I showed up at the beautiful venue with a brand-new yoga mat, bought the last time I decided to try yoga. But never did.
Since I travel through life in fifth gear, (hence the sky-high blood pressure, anxiety disorder and a brain that never shuts up) I have always been drawn to fast, loud, this-could-be-dangerous-at-your-age activities.
But my personality type is catching up with me.
I have to crank down the exuberance.
Rather awkwardly, I unrolled my yoga mat and pretended that I had the personality for deep cleansing breaths and a happy baby pose.
Immediately, I was in love with the yoga instructor’s velvety lull of a voice.
Because I have the attention span of a fruit fly, I was already nervous about paying attention and staying on the yoga mat instead of flying out the door.
The instructor requested that we hold onto a chair and slowly lift one leg behind our body.
“And now,” that rich, deep yawn of relaxation instructed, “reach behind with your right arm and very gently grab your toe.”
I tried to look over my shoulder. I tried so hard that I pulled a muscle in my neck.
But I could not find my toe! It was traveling around behind me, playing tag.
Both of the yoga-loving women in front of me happily held their toes like the hands of their lovers.
But my toe was at least two miles from my hand.
The more I reached for it, the more my neck strained and the farther my bobbing toe traveled from my reach.
Somewhere in that process of failed toe-grabbing, I realized that I was saying bad words under my breath, in the company of very comatose people who could find their big toe and still do the deep cleansing breaths.
Thank goodness we moved on to another activity before I needed a neck brace.
“Lie flat on your back,” she said in a whisper.
I can do that,” I sighed.
“And clear your mind,” she said.
I don’t have a mind that can be cleared. Mine is wild bronco.
While everyone else was half asleep on their mat, my brain shot through 50 different thoughts.
“Did I remember to buy dish soap? What time is my hair appointment for next week? I am the only woman in here with naked toenails. Why don’t I ever think about nail polish? Did I remember to add those new appointments to my calendar?”
When I realized that I was once again failing yoga class, my head shot to a new level of nut case.
“Stop thinking,” I whispered. “Clear your head and rest. Feel that blood pressure go down, down, down.”
Then, because I was flat on my back and my mind is a pingpong ball, I studied the rafters in that beautiful A-frame building. How could they be so dust-free?
To wrap up the evening, the yoga lady played a relaxation compact disc.
Sounds of ocean waves filled the room, and I started to cry.
Horrified, I could not stop the big, fat tears as they rolled out of my eyes to pool in my ears.
I missed my life on that Florida beach so much that my heart bent over to sob. My yoga experience was turning into a nasty snot festival.
“Oh my gosh,” I muttered. “In addition to blood pressure issues, now I need antidepressants.”
When the class ended, I realized that my shoulders were not as tense. I didn’t have a headache anymore. My legs weren’t aching, and my mind wasn’t racing as much.
Yoga might just become my new friend after all.