England, one of the aestheticians came to my desk after administering a massage to a particularly heavy woman and said, “I just don’t understand how people can let themselves get that fat!” I haven’t forgotten that. For a long time I thought she was right, however insensitive.
Now I’m afraid I’ve gotten to that point. I’m no longer at my heaviest (hola, yoga!), but I’m still about 25 pounds heavier than I was when I got back from Turkey in 2002. Yeah, I know, I was doing a lot of walking on that adventure (and no, there was no Delhi Belly, but thanks for not asking), and grad school was a dirty bitch for my health habits. This is the only body I’m issued for this lifetime and I should take better care of it. I have to look good for the next time I run into Alex Mazer. Last time I looked like shit.