I went to a yoga class

Yeah. For the first time ever. Why? Well I bought this online voucher from Buytopia, $20 for 20 yoga classes at Robson Street Yoga. It seemed like a good idea at the time. People had suggested I try yoga and eventually I reluctantly thought okay, why not? And then the voucher just sat there for several months, collecting dust.

But today I finally worked up the nerve to go. I called to tell them I was coming. They have a 24 hour cancellation policy, so there was no backing out now. I brought my yoga pants and my quick dry t-shirt, looking completely awkward. They have mats there that you can use, which is good, seeing as I’d rather not carry around a yoga mat with me all day. I do not want to be one of those people. Although now that I think about it, using the public mats is kind of gross, since your whole body is on it, your feet are bare, and you spend some time lying on it. But we spray and wipe them down afterwards. I’ll try not to think about it.

So yeah, first time. It was a hatha yoga class. I have no idea what hatha means. But sure. I went into it knowing full well I would suck and probably hate it. Because it’s exercise. Which is something I suck at and hate. I got a little confused trying to follow along with some of the various poses. And then upset when I couldn’t do them properly. I think I did the downward facing dog pose wrong. Yeah I know, how the hell do you screw up the downward facing dog? Trust me to find a way.

The instructor said to listen to my body before listening to her. So I guess do what I’m comfortable with before trying to keep up with her. I tried listening, but I think my body may have been giving me the silent treatment because it was so angry at me for making it be there and forcing it to attempt various stretches and poses. At certain points, the instructor would say do this only if it feels good or something along those lines. And I thought um, none of this feels good. Should I just lie down on the mat until it’s over?

Lying down on the mat was my favourite part actually. At the end, we just lie there and breathe and let go. Although it’s hard letting go. I think you’re not supposed to think at that point, and just clear your mind. But my mind is constantly racing, and near impossible to clear. So I guess that part was hard too. None of it was easy. Except maybe the child pose. I like the child pose. At one point we were doing some sort of stretches and then went to the child pose and then she said we could stay like that or try this other thing. Obviously I stayed like that.

I don’t remember what all the positions were. There’s downward facing dog, and I think you can turn that into a table? There’s the child pose. There’s a half moon pose, some sort of warrior pose, a sun salutation, a frog pose. Actually I don’t know if there’s a frog pose, I think I just made that up. But whatever. There’s lots of stretching and lots of being uncomfortable. But apparently in the end, it’s all supposed to be good for your body? Apparently?

At one point during the class, the instructor said we were halfway through the class. And I thought only? Seriously? At that point I thought maybe it was almost over. But no. Apparently not. I’m glad she informed us about the halfway mark though, otherwise I’d have no sense of time whatsoever. And I hate that. During one pose that required balance, she said she saw a lot of peaceful faces, so she wasn’t going to get us to switch positions just yet. I’m pretty sure mine was not one of the peaceful faces. I began to think that perhaps hell was a never ending yoga class.

Okay, I exaggerate. It wasn’t that bad. Just some of it was a little advanced for me. But I could do it again. And I will do it again. Because I hate myself. And because I still have 19 more visits to go from that voucher I bought. That’s 19 more hours of stretches and poses. Perhaps at the end of it I’ll be super flexible and fit. Or maybe I’ll pull a muscle or break something from falling over while trying to maintain balance during one of the poses. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Confessions of a gym enthusiast

Okay, well I can’t really call myself a gym enthusiast.  I’ve been to the gym a total of 5 times.  I’m not talking about this month.  I’m not even talking about this year.  Well, yes, actually, I have been to the gym 5 times this year.  But that’s also the amount of times I’ve been to the gym ever, in my life.  If you asked me a year ago if I wanted to go work out, i would have laughed in your face or assumed that you were obviously joking.  I considered myself to be probably the least athletic person in the world.  I can’t run to save my life.  The last time I actually “ran” would be gym class in Grade 10.  And I hated it with a passion.

So why, you ask, do I now have this sudden interest in frequenting the gym?  Well I guess it sort of started about a month ago, when I was sitting at Red Robin with my friend, eating my free birthday burger.  It was a Mediterranean lamb burger and it was amazing.  Red Robin burgers also come with “endless” fries.  My friend ordered a salad and informed me she was on a diet, at which point I felt bad for making her come there with me.  I feel like I ruined her diet, because we ended up having 3 whole plates of those “endless” fries.  After overeating and feeling full, she mentioned that she was going to be going to the gym regularly.  Since I had recently been stress eating more than usual, I said I wanted to come with her.

My first time at the gym, I was scared.  Not so much of the physical activity, but more feeling inadequate and judged by those around me, because I’m socially awkward like that.  We went to South Arm Community Centre, and my friend told me exactly what to do.  She took to the role of a trainer pretty well.  She set up the time on the elliptical machine for me and then said “Okay, don’t stop until it’s been 20 minutes”.  Four minutes in, I was already tired.  When I told her I might stop before 20 minutes she said “No, then it won’t work properly”.  So I decided to suck it up.  I was so relieved as I counted down the last minute, but to my horror, once that was over, it went to a 5 minute cool down.

The elliptical machine was the least of my worries.  I stupidly followed my friend when she went to the weight room.  Big mistake.  She told me which machine to use.  I could barely do it.  I have zero upper body strength.  But I tried anyway.  No one told me that stretching was an essential part of working out.  And so I neglected to do it.  Long story short, my arms were sore for a full week.  I haven’t used a weight machine since.  Cardio is all that my body can take.

I am now the proud owner of a 10 visit punch card for Kerrisdale Community Centre.  I have to go 6 more times in order to get my money’s worth.  6 more times and then never again.  At least not to that gym, cause it kind of sucks.  The machines are old and they stick and some are often out of order.  But I was not aware of this when I purchased the punch card.  Once this is over, I will either find a new gym, or give up on the idea entirely.  But with the amount of stress eating I’ve been doing, I think I’ll have to stick with the gym for a little while longer.