How to do Yoga, a complete step by step guide on how to become a full-fledged 100%, Yogi.
Sounds pretty easy huh? Well, what if I told you that becoming a full-fledged 100% Yogi would mean that you had to get uncomfortable? Not, wet socks uncomfortable. More like, I think my insides are bleeding, uncomfortable. Well, if that sounds like fun and you think you have the heart to do Yoga, follow me.
Spoiler alert!!! This isn't really a guide on How to do Yoga. I just thought the title was appropriate because I want to introduce you to the person that got me into Yoga. I'm talking Patanjali is the homie, into Yoga. Her name is Adesina Cash, and she is a Bodhisattva that has delayed nirvana to save the suffering beings of this world and I absolutely adore her.
I first tried learning Yoga from a DVD I bought about 13 years ago. It was a classic impulse buy at one of those recycled sports gear places. The DVD was informative but the aesthetic was Jane Fonda X Richard Simmons (If you don't know who they are, think sequin leotards and bad perms). Back in those days before the Instagrams and the snapchats we had to read books with words in them. I asked the guy at the bookstore if he could recommend some good Yoga books and he said I should read the Bhagavad Gita. I read the first chapter and my brain felt like it was going to explode. Needless to say, I gave up on Yoga for a while.
Fast forward through the last decade and some change, and, wah la! I'm back in the Bay Area, getting into my groove. Soul searching if you will, or maybe mid-life crisis? Who knows? Potato, Potatoe. My girlfriend suggests I try Yoga. At first, I'm reluctant because I don't want to cramp up in class and pull a hammy. Or, better yet, fart in yoga class. That'll make friends fast!
I told my girlfriend, "You can do Yoga with your cool yoga pants, and I'll get back into Martial arts." We found classes and put them on the calendar. The Martial Arts class I was supposed to take was canceled so my wife said, "You should just come to Yoga class with me, the owners hella cool, she plays Wu-Tang during class!" Wu-Tang? Well, that doesn't sound so bad. I think I'll go to Wu-Tang Yoga.
Mind you, I'm under the impression that we are doing slow, boring, yoga while listening to Wu-Tang to help break the monotony. I was sadly mistaken. What I walked into was nothing short of an ambush. These are Guerilla warfare Yogis! They're looking at me like Nick Cage in Wickerman. What have I gotten myself into? Why are the heaters on in the summer? Do they know we are in peak heat? Where are all the other guys? Awkward.
About ten breaths into class and I'm sweating bullets. My groin muscles feel like they are about to snap, my vision is blurry and my pride is taking a major hit because I'm the only person struggling at this point. I began to rationalize with one-half of my conscious.
You're not a hostage here! You can leave whenever you'd like. You should probably leave now. Leave while you still have a chance to escape.
The other half of my conscious doesn't give up so easily.
You better finish this Yoga class! You are a HOT TOUGH YOGI damn it! You better not embarrass yourself and you wife in front of all these peaceful Yogis!
The conversation in my head lasted about 45mins and at some point during this conversation I forgot to breathe. I suddenly became nauseous. I feverishly looked around the studio for Adesina so I could make eye contact with her and ask to be excused. I felt like that shitty friend in High School that would always bitch out and crack the window during a Hot Box. I could feel the disappointment coming from all the peaceful yogis as I opened the door breaking the threshold of the sacred space.
I ran as fast as I could so not blow cookies all over Adesina's beautiful studio. I made it to the first bush. Oh! Look, lasagna. After reviving my last three meals from the dead I casually walked back to my mat and took my very first, well-earned, savasana.
I do Yoga every day now. In fact, I love Yoga so much, I recently became a certified Yoga instructor. And despite all of the horrible things I did to the bush outside of Adesina's studio, she and I became friends, better yet, family. Oh, and she allowed me to take her portrait.
To be continued...