Flower Your Buttocks (It’s Healthy)

I’m trying to be more healthy.

There was a point in my adulthood that I would have been more specific than that.  I would have said “I’m going to lose 25 pounds” or “I’m going to be a size 6” or some other fantastical goal that would have made you both hate me for the possibility that I could potentially pull it off or laugh at me for the sheer absurdity of my own delusion.

But through the power of the interwebs, I have learned that being “thin” and “going on a diet” is not nearly as sustainable or impactful as making small, long term changes in my health.  It’s about HEALTH people, not BUNS OF STEEL.  Sure, you might be all like Welcome to gun show every time you flex, but I am getting pumped up on my own commitment to live a long, glorious life.  And I know you can’t see that, but apparently, eventually I am going to FEEL that.

So they say.

And since I like to believe everything I read online and have put myself and the entire family through many super-fun phases of Internet Related Life Changes (The Thirty Days of ALL Meals in the Crock Pot phase  is often brought up with undue anger on the part of my children).

I figured what’s another psychological trauma on these kids?
So began what may eventually be known as The Time Mom Let Her Anus Blossom or How I Did Yoga and It Was Sort of Like a Porno.

And here is how it went.

The Night Before:

Ever since we joined the new gym I have enjoyed checking the handy app on my phone that lists the names of the classes they offer.  Some of them have mysterious acronyms like C.R.T and F.I.T. Others offer no-frills monikers: STEP.  AQUA. Some class names are just plain scary sounding:  Slow Burn Vinyasa.  Hot Vinyasa Yoga.
Because I like to jump head first into everything with as little preparation or practice, it seemed like the most logical type of class for me to take was one that involved as much “Burn” and “Hot” as possible. Unfortunately my child-related obligations limited my options, so I had to opt for a class called “Instructor’s Choice Yoga”.  It was just mysterious enough to pique my interest while creating a certain amount of fear in my soul.

So obviously, it was perfect. And luckily my neighbor agreed to join me.

Before Class:

I went to the gym floor in advance of “Instructor’s Choice” to get my juices flowing and assess the other people on the machines to see if anyone was in as bad of shape as me.  They weren’t.

After 15 minutes of half-hearted elliptical and some minor wheezing, I moseyed my way to the Yoga Studio.

I found a place in the back, laid down my yoga mat and proceeded to scope out my classmates.  They were in various shapes and sizes, some heavier than I, some older.  I felt good about my chances to beat some of them at this class.

I know what you are saying, Nicole, yoga is about finding peace within yourself—it’s not a competition. And I truly support you in thinking that.  Healthy people think that.

But let’s all be honest.
Losers think that too.
And I wasn’t going to lose at Instructor’s Choice Yoga to a 75 year old grandma with bursitis.

Enter Richard:

The unamed Instructor in the Instructor’s Choice, was Richard. He was in his mid-60’s and couldn’t physically DO yoga anymore (due to some sort of spinal issue that seemed to leave him unable to bend).  But apparently he was still qualified to teach the class by some sort of rule of yoga osmosis.

I’m feeling pretty good about my chances of surviving Instructor’s Choice and smile confidently at my friend as Richard places some flameless candles throughout the room, spritzes some essential yoga spray throughout the studio and proceeds to begin.

And Then I Die:

Richard is a ball-buster.  He asks us to do poses that I am pretty sure he made up with some sort of sadistic glee. But apparently the rest of the class is familiar with his shenanigans because they all do them with an acute amount of precision.  Bursitis Grandma has absolutely no problem with Eagle Pose.
picture via of batmantobe.wordpress.com

The young, super in-shape girls in front of us like to make the moves just a touch harder (because they aren’t quite challenged enough????) so when Richard says “Let just your toe touch the mat”, they like to lift their toe up over their shoulder. Which is cool for them, but I can barely stay upright.
Richard says things to the class that make me both physically and emotionally uncomfortable. He says things like “Reach deep into that place” and “Hug yourself, into yourself”.  These are difficult things to do and even more difficult things to imagine doing with other people present.  I thought about a friend who had a yoga instructor once tell her class to “Let their anuses blossom” in one particular pose.

I wondered if that instructor was Richard.

Richard has also developed some sort of accent in the hour he has been in the Yoga Studio and everytime he says certain words I veer toward digressing into a major laugh attack.

“Lay yourseeeeeeeeelllllllfffffff doooooowwwwn slooooowww.” He says, hunching from the front of the room.  I see his face in the light of the flameless glow and he looks very zen. I begin to dislike him, with irrational fervor. “It’s gooooood for your baaaaaaacck”.

I want to ask Richard, why, if it is so gooooood for the back, does he seem to have some sort of spinal malfunction?  I would suggest that based on my observations, his creative poses were contributing to the problem not helping it.

But that would be mean.  And I am too tired and busy trying not to die to be mean.

Which could be a first for me.

Yoga On Our Own

In keeping with Richard’s love of not following rules (a practice that I adamantly disdain in all people but myself), about two thirds of the way through class he sinks to what I believe to be are new lows.
“Nooooooww I uuuuurge you to practice a few minuuuuutes of yooooga on your oooown”.
I glance at my friend who is grinning back at me.
“Awkward.” she says.
The studio becomes a showcase of How to Get Your Own Genitals As Close to Your Face As Possible.  I know what youre thinking, how many ways could there really be to touch your genitals to your own face?  After watching some of these people in Instructor’s Choice Yoga, I will tell you that there are LOTS.  There’s this move:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this move:

 

 

 

And lots of other ones that I saw in that class but are probably too dirty to show you here.  Richard’s call for “Yoga on Your Own” was like a bizarre foreplay in which I was forced to watch maneuvers that I did not think were possible to contort one’s body into–and yet, there is Bursitis Grandma.
Doing them.
Really Really Uncomfortably Close to me.

And I’m Spent

By the time Instructor’s Choice is over, I am sweating and feel like I need a shower and maybe a cigarette.
I have seen people do things that I thought might only be available through a paid internet subscription service to those over 18 (with a valid credit card).
And yet, I feel a strange sensation welling in my chest.  There’s pride, that I survived, yes.  But there’s also something unfamiliar.  Something akin to…warmth.  It might even be…shall I venture a guess…peace?
But it’s more than peace, I think. I might not look different to those people who pass me by as I tromp down the gym stairs.  But what I’ve got is far better than their washboard abs or their muscular biceps.
I’ve got health here, people.  I’m brimming with joy and inner vision. That’s good stuff, even if you can’t see it.
My buttocks were flowering and heart was singing in that yoga studio.
I’m a believer. I’m coming back for more.
And my husband is going to have the best sex of his life tonight.

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