It's 5:15AM and my alarm is going off and I stare at it in disbelief until I remember why I need to be up at 5:15. I am doing yoga. Yes. Yes I am.
I drag myself (literally - the legs aren't working right at this hour) out of bed, shove on some sweatpants, and decide to leave on the ratty tee shirt I slept in. What if I sweat? Do you sweat during yoga? People always look so serene when they do it. How can you be serene if you're pouring sweat?
I amble downstairs, my knees reminding me that I'm probably too damn old to be up this early. But I'm not too old for yoga, I tell them. Old people do yoga. Aren't most of the baby boomers former hippies? They do yoga, and I will, too.
I turn on the TV and find a yoga program on YouTube. See, nothin' to it! I can do yoga. Time for my sun salute. Arms up and streeeetch. Yes, I am doing yoga. Go me!
How long am I supposed to hold this, anyway? It's been forever. Oh wait, it's moving on. Good.
What? Do it again? C'mon. I fast forward to something else. Hmmmm. How about the "tree". I can do that. I think. One leg up, arms in a point over my head and - oooof! I guess I don't have good balance after all. Well, not at five pissing thirty in the morning.
Let's switch to the DVD I bought. Maybe changing it up will help. I put in "Yoga and You" (found it at the dollar store!), and I am now ready to be One Of Those Who Does Yoga.
We walk through some basic poses, and I'm doing okay, if a little bored by the droning voice of the girl in the video. She sits on a mat in somebody's backyard, squinting from the sun in her eyes. I can hear the passing cars on the road somewhere near where she is. Oh well, you get what you pay for. We move on, and I find myself attempting a half lotus.
You realize I used the word "attempting".
This hurts. My leg is not meant to bend this way. At least, not with this amount of fat on my thigh. Maybe that's why you never see chubby people in yoga videos. Do I know any overweight people that do yoga all the time? I mean like, more than once or twice? I don't, and that's a fact. Is that because yoga keeps them skinny, or because only the skinny can do yoga? I'm starting to really think it's the latter.
I glance up from my downward dog as I hear the sound of footsteps on the staircase. My son looks sleepily over the bannister, rubbing his eyes.
"Mom? What are you doing?"
"I'm doing yoga. What are you doing up? You don't have to be up yet, honey. Go back to sleep."
"Are you sure that's all you're doing?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I do yoga now."
"Since now. Now go back to sleep."
"I can't sleep. You're making all this noise. You were grunting and stuff."
Nobody grunts in yoga. They all breathe beautifully through their noses, the serene looks never leaving their faces. I, on the other hand, grunt and squeak and my face gets red and oh my God - I'm sweating buckets. That does it.
"I'm all done, honey. Do you want me to come cuddle you for awhile?"
"I'll towel off. Just let me get some water and I'll be right up."
I could have sent him back to bed without me and kept going, but I've decided that today, I am not One Of Those Who Do Yoga. I'm more like One Of Those Who Might Potentially Do Yoga Someday When She Can Figure Out How To Look Beautiful While Doing It.
At least I can go to work tomorrow and talk about how great I felt doing my yoga this morning. I can maybe milk it all week. "Oh, I pulled a hamstring in Monday's yoga workout" or "I tried something new in yoga this week . . ." and then everyone will look at me as One Who Does Yoga.
Appearances are everything. Unless, of course, you look like a beet-faced. grunting idiot when you do yoga.
I'm breaking out the Tai Chi DVD tomorrow, but I think I'll wait till six a.m. this time. Or maybe I'll wait and see if I can milk it through next week.