It took about two weeks to fully recover from almost a month of Euro frolicking. The coup de grace was a case of chronic sinusitis, which came about from inhaling germs coughed and sneezed freely by travelers and locals alike. I later learned that it is a very serious thing to get on an airplane when that swelling exists in your sinuses and ears. You risk bursting all sorts of important stuff and I can testify to experiencing a severe case of barometric distress when descending into Chicago. Scuba divers experience this and abort their dives, but I didn’t have time to ask the pilot if he would mind leveling out for a sec so I could equalize, since I was busy squeezing my head, praying, and mentally divvying out my personal property to friends and family (Shoe and bag collection, Harry Potter series in hardcover and soft, cd’s circa 1997, etc.) in the event of what felt like my impending death via blood vessel or head explosion. About 3 in 100,000 people will ever experience it, and it is usually only a section of your head, unless you have a severe case. Like I did.
If you have a severe case, an imaginary metallic wire is wrapped around your eyes, molars (Yes. Your teeth.), weaved through sections of your brain, throat, and finally, your ears. When the plane descends, which lasts for approximately 5 minutes, very strong travel gnomes grab each end of that wire and pull as hard as they can so that each of the above mentioned items feels both squeezed to bursting and sliced, all at the same time.
All of this to say, I did not work out at all last week. Pardon my melodramatic way to excuse my laziness, but that is how I do. The experience was truly akin to the seventh layer of hell on a good day, but it had no lasting affects, other than to scare me into never flying again should there be a hint of stuffiness in my noggin….but I’m milking it, regardless. (That is such a gross expression, so if you have suggestions with the same meaning, please post in the comment section)
My abstinence from physical activity was broken on Tuesday night when I was invited to “warm” yoga.
I have an appreciation for the bendiness that yoga affords and have done it a few times before, but usually leave either discouraged that I couldn’t wrap my legs twice around my own waist, or with a dislocated shoulder from trying too hard or engaging the wrong chi. Curiosity about what value the heat would add and maybe a little guilt about my slothfulness propelled me to the studio.
Here is what I learned:
- There is no such thing as “warm” yoga. The class just before it was “hot” and leaving the door open for five minutes does not cool a place down.
- The positions you get into (or attempt to get into) are not attractive, so lights should always be kept low. Or off.
- Classmates should carefully select their meals for the day, since they will be sticking their posteriors in my face and those odd positions may make you toot. (Which I would appreciate you pardoning yourself for, since it knocked me right out of what had been a stellar downward dog)
- Yoga IS hot. Holding the weight of your body on the knuckle of your thumb while reaching your toes for the ceiling and deep breathing will heat you up fast, but yogis want to up the room temp up to volcanic levels and this confuses me.
- Instructors should alter their vocabulary for the anatomic vernacularly immature. I am uncomfortable being told to locate my “pelvic floor” in public, and I don’t understand how to make it feel like a sling. Also, words like womb and spinal make me shudder.
- You shouldn’t wear cotton yoga pants, since sweating is inevitable and I witnessed many a soggy bottom. Wick away, next time.
- It isn’t ok to giggle when the instructor reads the latest Chopra meditation tidbit because when she says “Peace is our gift to each other” you think she said peas and your 3 year old attention span immediately pictures sending the Jolly Green Giant as our ambassador to the next U.S. Peas Summit, and what a stir that would cause because he wears an off-the-shoulder dress made from leaves, which may not be the best representation for…. (and so on). Yoga is serious! It is not funny.
- Always buy or rent the special towel thing that covers your yoga mat, because you will sweat out every bodily fluid from areas you didn’t know had pores, which will make that mat slick as a cow pie on a flat rock (as we say here in the South) and send you flying into the wall, or into your gassy neighbor. Neither is a good thing.
On the whole, I left the studio feeling taller and happy to have taken on some healthy activity after my hiatus. It was a bit like a spa treatment with the heat and steam and stretching, mixed with a bit of HELL with the heat and steam and stretching, but I would do it again. That is, until it loses its trendiness and goes the way of poor Jazzercise.