10 Things I Hate about Yoga

Self on 11.11.12
Contributing Writer bio | twitter

My husband does yoga the right way. He also meditates at home, appreciating the challenge of stillness. When he first introduced me to yoga, I rolled my eyes while he balanced on his pinky, curled like a pretzel. I typically go jogging for exercise or hit the elliptical at the gym. But I found yoga to be a stretchy endurance workout I had not anticipated. Still, in my once a week class, I feel like an imposter who is in it for the wrong reasons-- to get a workout and a break from the kids.

Here, are ten things I hate (or just don't understand and appreciate) about yoga:

1. Chanting. This makes me feel like I have joined some kind of religious cult.

2. Preaching. I don't mind a few words of wisdom or a quote to close the class, but it bugs me when the twenty-something instructor drones on and on about the meaning of life or love, making me wish I was back home cleaning bathrooms.

3. The outfits. My first time at yoga I wore shorts and a t-shirt, and I was the only one. If you don't have hundred dollar butt-lifting pants from Lululemon and a yoga top with a built-in bra, you're a misfit.

4. Crouching in child's pose. I want to spring up and do a jumping jack when asked to stay crouched in the fetal position too long, with my toes becoming numb while the twenty-something talks about the meaning of life.

5. Shavasana. Lying flat on the hard floor in a supine position at the end of class for what feels like 20 minutes but is probably more like 7, stresses me out. I'm all for resting, but I'd rather do this in the form of a nap in my bed after showering.

6. Hyper-awareness about breathing. Half the time I wind up holding my breath or making grunting noises trying to breathe in and out through my nose with my mouth shut. I've even given myself the hiccups.

7. Directions my body doesn't understand how to follow. "Turn your upper arms in toward each other and push away from the floor. Try to touch your spine with your belly button. Sip air in and out of your nose." Huh?

8. Oppressive heat. Hot yoga leads me to believe I am getting a workout just sitting there, sweating on my beach towel. But I sweat so much, I slide around on the mat when I execute the poses.

9. Perfect pretzel women. During Side Crow and Bird of Paradise, I stare wide-eyed from my mat while tiny muscled women wrap their limbs around their bodies and balance on their big toes, which are also tiny.

10. Makeup in class.  Somehow the same women who twist themselves into these improbable poses also remain impeccably put together throughout class. Some manage full-makeup without a smudge, whereas my mascara runs down my face when the humidifier is turned on.

Photo: lululemon athletica/ Creative Commons

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