Do You Do Yoga?
By: Christine Hersom
(3 min. read)
Yoga is a practice that originated in ancient India. It has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its numerous physical and mental benefits. Yoga is well known for its serene and calming nature. However, if you are a beginner, it can be the source of unexpected hilarity.
When I started my yoga practice, I said to myself, “It can’t be that hard. Looks straightforward.” How wrong I was. Starting yoga can be very comical as individuals grapple with unfamiliar poses, struggle to find their balance, and attempt to contort their bodies into seemingly impossible positions.
The hardest part for me at the beginning was clearing my mind. I don’t know about you, but my mind is like a computer. There are too many tabs open, and at any moment, it could crash. I would lie on my mat and close my eyes, still my body, and create my grocery list. I figured if I were still, the instructor wouldn’t notice. I couldn’t be more wrong. Just minutes into the still mind exercise, she would pipe up with, “Ms. Hersom, you can do your grocery list, plan your vacation, and schedule your monthly bills after class.” WHAT? How did she do that? She would then pipe up with, “I can see your eyes darting around behind your lids.” It took me three classes to figure out how to quiet my mind. I kept thinking I was paying money to exercise, not clear my mind. How wrong I was. The most important part of Yoga is the clearing of your mind.
I finally graduated to learn some of the poses. My mind was clear, and I was ready to conquer yoga. Again, I was wrong. Dealing with the awkward poses while attempting to find balance was trying to say the least. As a beginner, the poses seemed unattainable and unnatural. The sight of myself in the mirror as I wobbled, stumbled, and occasionally toppled over while trying the simplest of poses had me questioning why I was there. I remember trying to get into and maintain a one-legged crow pose. At first, I couldn’t stand on one leg. I toppled over like the Weebles from childhood. Do you remember, “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down?” Unfortunately, I wobbled and wobbled and then fell. I was lying on the floor cracking up (and maybe crying a little from embarrassment).
To be successful at yoga, you must be flexible. Of course, going to a yoga practice was to help me with my flexibility. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. However, I am not a quitter, so I dusted off my pride and attempted the one-legged crow pose again and again until I achieved it. It wasn’t pretty, but I was up.
The first time the instructor had us touch our toes was eye-opening. I could only bend so my fingertips touched my ankles. My hamstrings were as tight as a drum. Age might defeat me yet. While respect for others is important, all of us who were beginners felt free enough to laugh at ourselves and each other as we attempted toe touches and other poses that seemed like humans trying to be pretzels. My yoga class was filled with the joy of pushing our limits and eventually achieving the poses. Part of the joy of yoga is not in the achievement but in the amusing journey of stretching and exploring the boundaries of each of our bodies.
While a yoga practice encourages deep breathing and relaxation, it can sometimes result in unexpected bodily noises. Even as an adult, the release of a well-timed but unintentional fart or the grumbling of someone’s stomach during a moment of silence would turn the yoga room into a room full of laughter. These shared experiences remind us that we are all human and have more in common than not. It brings a sense of lightheartedness to your practice.
Clothes for yoga can also be hilarious. Sometimes, the yoga pants fall down a bit during downward dog. The shirts also ride up in certain positions. We are a bunch of women putting on a hilarious fashion show that may or may not be slightly pornographic.
In the end, it’s not the clothes that make the practice. It’s learning to embrace our imperfections and finding joy in our journey.
So, if you are looking for a fun, relaxing, and healthy practice, give yoga a try. A beginner’s class is funny, rewarding, and good for the soul.
Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC
The information provided is the author’s opinion and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. The author and the business, All Things Wellness, LLC, and its owner Peggy Willms are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this website. We assume no responsibility for tangible and intangible damages such as physical harm caused by using a product, loss of profits or loss of data, and defamatory comments.