Yoga Relaxes the Mind and the Body…Unless You’re Amanda

I’ve been very busy as you can tell by my 1+ year hiatus from here. And when I say very busy, I really just mean I haven’t really been feeling creative and/or I’ve been putting my creative energies into other things and/or I forgot about this blog until someone said I should write a book today then I remembered it existed. But that’s not to say I haven’t used my hiatus very efficiently. I’ve done lots of things, lots and lots of things, for instance I’ve recently taken up the practice of yoga.

I’m not new to yoga, per say, in the sense that I’ve done yoga for several years on the wii fit. In Amanda’s world anything you do on the wii fit is real and totally helpful to your physical fitness. So naturally the transition process to what I now refer to as ‘real yoga’ went a bit like this “Yoga is so easy! I can definitely do yoga! I’m going to go straight to Target right now and a buy a dvd.” And that’s exactly what I did.

Many yoga dvd’s they have at the Target, many different kinds. Being that I’m not one to deny a challenge I chose to purchase the most difficult yoga dvd they had; Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. I should have known better. The first sign that this was a bad choice was the “Jillian Michaels” part. The second would be the “meltdown”. As a newbie I should have chosen the dvd labeled solely “Yoga”, but I didn’t, because I’m Amanda, and I was convinced I was not a newbie.

I brought Jillian home, popped her right in the DVD player and got started, immediately I realized I was a newbie, I didn’t even have a yoga mat, I fell over at least 5 times and cursed just as many. Of course I went back to the store and bought a mat immediately because clearly the lack of a rubber foam beneath me was the reason I couldn’t do a downward dog. It had absolutely nothing to do with my completely lack of balance and flexibility. Since that evening I’ve spent many excruciatingly embarrassing months with Jillian before I finally threw up my white flag and admitted to being inflexible. Apparently yoga is supposed make you flexible and relaxed, not cause you to shout expletives. Who knew?

So I’ve finally moved backwards in my yoga endeavor, accepted my ‘yoga newbie’ title and downloaded Yoga Studio on my iPad.

Yoga Studio has many different classes you can do, ranging anywhere from beginner flexibility to advanced strength in which the first pose looks something like this:

Obviously something along the lines of “HOLY POOP!” came out of my mouth when I saw that pose so I stepped it back into the intermediate range (clearly I’m still not fully accepting my beginner status) and chose the 60 minute intermediate flexibility class, thinking to myself, “Technically, not a beginner because I’ve been doing Jillian, I know how yoga works. Plus flexibility is mostly going to be stretches so I want to get all the physical fitness I can. I’ll go with an hour”


From the beginning of the class I’m supposed to be focusing on only my breathing, clearing my mind, preparing myself for a deep 60 minute yoga experience. Nope. Not once was my mind clear. Not one time.

Here’s just a small sampling of the things I said and/or thought through my entire 60 minute session:

“Ha! Yeah okay”
“No, I’m not going to do that.”
“Ummm….I think my leg is ripping in half.”
“Downward dog again?!?”
“Corpse pose*! I’m good at this one!”
“No seriously, I really think my quad is ripping in half this time.”
“Yeah, no, I can’t do that.”
“If I could touch my toes, I wouldn’t need the flexibility class.”
“I wonder how often people release gas during the happy baby pose?”
“Holy crap it’s only been 30 minutes?!?! UGHHHH!!”
“I can’t breathe, my lungs are being crushed!”
“What if someone is taller than the yoga mat? Do they make extra long mats for those people.”
“Oh shoot! I’m supposed to clear my mind…..”
“I physically CANNOT do that!”
“Is she even a person?”
“Is her spine intact?”
“Ahhh how can I relax if I can’t breathe and my leg muscle has just torn apart?”
and finally
“Okay, that’ll be good. I’m done now.”

So, all that said, yoga is going well!! I’m super good at the ‘relaxing and letting my mind be free’ part as you can see. I should also definitely attend a public session, my comments would not disturb anyone I’m sure.

BUT I can touch my toes now and even balance on one foot while holding up the other as if I were a human pretzel. If that’s not yoga, I don’t know what is. I’d say I’m pretty close to being a professional yogi now and I’m even thinking of taking up a partnership with Jillian, if she’s willing of course.

Until my dvd deal comes through, I’ll just be over here trying to reach my toes to the back of my head without pulling a hammy!

*Image quite literally lying on the ground as if I were dead.

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