Housing and vacating two babies from the residence of my extended and swollen belly has left me feeling self-conscious of my battle scars and subsequently acquired blubber. Gone are the slim thighs and flat stomach (not that my paunch could ever have been labelled ‘flat’), and replaced by stretch marks and a potbelly (I tell myself that I’m just constantly gassy). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed by my body. I just happen to have a penchant for black shapeless outfits that make me look like a nun.
So after loads of needling from my brother (a selfie-loving Instagram gym junkie) and other well-meaning people (not my husband because he knows better!), I decided it was time to exercise. If not to lose weight then at the very least improve my mental health with all those supposed happy endorphins. After making the conscious decision to start exercising, I procrastinated for another week pondering what type.
There was no way I was going to a gym. My last venture ended with my personal trainer, who by sheer coincidence was my neighbour, banging on my front door trying to drag my sorry ass to the gym and me pretending not to be home.
I tried the One-Minute Workout and had the kids join in to keep me motivated, but I’m ashamed to admit that I even found that taxing.
In the end, yoga seemed like the best way of re-introduction to exercise. Not cardio-intensive or sweat-inducing and sympathetic to my sedentary form. So armed with my new mat and some fancy-pants gym wear, I joined a yoga class. To say I was nervous is an understatement.
“Namaste. Welcome to Flo Yoga,” says Judy, the friendly and warm instructor. “Just find a spot on the floor, when you’re ready.”
I give Judy a hesitant smile, put my belongings into the cubicle and find a place. People begin trickling in. It’s a relatively subdued atmosphere.
Suddenly the shrill sound of a phone blares. Mortified, I realise that I had forgotten to turn it off. I clamber towards my phone and turn it to silent, apologising to the group.
“Please make sure you’ve turned your phones on silent if you haven’t already done so,” Judy tells the rest of the group and gives me a reassuring smile.
While everyone is on their mat doing stretches and poses, I sit there feeling awkward and pretending to check out my nails.
The beeping sound of another phone penetrates the silence. I sit up straight listening. That couldn’t possibly be my phone. Feeling insecure I go to check and sure enough, it’s me. My damn alarm for yoga went off. I shut it down.
“I’m so sorry everyone,” I say. I am beyond horrified at being made centre of attention.
The class begins, and I struggle to keep up. There’s a lot of phrases being thrown around; downward facing dog, mountain pose and cat-cow stretch. I am so far out of my comfort zone that I’m in a head spin. I’m sweating like it’s my job and my underwear has lodged uncomfortably between my butt cheeks.
“Now if you want to push yourself a bit more, you can try the Kapotasana,” says Judy as she expertly manoeuvers her body.
I gape at her bent shape. My mind is suffering a nervous breakdown from even contemplating it. I’m no contortionist.
“Listen to your body. You can go into child’s pose when you’re ready.”
I opt for laying flat on my back instead. I call it my ‘Defeated’ pose. My muscles are screaming in pain. I’m gulping in air like a fish out of water.
“Ok, let’s lie on our backs and into Savasana.”
I swing my head to the side and see that everyone is laying down. “Oh good, cos I am NOT moving,” I think to myself.
“Close your eyes. Take deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Cleanse your soul.”
Upon leaving, Judy tells me that I did a great job. “Namaste. See you next time.”
As a reward for all my hard work, I head to the bakery next door and grab myself a coffee and roast pork roll. On the way back to the car, I bump into Judy.
“Namaste!” I say awkwardly, giving her a sheepish look.
She glances at my hands.
“Nothing to see here, just cleansing my body,” I blurt out.
Eye roll. Facepalm. Is there a cleanse for verbal diarrhoea?
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