Archive for the ‘Yoga for Dummies’ Category

Sit Up Straight Epiphone

AHA! Pam, the yogi slash real estate agent (which I also discovered during my latest kidney slapping class) reveals… anasana means “posture.”

Ok, so it’s a little anti-climactic. But you can imagine the smirk I had to hide when I was balancing on one foot and she divulged. It’s the little things, I tell you.


Getting Too Comfortable in Yoga Class

Went back for another yoga class with dear, sweet Pam yesterday. When she introduces herself to someone new in the class, who is inevitably sitting on the floor, she crouches down, knees bent to sit on her ankles. Then, she gets close. Very close. Puts her third eye somehow on both of yours within breathing distance of your face, outstretches her hand to yours, “Welcome. Hi, I’m Paaam. What’s your name? Any injuries? OK…” All the while, you’re feeling like this might be that date you really really really didn’t want to be on. But she’s not being icky, she’s just being a yogi… or something. She gets all close-talky like Kojak when you don’t give him enough attention.

The lady, Carole or Caroline or whatever, was just prior to class, having a very long (and very illegal – no phones or shoes allowed) conversation just outside the room with some masseuse (I presume).

“Do you bring your on table? How much? For what, 60 minutes?”

At that point the other two girls who were there early, ass cheeks in the air, were laughing together about how rude or how silly to talk about a rate so early in what was obviously the first conversation these people had.

My sentiment: “Yea, never on the first date.” Apparently some people here do get sarcasm.

Carole or whoever, with her green and purple flowered white tights and her stretchy black tank came in to sit next to me. Of course. I could see the white of her hair at the root. She was the older of the gals in this room. No gents that day. What she might have missed was a sports bra. I’m not judging. I’m just saying. Then, we stretched into some fine, uncomfortable poses. Arms out, twist here, “feel the air around your heart, yet let your shoulder soften,” Pam poetically instructed. We even slapped our kidneys again… gotta love that “jolt.”

Then, we all turn to the left. I’m looking at sweet Carole’s or whoever’s back. We bend to touch our toes.

And she farts. Loudly.

Why do these things happen to me? No one had better think it was me.

The Kidney Awakening and a Linda Blair Cat

Pam was working my anasana or whatever again today. I thought, how nice… get a hot chamomile tea, sit in the window on the first sunny day and read that book I’ve been trying to get through for months. How relaxing.

Class starts with pinching our nostrils, one at a time, and deciding which one does a better job. That, followed by a series of uncomfortable but helpful poses/stretches/improvisational dances and we’re on our way to calming, meditative state. Peace of mind.

“Ok, now stand with your feet apart, keep your hips forward and spin your arms back and forth. Let your hands smack your kidneys. That’ll really wake them up.” Of course it will, Pam.

I got brownie points today for standing the straightest of everyone. I know that because when we paired off into teams, someone held a rope to my hip. Where the belt fell is where my ankle should be. Good news. My ankle was right there. A+ for the day.

Then, feeling calm, kidneys kidney eye wide open (I do only have the one, after all), I took the long way home. Found a new cooking class, saw an incredible moon rising up through the colbalt sky… and then I got home.

Loopy went Linda Blair on me.

Not on the beeeeeddd…. ohhhh! not on the bed there too!! omg…on the floor? on the blanket! ugh.

Attempting to do some laundry now. Let’s hope I fare better than our earlier dish washer did.

I’m wearing a raincoat and a metal shield to bed.

Pam was right

Everything in yoga DOES end in “anasana.”

Pam, the Yogi for Beginners

Portland makes you a little granola. You want to wear Keen shoes and cotton, stretchy pants, sit cross-legged while you have your coffee and read some undiscovered first edition poetry book by Amy Ray or someone.

Since I’m working eastern standard hours, I need to find something productive with my afternoons. That, and I need to be sociable (since I work from home), and not get fat (since I work from home). I decided to sign up for some yoga classes down the street. It’s been years since I contorted myself to the sport, but I hate jogging or doing anything that makes me sweat a lot, really… unless it’s eating at Duff’s (mmmmm Duff’s). I got an introductory deal for $20… unlimited classes for two weeks. Unheard of in the city. That would’ve cost me at least a hundred bucks, plus the judgments from snobby regulars with fantastic postures.

Here’s how my first class went:

Counter lady: Here’s your mat. Down the hall, on the left.

I go down the hall and open the door to the studio. I’m 20 minutes early so there are only a couple of people warming up. One is up-side-down, the other is sitting cross-legged with a 24oz. water bottle on her head. I closed the door. I’m early. I’ll wait.

Fifteen minutes later I go back into the dark room with up-side-down people, and it started filling up. Some people had stretchy bands wrapped around their heads and connected to their feet. Some were doing headstands. Some were laying on purple bricks. Some were breathing loudly. I asked a regular, “do I need one of these bricks?” “Um, I mean, we don’t know what she’ll use today.” I grab one anyway and sit back down. After a few minutes of watching contortionists, I realize, this can’t be the class for beginners.

I lean over to a guy with his upper back perched on a brick, “This isn’t Beginners Yoga, is it?”

“Oh, no no. That’s next door.” Thank G-d.

Grab my mat, push through rubber band lady and snobby brick girl with tight pants and go into the right room. This one had 5 people, not 25, was brightly lit and had a bunch of people with lousy postures and smiles looking hopeful. Definitely in the right place.


“Hi, Pam. I’m Jaime. This must be Beginners Yoga.”

“Yes, this iiiiiissss,” says friendly Pam, the yogi, who talks with her lips pursed and quiet enough that I know she guides meditation.

“That explains why everyone in the other room was up-side-down.”

Awkward smile… she’s thinking, “Is this what humans call sarcasm?”  Yes, Pam. It is.

Thirteen days to go to make this $20 worth while.

And why does everything they say end in “anasanaaaaa?”

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