Nowadays my new year is in November and I’ve alway been big on resolutions. It was about getting well in 2017, but this year I’m gonna get #ripped.
Or, at least… I’m going to start doing exercises more intentional than just walking the dog.
So yesterday I dragged myself to yoga. I’ve practiced a handful of other times in the last twelve months, but only when my friend has dragged me to bright, beautiful places in which she lifts her hip bones high enough to touch the sun and stands on her head and forces me to say things like,
“No, Lisa, I do not want you to help me get into a handstand.”
I wanted to go some place familiar and easy and dark and quiet and warm, because I am the kind of person who eases themselves inch by inch into things like swimming pools and exercise and leaving the house. So I went to a Warm Yin/Yang class at Moksha Sherwood Park, a studio I went to almost daily for that brief window between babies in my early twenties.
I got to class early so I’d have lots of time to meditate in savasana, which people call ‘the hardest pose’ but I am super good at, so, y’know, guru in the house!
And because I am so earnest and spiritual, I chose a mantra for this new year of mine. I lay down and thought of it – I can steer my life anywhere I chose – and visualized a cartoon ship travelling the cartoon map of an ocean route. The ship left little red dashes behind it and its first stop was Yoga Island. Well done, Self, I thought. You made it to Yoga Island. Where next? Then the class began.
A smile spread across my face as we began with twists and stretches. Oh yes, exactly what my tight back needed. When we moved onto our stomachs I realized how warm the overhead lamps were on my shoulders. Hmm, hotter than I remembered, I thought. I forgot warm yoga was actually warm. My stomach rumbled. Should have eaten, I scolded myself. I usually don’t eat anything until about noon, but the 75 minute class had started at 11:30. Oh well, I’ll be fine.
Then we sat up. Again, my stomach rumbled – loud this time, achey and empty. How difficult this was going to be hit in the same sudden wave of remembrance I felt when the contractions with Littlest first started. Oh right, this, I thought. I had forgot about this. I started to sweat.
We stood to do forward folds and my knees began to shake. What was wrong with me? This was supposed to be an ‘easy’ class. I was dizzy, and also… kinda panicked, kinda sad. Oh no, I realized, last night was a night shift night.
A sort of transformation happens on night shift nights. Things like cereal, pb&j sandwiches, oatmeal, and frozen pizza suddenly pass as vegetables. The kids dine early and, often, not at the table. With Husband away, I work until my phone tells me to go to bed. Sometimes, I forget to eat.
We brought our heads from our feet, curved our backs into c’s, and stars danced all down the back wall.
I did the math: twenty four hours since my last meal and the class wasn’t half over yet. Low blood sugar has been a problem since I was twelve years old when I started fainting on stairs and in hot showers. I glanced at my classmates. Was anyone else suffering? Could my instructor see how I shaky I was? What would be more embarrassing: to pass out, or to leave? I was positioned front and centre in the rows of women and leaving would be THE WORST. People would watch me roll the mat like a weakling loser or I’d have to wait in the locker room until the end. Dizzy, I realized I had completely lost my breath. At least if I fainted, I wouldn’t be a quitter. But then someone would probably call Husband, who might show up with the ambulance and his coworkers and then I’d really die.
Also, the floor might break my teeth.
We moved into Warrior and the whole room spun.
“Sorry!” I blurted. And then I ditched the mat and ran.
I remembered the lobby sold energy cookies. The individually wrapped biscuits sat in a bowl, three dollars each, but no attendant there. Eat me! the cookies cried. I thought I might throw up, hands shaking, lungs totally breathless. But I’m a good girl, I told the cookies. A rule-stickler. I could not steal a cookie.
But I needed a cookie. Maybe the attendant is in the locker room tidying up, I thought. I passed by the silent classroom on the way to the silent change room and my bare feet turned to oversized flippers and their sound rang throughout:
Flop flop flop flop flop.
No one there.
So I had to go back,
And I had to steal a cookie.
I looked around, quick, for a security camera. Not to hide from it, but to talk to it. With my hands, I would hold up the cookie and sign that I would also pay for it later. So hungry, I would mouth, rubbing my belly. No camera was found. I unwrapped a cookie and broke it in half and shoved it into my mouth before flopflopflopflopfloping back to practice with less shaky hands and a big, apologetic, chocolate cookie smile.
Afterwards, I would explain to the instructor why I left and that I had stolen a cookie, and offer to pay for it (“this one’s on us,” my lovely kind instructor insisted). When we ended the practice, I again got into corpse pose and resumed my visualization. The cartoon ship dispatched Yoga Island and travelled east to Nutrition Beach.
There is so much to learn.