This post originally appeared in Practical Parenting Magazine, February 2014
Recently I shared my Pilates experiences with you. Today, we’re off to the yoga studio for some more core-strengthening, shame and humiliation. But first: a little Prancercise, extra camel toe at no added cost. Why ever not?
Last month, I started telling you all about my adventures in exercise. Like many mums, I’ve struggled to keep fit after having babies, and in particular, back pain is a problem for me. Last time, we talked Pilates. I’m sorry to remind you of how I lowered the tone of this magazine by describing how Pilates did not particularly help to strengthen my core muscles, but my constant struggles not to fart in class ensured that my sphincter could snap a pencil.
Today, I’m going to talk about yoga, and I wish that I could begin on a more highbrow note, but alas, I feel I have spent at least 20% of my time in yoga class, like Pilates, trying not to pass gas. I’ve done three rounds of pre-natal yoga, too, and all you pregnant ladies know just how shocking those third-trimester air-biscuits can be. Amirite? Everybody? No? Perhaps I should visit a gastroenterologist. A shameful clinical pattern seems to be emerging.
Worse than farting in yoga class is when, after somebody else farts, you are the only one who laughs. That is when you reveal that you don’t have the calm, serene soul of a Buddhist, but the lowbrow character of the naughty schoolgirl up the back of the bus. Often, I’m buggered by the time I get to a class scheduled at the end of a day of mumming around. By the time we’re five minutes into a meditation, I’m dribbling onto my yoga mat and snoring softly.( In truth I’m probably farting as well.)
At home with three little ones, I sometimes fire up the yoga app on my phone, but Pudding the toddler sees Downward Dog as an invitation to crawl between my legs, and T-Bone the 5 year old is so unpredictable, and moves so fast, that I am rigid with anticipation that he might fly at me while I am saluting the sun. Tense and shouty is not the optimum yoga mood.
But popping off, dribbling and tipping over in balancing poses aside, the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me at yoga was after class. A woman asked as the session ended if anybody could give her a lift home. (Who goes out to class without planning how to get home, I ask you? Who?) I should have anticipated she was unhinged, but I offered her a ride.
In the car, we made conversation that almost immediately rolled down some kind of terrible faux pas mountain. She was a writer, he said. Oh, me too. That’s nice. She wrote erotic fan fiction, she said breathily. Oh. That’s…well! Right! In a panic to fill the silence, I said that I had heard there was a huge market for homosexual Star Trek fan fiction where writers re-imagined Spock and Captain Kirk in loving embrace. My passenger got suddenly very angry. That was nothing like what she wrote, she said, and then she folded her arms and sat in grumpy silence the rest of the way. I couldn’t work out how to mend the conversation, and frankly I wasn’t even sure how we had so quickly arrived at a place where I had offended a stranger by inferring that she wrote gay sci-fi pornography.
The moral: yoga is not always relaxing. And beware of erotic writers. They are touchy. Next month: adventures in the gym. (Less farting. I promise.)