Friday, November 21, 2008

Remember to breathe

"You're breathing, right?"
The room was dimly lit with a few lamps and a strand of Christmas lights. As I walked in, the three other people were lying on mats and wrapped in blankets. Did I arrive at a yoga class or a new nap center? As the instructor handed me a couple of blankets and told me to make myself comfortable, I still wasn't sure.

After a few minutes of calming down from my rush to the Yoga Center, I realized the value of the rest. As we sat up and my classmates emerged from their blankets, I looked around. I was the youngest in the room by a good 20 years. Given my utter lack of coordination and balance, I considered this a good thing. Surely these women would be concerned, not humored at the new girl falling over in warrior pose. 

A few moments into the warmup, my seriousness was tested. "Everyone on your hands and knees. We're going to do lion pose." I quickly learned lion pose is where you breathe in deeply and stick your tongue out and make a funny face as you exhale. "We'll do three, but you can do more if you find it fun." I did find it fun, but as the new girl, I didn't want to get caught with my tongue hanging out while everyone else moved on. 

Plank to downward-facing dog to plank to downward-facing dog... has anyone really seen a dog do something like this? Perhaps they just look more graceful than I do. But can a dog imitate a plank? I think not.

Shortly thereafter, we were back to placing our mats against the wall and resting with our feet straight up. THIS, I can do. I've practiced this "pose" every Saturday after long runs. Deep breathing... eyes closed... I could do this forever. Does anyone ever fall asleep in yoga? The person next to me sounds asleep. "And roll over onto your side..." Nope, she's awake. 

Sit up. Breathe. Always breathe.