Hey all, here’s the deal. I had a baby five months ago, and in the nine months before giving birth I went to a yoga class one time: December 2015. I also practiced at home, but I became overwhelmed by worries (which poses can I do? which poses will hurt the baby?? how can I bring a child into a world like this???!). So, I pressed pause on the yoga shit.
I’m not trying to say that I’m this heroic yogi guru lady. Faaaaar from that, in fact. But I began practicing to Denise Austin videos when I was 17 (I feel like that’s as awkward as saying I began masturbating to Leonardo DiCaprio at 14…[call me.]). Her strong, compact little body made my noodle-y body feel…well, noodle-y.
When I went to college, I was shocked that people paid for yoga classes. Actually, I think appalled is a better description. I was over Denise, but it took me a few years to find free yoga. I found a group of Indian students who offered free Friday courses. It was a beautiful experience. There were no yoga mats, just simple sheets that the Indian students, dressed in jeans and short-sleeve button up shirts laid out for practice. There was a small boom box, and they played the same yoga-y music each week. When we were in corpse pose, they told us to relax our genitals when we went through guided meditation. It. Was. Wonderful.
I graduated and moved on to Tara Stiles, who made me feel strong and compact compared to her noodle-y body. I really liked practicing to her YouTube videos, they had such a home video feel about them. Like we were actually Skyping, you know? So it was cool for a few years. She’d upload a video, I’d get my yoga on. But then came the sponsorships, and the workshops, and the food videos, and the this and the that. Nike. Better camera quality. Yoga clothes I couldn’t afford. Wool and The Gang (yes, I tried to knit along with Tara.).
This was the moment I think I first experienced FOMO. It fucked with my yoga flow. I quit Tara. I respected her business growth, but it was too much for me.
This was the start of the hot yoga times anyway, and I had to hop on that shit. And I did. And I vomited my guts out. I tried the class a couple more times because I like pain. The teacher started to ring an enormous gong during practice, and I reached my limit with that. Vibrations AND vomit? Yep. Running out of classes to the bathroom in a haze was the an unpleasant thing. She gave me free coconut water a few times out of pity, then tried to charge me after that. Byyyyyye.
Sometime after that, I moved to New Orleans. I paid for some yoga classes a few times, but ended up just going back to old Tara Stiles videos. And a while later, I had a baby and here we are.
I worked from home before I had the baby. Trying to get back to work has been difficult, almost impossible to get back into the headspace of where I was 18+ months ago. I am a painter by trade, and I demand quiet and solitude. I know someday I will have those two things again, but right now is not that time. I decided that this is why people pay for yoga: they can have a semi-spiritual atmosphere that is physical and (mostly) quiet for an hour.
This is exactly what I need, and I decided I needed it a minimum of twice a week. My goal for this journal is to have a space to reflect on my classes. My plan is to get a monthly unlimited pass each month for different yoga places in New Orleans. I don’t plan to name the place or the teachers, though at the end of the month I may reveal the location. I want to see how I progress, how I change or don’t change. I may also approach these courses from a cultural anthropological perspective because I care about that shiz sometimes and why not. I may just write about how I feel. WE’RE FREE-WHEELIN’ IT OVER HERE, FOLKS.