It’s good to have yoga in our lives; I am often grateful to live in an era with widespread yoga access, and to live so class to Toronto’s best deal in unlimited yoga passes.  Not so long ago, you were a crank if you got into yoga, and it was hard to even locate.  I …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Hot Yoga, Year Two: Keep on Truckin'

Hot Yoga, Year Two: Keep on Truckin’

It’s good to have yoga in our lives; I am often grateful to live in an era with widespread yoga access, and to live so class to Toronto’s best deal in unlimited yoga passes.  Not so long ago, you were a crank if you got into yoga, and it was hard to even locate.  I highly doubt yoga was in Toronto when it was big in California in the 60’s and 70s.  Today, yoga is everywhere.


Recently I took a fifteen year old game-loving semi-couch potato to an unlimited week of classes at Gyan Yoga.  After the first class, which he initially resisted, he was sold — he got pretty enthused over going.  He went home with a home DVD of yoga routines from my cupboard; I’ll sure be glad for him if he uses it much.  I think we should remove sports from school curriculums; they’re great extra-curricular activities, but add nothing to a student’s day learning.  Yoga is cheaper and more effective and producers better higher fitness.  It’s a no-brainer. 


I still see the yoga teacher who tried to shame and humiliate me right in front of a packed New Year’s class, but whose attacks and jabs I parried and evaded, thanks to reading on life and perspective and actions by people like Gary Stokes, Florence Scovel Shinn, Wayne Dyer, and I guess people like Jesus of Nazareth and Martin Luther King and others.  My DBT app was also a big help in evading her poisonous trap, too.  I was floored-amazed to find people who were total strangers had read that post and even affixed supportive replies; a yoga teacher from NYC even emailed me to spread some optimism and support for the future.  It’s incredible to receive such encouragement from person who don’t even know you!


I admit, I have thought of that yoga teacher now and then.  I have to keep my mindfulness skills on Orange Alert, to keep from thinking any mean thoughts.  It’s not easy to attend her class, and it’s not easy when she attends a class I’m hoping to work in.  Knowing a person in our presence scorns and disdains our efforts with contempt can affect the workings of our minds.  If we can keep outside of petty or mean thinking, our brains can get better work done.  She is totally forgiven and accepted and brotherly loved by me.  But I admit I wish I didn’t have to see her.  🙂  Still, I make the most of it, and look upon such classes as a chance to practice evading small thoughts.


One interesting thing is how few friends I’ve made at yoga.  There are lots of people whose names I know, who exchange greetings with us all; we have no idea what the other does for leisure or joy or work.  I know the colors of many people’s mats, but that’s it.  It’s a silent atmosphere and we all return to our regular lives when the class is over.  And I never run into any yogamates randomly in the library or the produce aisle.


I feel good, and that’s the truth.  I never achieved my first year goal of a perfect Downward Dog, and I may not achieve it in Year Two, either.  I feel okay about that.  I feel progress of a kind, nonetheless.  It’s not discouraging to not be able to do certain poses, and believe me, it used to be devastating to be nakedly revealed as so inept and unable at one time.  It’s definitely different today.  I feel more and more okay about it all, no doubt.  There’s progress and growth, and that’s what it is.


I talked about the guest yoga teacher’s angry swipes at me with a friend.  He wondered if she wanted to do a Downward Dog with me, and felt anger or rage or upset or frustration.  Yeah, right!  But on the other hand, I feel *this* small in yoga class — I feel awful, lesser, unworthy.  I can admit it now, when I couldn’t three years ago. 


Heck, maybe my friend was right.


I thought about it.


I’m no model, but hey, some of the most irresistibly attractive person I’ve swooned for in life are generally really not models at all, either. 


Chemicals in our neurons and our hearts are mysterious.


I thought about it again later when one of the proprietors told me “my abs were really coming out“.  Riddled with hubris, I checked the next time I aw a mirror without no one else around.  I didn’t see it.


But I thought about it.


I started wearing a shirt to yoga classes. 


What if my friend was right?


I don’t much eye up girls and boys in that kind of sense in yoga; I am way too occupied huffing and puffing and trying not to look like a jerk by fainting to think of bearskin rugs and fireplaces.  (Also, it would be an *imitation* bearskin rug, and a carbon-neutral fireplace, of course!  If you want to hatemail me, go ahead, but not about those things.)


I don’t care for a shirt in yoga, really.  It is soooo hot and often enough I feel lightheaded and woozy as it is.  Ew, and the sticky shirt gets so heavy on you.


“What about the girls?  They hafta wear shirts!”


I guess.


Honestly, I’m near-sighted and again, I’m too busy trying to keep up and perform diligently to ogle any girls in the co-ed classes.  I suppose there might be people who would ogle them, but honestly, if I can do a class with the Wrath-filled Avenging Yoga Teacher’s Ice-O-Vision, can’t a shirtless girl do a class with Leisure Yoga Suit Larry?  Trust me, it’s good practice to just Accept and Embrace some Other’s presence. 


And girls can wear sports bras.


Honestly, I would totally wear a sports bra if I thought I could get away with it.


It would be so ideal, leaving so much exposed skin, but with a handy sweatband slung around the entire ribcage of one’s torso. 


Maybe this is what Lululemon Inc. will come up with next in a drive to capture more sales from the boys’ department.  Flat-chested sports bras, with extra-absorbency.


In case the Angry Yoga Teacher really does want to get her Barry White album on with me, I suffered the shirt.  It wasn’t too bad.  I’m not going to placate her or appease her or submit to her words, however I am prepared to Accept and Forgive and Love her.  If she finds a class with me easier because I’m wearing a shirt, hey, I’m a nice and giving person who wants others to feel cozy and comfortable. 


Or, she just thinks I’m a total jerk who desecrates the very institution of yoga, and must be stopped before I huff and I puff and ruin it for everyone with my lack of moves n skillz.


Hey, I’m just a talented amateur.