It wasn’t pretty, certainly not easy and definitely not successful – except for the fact that I did survive my first-ever yoga class. I felt like my experience was part of an “I Love Lucy” episode, but there was no “Ethyl” there to share in the comedy.
I went to class with my sweet friend, Eriko, who was encouraging and supportive. She had shared her first experiences with me, which helped me stick it out as long as I did. I especially liked the first 5 minutes – breathing – I can say that I was 100% successful at that part. Most of the rest of the time, I was hopeless. There were a few poses that I could at least approximate, but either my arms were shaking trying to support my upper body or my aged, out-of-shape, totally inflexible body just couldn’t comply with the instructions. One pose, the “downward dog” was repeated over and over. Have you ever seen the “downward dog” pose? By the time I maneuvered my non-compliant body into the formidable pose, the instructor told us to “jump so that your feet are next to your hands…what???” If a thousand hungry alligators were nipping at my heels, I would just have to be alligator dinner because there is absolutely no way my body can do that.
About 40 minutes into class I felt so nauseated I had to leave. Of course, adhering to yoga etiquette, I quietly picked up my water bottle and towel and exited the room. I would have left, but my shoes, purse, etc were all inside the room, not to mention my friend Eriko. About 15 minutes later Eriko came out and convinced me to come back in—for the cool down/massage part of class. I was still feeling a bit queasy, but went in and quietly assumed the lay-down-on-the-mat and breathe position (my favorite). Then the instructor came around and quietly did a little head, neck and shoulder massage/adjustment covering her hands with a wonderfully scented towel-one towel per person.
The class concluded and I had an opportunity to talk with the instructor, who encouraged me, thought I did ok for my first time (do they say that to everyone?) and gave me some tips. She also showed me a pose (maybe now my second favorite pose) for carpal tunnel. She also gave me a strategy for avoiding the nausea – eating!
Will I go back? Maybe, but I will never, ever like the downward dog!