Thursday, October 01, 2009

Down-facing Dog

In an attempt to hopefully learn how to stretch some muscles I didn't yet know the existence of, I went to a beginner yoga class.

I eagerly turned up to the local YMCA dressed in my daggy but comfy running gear. Being a crisp spring evening, it was with dismay that I entered the gymnasium to find that the class was being held on a vacant squash court. It was freezing enough to have the hairs on my legs rise up and painfully velcro themselves against my lycra leggings, but the teacher had put out a lot of fluffy grey blankets and urged me to find a mat, grab and blanket and lie in the, er, 'dead' pose I think it was.

In the background a CD was featuring some panpipes near a running stream. The gushing water sound effects reminded me of my eternal search. In any new location I always try and scope out just where the toilets are located. Many's the trip I've spent saying, "I'll just see where the loos are; might as well go now because I don't know when I'll find some again," as though public conveniences are a rare species of orchid never to be seen again.
All too soon the purposeful jingle of Zora's gold bracelets indicated that it was time to show us beginners what this yoga stuff was all about.

Zora was around fiftysomething but one who'd fashioned herself on a hybrid of Kate Bush and Olivia Newton-John in her 'Physical' phase. She was wearing a lycra bodysuit of black and silver, covered with a loosely black crocheted wrap-around vest and a matching silver headband that barely reigned in her dyed black rock star hair. She wore enough face paint to make a cosmetics counter chick jealous and her long, wrinkled ear lobes were clearly protesting at having to support some turquoise chandeliers. Her legs were encased in tights but tell-tale bobbled lumps below her knees clearly indicated that she had more varicose veins than a senior bowls final.

"Welcome to beginners yoga class, ladies. And congratulations for venturing into an area where, if you keep an open mind and heart, you will learn some spiritual and physical practices aimed at helping your mind, body and spirit achieve a state of enlightenment, or as we like to call it, a total 'oneness' with the universe----"
What the hell was that?

"......Don't worry ladies, it's just some gentlemen playing squash on the next court. Now, if I can get your attention back to me? Lovely, thanks. Throughout our journey, we will mostly be focussing on doing Hatha Yoga in this class. That is, we'll be taking the physical path using our body through Asana and Pranayama to control your mind and senses. It's more than stretching, ladies. It will open your energy channels, chakras and the psychic centre of your body."

Wow, that doesn't sound too bad for eight bucks fifty, I thought, especially if I also get to learn how to properly stretch my hammies and achilles and -----

Zora raised her hand, acknowledging the challenge of running her yoga lesson against the continuing squash match. "Ladies? Ladies, we'll be working on Prayama, which are breathing exercises that will help you keep things slow and steady and also enable you to let go of any thoughts that are distracting or stressful-----"
"..........which will all lead you on your own personal purification process."

Well, I just hoped that she would be able help me personally purify myself by stifling the need to do a wee as soon as practicable, thanks to that panpipin' water music. Thankfully, the first move, 'Table Posture' was a doddle. Think of it as being on all fours, with a flat back as is required when your daughter wants a horsey ride around the coffee table.
"Well done ladies, are you feeling-----"
Bloody hell Dennis, what a great shot, mate!
"......all calm and relaxed and ready to try some more?"

Yes, sort of, if only my head wasn't starting to throb from the unpredictable squash sounds. We all concentrated on doing the Dog Tilt; staying on all fours with bums down and faces looking up at the ceiling. It was a nice stretch and pretty darn easy. Next door though, Dennis's luck had changed:
Stupid F*%$ing ball!
Tough luck there Dennis!

Zora's face was frozen into a grim yet determined smile as we went on to Cat Pose. Our heads collectively dropped down, butts were pulled in and backs were arched. Mmmm, that one also felt nice. This yoga stuff is easy, I thought smugly, temporarily forgetting my full bladder and my aching head.

"It's time for a real classic, ladies: Downward Facing Dog-----"
Not bad Dennis, especially after your knee surgery!
Zora demonstrated the pose for us and looked for all the world as though she was just asking for Dennis the struggling squash player to come running up behind and give her a swift boot up the bum. Still it looked pretty easy to me as I prepared to get myself into the pose. How wrong I was. My calves were screaming in agony and my arms and shoulders were shaking at the sheer effort of supporting my ever-increasing bladder and big fat head.
Dennis - keep your eye on the ball mate! Like this, see?

"......Ladies, back to me please! You're all doing so marvellously well! Are we ready for a prayer squat?"

Sure, especially if I can sit down and massage my temples. It was just a big squat with feet flat on the ground and hands pressed together in front of our chests and not something that Dennis and his ball-bashing buddy were going to spoil for us, was it?
I all-too-hastily jumped down into position - "Paarrrrp!! parp parp! parp!"
Oh my god, I just farted out loud. In a yoga class, out in public, full of complete strangers. Did anyone hear?
Yes, they did, as all a dozen pair of eyes, which should have been focussing on their own belly buttons, were now focussed on me. Where was Dennis's next squash shot when you needed it?
"Er, pardon me folks, it must have been something I ate, heh heh heh...." I lowered my reddened face in shame whilst absently noting that it could be hidden in the downward facing dog pose.

"Well done ladies, it's time for the Gate Pose. Now put your left arm up the ceiling, like this, and put your right hand on your right leg and lean right over----"
Paarrrrp!! parp parp! parp!
"Whoops, me again, sorry about that - I'll move to the back of the class."
Thanks for nothing Dennis, you were about ten seconds too late to hide my own contribution to
anti-yoga noise pollution.

"Low Lunge time, ladies! For those of you who haven't tried this one before, it's like-----"
Paarrrrp!! parp parp! parp!
"Sorry Zora, I'm sure it's nothing like that, you just show the rest of the them and I'll pick it up as I go along." All heads turned and ignored my weak smile before swivelling back to Zora whose mouth had turned into a cat's arse of disapproval.
Dennis, calm down mate, it's just a friendly game, OK?
Dennis, come back mate, it was only a joke!
Dennis, where are you going?

Sadly, no-one said that to me as I sidled out of class and nipped quickly into the Ladies, never to return......


Baino said...

Ok after a bitch of a day you actually had me laudibly laughing at the screen to the point where Clare came in to see what was so funny. "You'd so fart at Yoga!" was her only comment. Combine yoga with my fondness for sugar free gum which makes me flatulent at the best of times and you wouldn't hear the 'thwack' Classic, gold star to you!

franzy said...

When we did yoga on Bribie, we had to contend with the Muscle-Bound Young Mens Club going for the big lift.



'Fkn sick lift bro'

It was either weightlifting, or they giving each other the rogering of a lifetime ...

LJP said...

My partner and I think you are fartingly hilarious!!!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,


Crikey - that post was so funny that it made me laugh and fart at the same time - which is fine because I am home all alone and not surrounded by people who think that it is not natural to fart.

That'll teach you not to go to a bloody yoga class - all this "find your spiritual centre" crap makes me laugh.

Very funny post




drb said...

I was thinking of leaving a comment,"Can I come along next time?" when I read the first 5 paragraphs....
Maybe should stick to Karate!

It happens to me all the time during Pilate at home but not at the physio, luckily....

Lidian said...

You have me laughing out loud, which I don't often do when reading blog posts. You are a brilliant writer, Kath! lol indeed

I always check for washrooms wherever I go, too. You never know when you are going to need one.

Deep Kick Girl said...

Oh that was funny Kath. Loved it. I'm hoping to start back doing Yoga or Pilates next year when M goes to school - your posts remind me to watch what I eat before I got, or better still, not eat anything on the day. Mind you then my growling stomach might be the special guest star on the day.

Also, reminds me when I used to do Yoga about 7, 8 years ago. The studio was located on a busy roundabout and every so often our peaceful Zen zone would be shaken by the sound of a semi throwing on its air brakes or the stacato (sp?) of angry horns. Ah, bliss...

River said...

I'm dying to try some Yoga myself, I'd need a beginners class for seniors, I'm so stiff these days. My hammies are in serious trouble, well one is anyway, my leg has been giving me pain for about six months now. I'm also a victim of "where's the nearest loo, just in case..", but I've found that isn't such a problem if I cut way, way down on the coffee. all the yoga classes around here seem to be either early in the morning while I'm at work or after dark, when I'm struggling to even keep my eyes open, let alone venture away from home. So, are you going back?

Veronica said...

I'm laughing so hard now. That would totally be me in the middle of the class.

Kath Lockett said...

Aw, it's nice to hear that I might not be the only one who has 'parped' in public!

Cat J B said...

Oh geez Kath, that brought back an unwelcome memory of when I was being helped into position by my male yoga teacher....many years ago I have to add....and I 'parped'.....but it wasn't a fart....nuff said, can't believe I fessed up to that. I couldn't complete the class as I was boneless with laughter. Have since decided yoga is not my thing.

JahTeh said...

Oh Kath, nice to see we have something in common beside chocolate. I always go into panic mode when I can't see a toilet on the immediate horizon.

I can, however, still place my hands flat on the floor from a standing position. I've either got orangutan arms or it's the effect of gravity on large tits.

Helen said...

Kath, this is exactly why I haven't dared take up Yoga yet, even though I know I need to do something like that.

Helen said...

...w/v here "farder". I kid you not.

Also, LOL@ Franzy.