“What if I get bored?” I asked Becky as we drove to our first Yoga session.
“You are not allowed!” She said.
Becky’s had a yoga mat as long as I’ve known her. For years, it sat in the basement or in the back of a closet. From time to time, she said we should do yoga. We had a DVD and the room. My lack of enthusiasm probably dampened any spark of ambition.
Then Becky pulled the nuclear option. She put money down on some community recreation yoga through the city of Plymouth, and if we didn’t go, we lost that money. Nothing like the economics of sunk costs to get me to try something.
We were doing Restorative Yoga, which sounded to me like a bunch of hooey. Lying down? I can do that at home, in bed, with a book!
I feared I would fall asleep during the class. Or fart. Or without the constant distractions of internet, TV, Becky or podcasts, the worst fate of all, having to listen to my inner demons list out all my fears and why I should give up because what’s the point. Constant distraction is how I get through most days.
And energy drinks.
Stillness doesn’t come often. I’m afraid of it. There is some when we go on trips, but even nature is a welcome distraction away from myself. It’s hard to worry about the future when there’s a big ass tree with green, orange and red leaves all at the same time.
Yoga though, yoga turned out to be very different.
First, Becky told me there was a sign in the bathroom that said everyone farts in yoga.
That made me feel better and less afraid of that.
Restorative yoga isn’t about stretching, or strength, or anything but quieting the body for an hour. Poses are held for 15 minutes, which apparently allows the nervous system to figure things out and clear out the cobwebs. We didn’t even need yoga mats. They use blankets instead because why not.
It’s easy to focus on the stillness in restorative yoga. I lie there and listen to my body. Thoughts and fears try to get my attention, but just the act of lying there, breathing deep yoga breaths, sometimes with aroma therapy wafting through the air, keeps the demons mute. They yell the fears, but it’s like I have earplugs.
It’s about the most relaxing thing we’ve done. After the first session, Becky and I compared notes.
“It was like the relaxation I used to get from smoking, but without the horrible health problems!”
“It was like getting a massage, but I didn’t feel beat up afterward.”
For the past 8 weeks, we’ve been going Wednesday nights for about 75 minutes of yoga. We missed one week, and it felt awful. I’ve gone from apprehension and fear of it to it becoming one of the highlights of my week. I look forward to it pretty much every day starting on Sunday. Sometimes I slip into sleep for a few minutes. These are called Yoga naps.
We re-upped our community rec subscription for another set of 8 weeks. We’ll be going in the dark evenings now. A quiet way to end another busy, sometimes stress filled day at work.
Two weeks ago, I farted. Loud.
No one cared.
They were too busy being at peace with life.