Finding My Inner Yogi

15 Sep

photoWhen my friend Jane invited me to try a hot yoga class, I hesitated. I thought yoga was for ‘other’ people. You know, the ‘yogi’ kind who sits with her legs crossed in full lotus, inhaling incense and exhaling ‘ommmmms.’

I often passed our local yoga studio. Students emerged sipping coconut water and carrying yoga mats color coordinated with their outfits. I could practically see the wellness bursting from their pores.

I wanted that kind of harmony in my life, but I was intimidated by yoga divas. Here I was, a Starbucks-sipping mom whose toughest workout was doing five loads of laundry back-to-back. How could I compete with perfectly toned bodies that could stretch into pretzel-like poses I could achieve only by breaking bones?

“Hot yoga will make your body feel so good you’ll crave it,” Jane promised.

Normally the only thing I crave is Pop-Tarts.

Motivated by Jane’s open mind and flat stomach, I caved.

The day before class, Jane texted me a list of instructions:

  1. Don’t eat for 2 hours beforehand.
  2. Hydrate.
  3. Bring a change of clothes.

I texted back: Are we going for yoga or a colonoscopy?

When we entered, the room was hot and humid—conditions that seemed more conducive to cultivating orchids than exercise. I padded barefoot across the bamboo floor and laid down my mat.

“Namaste.” The teacher bowed. I glanced nervously at Jane. She gave me a reassuring smile that said, ‘Go with the flow’ which, in hot yoga terms, means, ‘Get ready to sweat.’

Before long, I found myself breathing deeply and moving in a relaxing rhythm that gave me sudden insight into what Jane had meant. I also found myself standing in a pool of sweat—which bothered me, because it wasn’t mine.

I lifted my towel and something tumbled to the floor. To my horror, there lay my extra pair of panties, in all their white cotton glory, reflected in a wall mirror that spanned so far across the room I could make out distant galaxies. I shoved them under my waistband, hoping no one had noticed.

Fortunately, everyone was lost in pose, including the woman next to me handstanding on one finger. Nobody cared about my undies or whether I tumbled out of pose. Yoga was about expanding your boundaries—and mine were stretching to Canada.

An hour later, every muscle, joint and internal organ in my body had been downward dogged. I thought I’d have to crawl out on my hands and knees.

Still, I felt rejuvenated.

Hot yoga taught me to let go of tension, self-doubt and inhibitions.

Who knew that by letting go of my underwear, I’d find my inner yogi?



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49 Responses to “Finding My Inner Yogi”

  1. Paprika Furstenburg September 15, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Who knew dropping your drawers would bring such inner peace?

  2. nursemommylaughs September 15, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    She said to bring an extra set of clothes. Duh! lol!! I’m screaming out loud on this one. May your undies bring inner strength and relaxation to you in this life.

  3. G M Barlean September 15, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    This is hilarious! I bought a yoga DVD and still haven’t tried it. One of these days. Your undies falling out reminds me of a similar story I have. Maybe I’ll have to write it for my blog. The stretching sounds okay, but really, hot humid room? That sounds terrible. I live in Nebraska. Hot and humid is one temperature and windy and freaking cold is the other. I’ll remember to avoid hot yoga. Air conditioning is where it’s at for me!!

    • Main Street Musings Blog September 16, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      During the long cold winters the heat and humidity indoors is a treat. In the summer when it matches the outdoor temperatures, not so much. I hope to hear your story on your blog.

      • G M Barlean September 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

        Good point!!!

  4. Carrie Rubin September 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    “Are we going for yoga or a colonoscopy?”—-Ha, loved that! What a funny post. I do yoga, but only in the privacy of my own home. Your post gives me more reasons to continue to do so. At least the sweat is my own…

  5. Perfecting Motherhood September 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Oh, that looks like a fun class! But something I’d stay away from right now. We’ve been dealing with 105 degree weather for the past week and all I want is air conditioning!

  6. Ruth2Day September 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I need to find a yoga class like that. Thank you also for making me smile

    • Main Street Musings Blog September 16, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      If you find one, I’d recommend leaving your extra clothes in the changing room. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the piece.

  7. atempleton September 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Nice to know I’m not the only not-completely toned person out there. Welcome back, btw. Hope you had a relaxing summer.

  8. LuAnn September 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    I am still laughing! I would have been mortified to drop my panties in yoga class. I have never done hot yoga but decided a couple of years ago to do a lengthy advanced yoga class, forgetting to bring a towel with me. Before long my entire mat was wet (my sweat but I still didn’t like it) and I could no longer hold my position as I kept sliding off my mat. The room was packed and I was in the middle of it so no way to escape. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. 🙂

    • Main Street Musings Blog September 16, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      I can relate. Without a towel those mats become like our childhood Slip ‘N Slides!

  9. joehoover September 16, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I find exercise clashes with my drinking schedule. Awaiting the invention of drunk yoga

  10. ericrynne September 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Whoa, They make chocolate chip pop tarts ha ha 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  11. writersdream9 September 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I love the way you write! It’s very entertaining and informative!!

  12. Lou September 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    Really enjoyed your yoga experience. I recently contemplated trying yoga. I wanted to improve my core. The only core I have been familiar with for the last thirty plus years, would be apple. So, decided to have one a day. Who knows?


    • Main Street Musings Blog September 18, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks, Lou. The only Apple I’m familiar with is my computer. I have it daily and I feel great!

  13. jeffstroud September 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Wonderfully capture thoughts and reality for most people! Great blog!

  14. I suck as a parent September 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Are we going for yoga or a colonoscopy? Hilarious! You do have to get used to hot yoga – the whole everyone is dripping sweat is quite alarming the first time you go. I haven’t had to worry about my underwear falling out though – that’s a new one!

    • Main Street Musings Blog September 21, 2014 at 7:58 am #

      Your’e right, you do have to adapt. I’ve gotten good at puddle jumping on my way out the door.:)

  15. earthriderjudyberman September 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    I laughed when I read your query: “Are we going for yoga or a colonoscopy?” I have books on yoga, exercises on yoga, but I just can’t get motivated to join a yoga group. Part of the problem is that there are so many different types that I’m not sure which one would be the best fit. I’m glad you found one that works for you … and provides us with a few chuckles as well. 😆

    • Main Street Musings Blog September 21, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      You’re so right. I learned the hard way when I went to my first class that “basic” meant regular poses, it didn’t mean easy.

  16. Craig Kimbrough and Meditative Zone September 21, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    Hilarious. Great story. Also I like the way you moved past your inhibitions and reservations and gave the class a try.

    Peace and Blessings

  17. LB September 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    Your “yoga or colonoscopy” comment cracked me up, as did the pool of sweat / not my own. Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone!

  18. dorannrule September 22, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    You are a brave woman! Even cool yoga makes me sweat – and cramp. And here you made all those odd twists and turns hilarious. Just reading about hot yoga hurts! 🙂

  19. kriskkaria September 23, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Lovely story and you’re brave to do hot yoga. I’d love to narrate this for my podcast.

  20. webs672002Dawn@LightenUp! September 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I’ve been doing a yoga video for the past 2 years now. Same one, over and over, but I like it. Like you, I pictured yoga as for “the others,” you know, bottled water chugging California types 😉 But I shut up real quick about that, because I love yoga.

  21. totsymae1011 October 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    Cotton panties? You do that then. They’ll keep the sweat in place.

    On a serious note, I could use some yoga myself. I use videos I bought but I’m sure the experience is better with a live teacher and other folks there.

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 6, 2014 at 6:51 am #

      For sure, while the practice is focused on the self, there’s a group energy I find inspiring.

  22. Professor Taboo October 14, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    An all-time favorite line of mine: “Fear stifles, courage fulfills.” But in your case Lisa, it is…
    Stiff stifles, downward-dogs fulfill. HAH!

    • Main Street Musings Blog October 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

      You helped me realize that my last two posts were about downward dogs and downtrodden cats.

      • Professor Taboo October 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

        LOL! Perhaps a TV show — Yoga & Pets, Not Colonoscopies!? — is in your future? 😉

  23. roughwighting October 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Being a happy yogi (and a sipper of Starbucks) I appreciated this post. I l o v e yoga, but keep the window open and turn on the air conditioning! Not only is hot yoga too…hot, but the room also stinks.

  24. dilip January 17, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    I am more than happy with the traditional classical yoga and find it beneficial. Loved your post and the humor 🙂

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