Pete Gilbert">

Dad’s First Yoga Class

It all started when I pulled a shoulder muscle getting out of my inner tube on the lazy river. I mentioned to my wife I was getting old and out of shape, mistake number one. She said I should do different exercises besides running, like join her for yoga. Cue: The largest eye roll in the world from me.

Early the next morning, we were mapping out our plans for the day and she mentioned she wanted to go to a yoga class at the community center. I’m not sure if it was my lack of coffee or just a general inability to keep my mouth shut at times, but I spoke up and said I would go with her, mistake number two. The community center offered free babysitting, so at the very least we would get to hang out without our kids for an hour.

I was even a little bit excited about yoga, after I found out that I could wear flip flops to it.

As we hopped in the car, my wife was nice enough to give me her old yoga mat. The bright purple color of the mat made me feel extra cool as I walked into the studio.

Class started off pretty calm and easy, for the first minute, then things started to get progressively more difficult. There was never a timeout or a break, it was just go, go, go, the entire time. The instructor kept saying, “Relax in Down Dog.” I can think of a million better ways to relax than with my arms bent straight down on the floor my butt up in the air and my straight legs extended off my mat.

After what felt like a serious workout, I looked at the clock and noticed I’d been at it for only 20 minutes, a mere forty minutes to go.

My yoga mat was in the back of the room, far away from the teacher, good thing too because more than once I muttered under my breath, “Freaking psycho teacher,” each time she would instruct a Twisteresque move on the mostly willing participants.

Towards the end of class, the yoga lady said we were going to do the Happy Baby pose. Cool. Is someone going to sit me on their lap and hand feed me Cheerios? Not a chance. It was more like lay on your back, grab your toes and roll around like a baby. Sounds easy enough right? But somehow it still managed to feel like exercise, not an easy, playful experience.

Eventually the class ended, and I survived. I did notice the instructor and a few other people say, “Namaste” at the end of class. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I think it loosely translates to “foolish torture.”

-Pete

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