Having recently joined a gym in an effort to hold myself accountable in my fitness journey, I attended a one hour yoga class this morning. I had attended this same class a couple of weeks ago, and the forty something instructor was very gentle and encouraging, using mostly seated, not too difficult poses.
However, today's class was being taught by a substitute teacher, a fit and "perky" young thing who apparently had vision problems because she failed to recognize that this was geriatrics hour at the gym. At 38, I was the youngest member of the class by easily 15 years, excluding the energetic and very flexible instructor, of course.
Now, I've been doing yoga off and on for about 15 years. Never in my experience with Yoga has it been done with U2 or Lee Ann Womack playing in the background. Not once did the sub ask us to set an intention, or to repeat a mantra, or to OHM, or to "go within for a moment". This chick meant business. As in, "I'm going to kick your ass" in a very friendly way business.
Most of my previous yoga experience has been at home with DVDs or the Wii, and while I am by NO means a Yogi, I consider myself pretty proficient at the basic, and some of the not so basic, poses. During one of the DVD's I have used at home, Tony Horton's Power Half Hour Stretch, there is a 10 minute section of "Power Yoga" which is pretty intense. Yeah, well, the sub gave us 45 minutes of "Power Yoga" today. Downward dog, plank, chaturanga, cobra, plank, forward fold, repeat, and repeat, aaaaaaaaand repeat. And repeat again. Between that neverending segment and the warrior II, triangle, warrior II, triangle, warrior II section....my limbs were on fire. And, remember, I'm the YOUNG one here!
I kept up pretty well until the instructor showed us how to invert ourselves where our thighs were resting on our arms kind of like a mini handstand, except you keep your head up and you don't kick your legs up into the air above your head...you let the weight of your legs (which are supposed to be OFF the ground), rest on your arms along with the entire weight of your body. Are you kidding me? Have you SEEN your audience?
During the last 15 minutes of class, we were asked to lower ourselves to our mats for some seated poses. Relief! FINALLY! As I lowered myself to the mat, I let out one of the loudest varts the world has ever heard. Nice. Thank you Jordyn, Liam, Owen, and Ashton. Thank you very much. Hopefully the old people in class left their hearing aids at home. That's what I've convinced myself of, anyway.
As we laid there in shavasana (dead man's pose) at the very end of class, I wondered how many students the instructor had managed to actually kill in the last 60 minutes. Fortunately, and surprisingly, everyone arose at the end of class. One of the students asked the sub, "Are you going to be subbing again on Monday?" When she replied with an enthusiastic, "YES!" I could hear everyone's thoughts silently screaming through the looks of dread on their faces...they are totally not showing up for Monday's class. Guaranteed. And while I don't have it on my calendar to attend on Monday, I kind of want to show up just to see how many people don't return.