So I Went to a Yin Yoga Class

I’ve been on staycation for the better part of a week and it’s had its ups and downs. “Staycation” to me, means going to run all the life errands I never have time to do. But, this time around, I had let myself believe in this glamorous idea that I would be waking up every morning starting my days with a meditation practice, cooking myself whole foods, doing yoga every day, writing every day, etc. Well…life, as it would have it, got in the way of all that. Most of the time, I ran to doctor’s offices, did laundry, cleaned my apartment, went grocery shopping, got my car’s oil changed, and always found something else to put on the “to-do” list.

However, with a little help from my friends / village of supporters that help me through this journey of mindful living, I was able to pull myself out of the daily grind of tasks and chores, and shit I just had to do and found a path to enjoying the staycation. So, I didn’t meditate once, but I did do yoga twice. Plus, my apartment is SUPER clean.

I decided to check out a new studio as they were offering yin yoga classes. And, as we all learned, I need a little more yin in my life.

It was an hour and a half class on a Friday night. After a week of staycation, it seemed fitting to spend a Friday evening calm, restorative, and taking care of my mind and body.

Well…not so much.

This class was an exercise in my patience. Yin yoga is apparently about holding largely uncomfortable poses that are meant to be restorative and calming to your nervous system for excruciatingly long periods of time. Well, for like 10 to 15 minutes, but those minutes feel like HOURS. At first, I was totally into it and thought to myself this is exactly what I need to learn: slow down. be in the moment. allow your body to sink into these poses. focus on the breath.

That worked the first three minutes of each pose. And then, suddenly, I was awake and aware of how long I had been in the pose and how uncomfortable it was. Better yet, I was starting to count the cracks in the ceiling; musing about whether or not the yoga teacher liked teaching the class; becoming aware of the mostly geriatric classmates who were breathing so heavily, I surely thought they would collapse a lung; and wondering whether the girl next to me was going to let one rip (hey it happens!). 

The best part was the music. I felt like my other more mindful self was really into it and was visualizing all sorts of meditation in a lush green Buddha filled garden. The present me was wishing she had brought a tissue because her nose was running.

At the end of a mere 4 poses that were stretched out to 1.5 hours of class and $20 down the hole, I left feeling unsatisfied. I felt more anxious after leaving the class than when I first entered. 

Perhaps, part of this journey of mindfulness is knowing what’s right for you and what’s just going to frustrate the hell out of you. I think I prefer my yoga with a little bit more movement, a little more sweat, and a little more yang.

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