Yesterday I showed up for what I thought was hot flow at my yoga studio. I had been having one of those days where everything I touched turned to .. well let’s just agree it wasn’t gold.
As I scurried into the studio, I realized that not only did I forget my towels (it’s a sweaty business this hot yoga) but I also forgot my lifeline.. water. So I turned around and quickly jogged (FYI my ‘quick’ jog is still a pretty slow jog) and cursed myself not just for forgetting my water, but for having to workout before my workout. Not cool Brittany, not cool. Anyways suddenly I saw the yoga schedule in my head and came to the horrifying conclusion that I had read the schedule wrong. It was not hot flow, oh no. It was hot rocket yoga. Here, directly from the website, is the description of Rocket Yoga.
“The Rocket series is a seriously fun and exciting new approach to the traditional ashtanga yoga of Puttabhi Juis. This style of yoga gives the experienced yoga person a chance to perform seldom practiced postures in most mainstream dynamic yoga classes today….Be prepared to discover your bliss from deep inside with the perfect blend of ujjayi breathing and poses”**
I had already popped my head inside, so I knew they were expecting me, and my vanity was torn. Disappear and be the weird ‘show up then ditch yoga girl’, or walk into a class where the entire purpose of the poses was to work into inversions (upside down) and look pretty ridiculous in the process. Suddenly I remembered a quote I think of quite often, not surprisingly as it’s written on my yoga bag, but it read “Do one thing a day that scares you”. Now, for someone who can, on occasion, suffer from anxiety, this is not a hard motto to live up to.
But I did it. I also followed my second motto, honesty is the best policy (not gonna lie, there’s fine print to this one….). I walked in, and told the instructor I really meant to come to the hot flow class, and should I wait and come back in an hour, seeing that I had a baby and a back surgery not so long ago. In all her bendy, ridiculously fit wisdom, she told me to definitely come in and try, and work the poses as far as I could go. It was, after all, all about fun.
I didn’t buy this, but I decided I was really in too far now. I changed, clutched my water bottle and yoga mat and did a quick prayer to whatever God would answer me.
“Please don’t let me do something that will render me unable to use the rest of my punch pass. I really liked it here, and would rather not send myself into asylum.”
The panicking lessened as I realized there was a fairly small group to contend with. The class also seemed a little more laid back than a traditional yoga class (ie there was noise permitted). And off we went. Before long I was wrapping legs around arms and getting reacquainted with various perspectives of limbs I hadn’t seen since childhood. You can imagine my delight when I realized this, however, was just warm up.
Then she excitedly said, “Time to Play!!” Which I thought meant I got to collapse in the corner and watch her go upside down. No, wrong again. She meant WE were going to play. First up.. head stand.
Now, have ANY of you tried a headstand in the last 20 years. (I am negating anything done while intoxicated.) There’s a reason you haven’t. The arm strength to body weight ratio is waaaay off. Well, for me anyway. But, the positivity of the instructor that I would be able to do this made me work a little harder, and before I knew it I found a sweet spot on my head, transferred my weight and went for it.
It was a fail. Not an epic fail, but let me tell you, there are a lot more things you took for granted as a kid than just the metabolism alone. But I tried again, and again, as were most of the other women in my class and pretty soon I was laughing, and realized we were all looking totally ridiculous, but were sweating our brains out and having a blast.
No, I didn’t get the perfect headstand mastered in one class, but I did try, and I can tell you it was one of the best accidents I have made in a long time.
Well…..Ben and Grady not included.
**Taken from the studio's website