at the time i would go to yoga at crunch maybe twice a week. it was a big room, everybody could spread out, and it was quiet and peaceful, but also a good workout. when they transferred our memberships to a nearby la fitness without asking us, i came to find that the yoga classes were packed all the time. by the way, so were the treadmills. there were 30 treadmills (not exaggerating) and they were all taken, all the time.
when we bought our house we joined a nearby 24 hour fitness, which has no classes. i miss my crunch yoga classes. one of our neighbors urged me to look into the class schedule at our local rec center, and finally, this spring, i signed up for rec center yoga. i was stoked.
this yoga class is very different from the other ones i have taken. i am the youngest person by a solid 20 years. the room is tiny, has low ceilings, and does not provide a lot of space between you and your yogi neighbor. the instructor is bubbly and talkative, and people ask questions. oh they ask questions!
“what is this supposed to feel like in my hip joint?” “i have weak knees, do you think i can do this pose?” “can you personally tailor this class to my needs and my needs only?” (i made that last one up.) we spend probably 30% of the class talking about yoga, and not actually doing any yoga.
interactive yoga seems kind of like the opposite of how yoga is supposed to go, right?
the first 3 classes were normal, and i could tell i was becoming much more flexible, especially in my hamstrings. i have also been complimented by the instructor on my “very open hips”, so take that for what you will.
but then in week 4, our instructor surprised us with partner poses. partner poses, i tell you! putting your body on another stranger’s body! my worst nightmare, probably!
that week, a stranger got very hands-on with my lower-lower back. on week 5, i had to put my bare feet against the bare feet of a sheepish but sweaty older man. then we held hands and pulled our faces towards each other. week 6 involved putting my hands on someone else’s lower back and gently rocking their body back and forth. YOU GUYS. I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS.
week 7 offer a sweet respite from stranger touching, and i was thrilled. but this week, week 8, when it came time to get dressed for yoga, i just didn’t have it in me to sit in a dark room and touch somebody else. could not do it again.
so i stayed home and vowed to do a yoga video alone in my basement. oh, my beloved yoga video. the one that asks that you “soften the belly” and “breath into your kidneys” and “relax your palate”. i will take you over creepy and uncomfortable partners yoga any day.
though sometimes it is difficult to concentrate on the video, thanks to a certain someone who does a very convincing downward-facing dog.