Avoid Basic Yoga When Emotional

I just fell. Walking up the stairs.

Supermanned it.

I mean, I really went all in on the fall.

Just fully committed to it.

Landed on both forearms and one already pissed off knee.

Pealed the skin right off the bottom of my toe.

The same toe that is desperately hanging on to that damn toenail.

Seriously, man. Just let it go.

Gonna make running super fun.

I’m not sure what my body wants from me.

I’m super freaking emotional right now.

And the Handmaid’s Tale binge that Rogue and Fall Risk pressured me into seems to be kicking the emotions into high gear.

I’ve spent much of the weekend screaming obscenities at the television.

It’s very reminiscent of my rant I went on last year after watching that show on one of those dumbass Scared Straight programs.

I except Lobo isn’t getting up and leaving the room this time. Because he can’t. He can barely stand up.

Fuck. Hold on. I’ve got to cry some more.

And I seem to burst into spontaneous tears every time I get in my car.

Could possibly be the podcasts covering the state of our criminal and juvenile justice systems that I listened to on the drive to and from Jarmans yesterday.

Look. I know menopause is coming, and it’s gonna be brutal.

But damn.

So when I woke up to my body complaining loudly about Jarmans, I reluctantly agreed to venture back into my car (tears) and into public space (annoyance) for some yoga.

And I didn’t want to go.

I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Let alone drive 15 minutes for something that was not Erica Austin yoga.

But I did it.

For my body.

But she’s still not happy.

Because what I went to was what I’ll call basic yoga.

Not, like, beginners yoga.

But basic yoga.

I could tell as soon as the instructor walked in. And very clearly did not check in with the room.

She didn’t even look at any of us.

That’s not entirely her fault. She was rushing from her previous class and trying to get the sound system to work. And I get that this space is not intended for true yoga practice.

But still. Take a look around the room before you get going.

Erica ALWAYS checks the room before starting.

Hell I did and I’m one of the most self-absorbed humans I know.

There were several of us who had obviously practiced yoga for a while. A few that would clearly need some modifications. And one sweet 78-year old man who had never tried yoga and whose arthritis was so bad, he could barely keep himself upright in a sitting position.

He actually had to just lean over on one arm or he’d fall right on over.

And so I waited. For the instructor to guide him. Suggest modifications. Help him in some way. Even just acknowledge him for fucks sake.

And eventually she did. Offer a half-hearted, “if you can’t get into warrior one, go ahead and do that. What you’re doing.”

And she pointed at him.

With. Her. Toe.

Disrespectful.

As fuck.

I refrained from saying “SERIOUSLY?!?” out loud.

Good job, Sunshine.

And so when she’d lead us into a pose, I’d do some basic modification myself in hopes that he’d see me in the mirror and understand that he didn’t have to fall all over the fucking place trying to do what she was doing.

And I think the lady next to me was possibly doing the same thing.

We were just hoping the instructor might get clued in and offer him more than just a toe point.

Erica always offers us options to modify or challenge ourselves, based on the room. She ALWAYS knows her room.

So when we moved back down into floor work, I sat there. Only halfway listening to her direction. Trying instead to listen to my body and create my own flow. Basically trying to convey to him, “Forget this chick. Just do what feels good to your body.”

Because Erica ALWAYS tells us to listen to our body. And if you don’t love something, don’t do it.

But I couldn’t focus.

Because this poor man was basically rolling around on the floor. Uncontrollably. Getting nothing but humiliation out of this practice.

And I debated with myself on what to do for several minutes.

I didn’t remember any yoga suitable chairs in the lobby. Pretty sure I couldn’t have dragged one in on my own without fucking it up for everyone.

And I decided pretty quickly that yelling out, “Would you offer this man some damn direction you incompetent fuck?!?” would be unhelpful.

I reminded myself that this girl was young. And not a true yoga instructor. And probably untrained in how to accommodate yoga to a variety of fitness levels.

Patience, Sunshine.

I was definitely not serene.

So I had to either do something or just get up and walk out.

Before I exploded.

Freakin hormones.

Erica is always so cognizant of asking if people want hands on.

And consent has become a constant topic in many areas of my life lately.

And I didn’t want to impose on him.

And I’m not known for my bravery in helping others. I always ALWAYS second guess myself. Not wanting to impose on others. Waiting for some sign that they want my help. Until the moment passes or some other kind soul steps up.

And then there’s also the fear of emasculating this grown man. I’ve watched my own badass father, a Vietnam Veteran, a fourth degree black belt, a fucking badass, struggle more and more as he ages. And I don’t ever ever want to disrespect him by implying he can’t do something.

But fuck.

Seriously.

I would kick someone’s ass if they let my father roll around on the floor in a class full of people like that.

And really, there is usually a way to help someone without humiliating them.

So when we moved into using the strap for leg stretches, I gathered up my courage and scootched my timid behind over to the man. And asked if it would be ok if I sat behind him. So our backs could support one another.

And he didn’t really consent.

But he didn’t look at me like I was crazy either.

So I just sat behind him and let him rest his back against mine.

Like Erica has done for me before.

And I remember it being such a comforting, calming practice.

And I couldn’t see what he was doing.

And eventually we moved into Shavasana, so I helped him lie down and went back to my own mat.

But I think he was maybe able to get some benefit from that segment of the practice. With good use of the strap to help.

Because when class was over. And I went about cleaning up my area. He looked over at me. And the look on his face was beautiful.

Like such happy surprise.

And I asked him if it was ok that I’d done that. And he said yes.

And explained about all of the arthritis taking over his body.

And that his doctor recommended yoga in addition to his physical therapy.

And I wanted to hug his doctor for not just throwing opioids at him.

But I also wanted to smack his doctor for not guiding him to someplace better. Or suggesting chair yoga.

Because you can’t just send someone like that to an unseasoned instructor that will allow them to struggle that much and expect them to ever ever try it again.

Because basic yoga sucks for someone unwilling or unable to guide themselves through what works and feels good for them.

And so, while I didn’t get a whole hell of a lot from today’s yoga in a physical sense, it did help my heart a little bit. And maybe helped me be a little bit braver about stepping up when I think I could possibly help someone.

It hasn’t helped my raging emotional response to…life, though.

Neither did the ten minutes of sitting in warm water. Because the jets in the hot tub weren’t working. And the child guard monitoring the pool area looked at me like I was an idiot for getting in anyway.

Why wouldn’t you just go home and sit in a hot bath?

Because I don’t have a useable bathtub, child. I have a damn shower stall. And let that be a lesson to all you youngins that might someday purchase a home. When given the choice between shower stall and bathtub, always ALWAYS opt for a bathtub.

So I’ve turned off Handmaid’s Tale. And I’m turning my attentions back to reading Jay Kristoff’s “Lifelik3.”

Because nothing calms an emotional soul like dystopian future.

These are days when I think menopause will be our best defense against a zombie apocalypse.

Because I wish a freaking zombie would right now.

I miss Erica…