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A Beginner’s Guide To Yoga: For Dudes

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For months, my fiancée has pestered me nonstop to try out yoga with her. I was impressed with the anti-yoga defense wall I put up to battle against her onslaught of invites, but like in all wars, the barricades wore away. I broke down and went. How hard could it be? I like to think I’m a pretty fit guy. I played multiple sports growing up, from cross country to basketball and ended up playing soccer in college. Despite being “retired” and now focusing my attention on food and alcohol, I thought this decent amount of athletic ability would easily translate to talent in yoga. For a 5,000-year old practice turned sorority girl/health nut haven, it wasn’t as easy as I thought.

Awkward Moments In Every Pose

Maybe I am just really good at finding myself in awkward moments or maybe that zen hole is naturally designed for awkward moments, but either way it was all a very cruel joke. One minute I’m in child’s pose, which is a grown-up version of just sitting in a fetal position, trying to not let out any sort of flatulence and then the next moment I have my ass in the air and look to see the instructor but instead I’m looking directly at some dude’s ass. Hint to any man wanting to try yoga: don’t pick a space directly behind another guy. It will be uncomfortable very fast. Another tip is spot the inexperienced “yogis” and sit with them. Save yourself the embarrassment and avoid sitting next to that chick who is supporting her entire body weight on her thumb and index finger.

Lack of Flexibility Awareness Class

Apparently, athletic flexibility and yoga flexibility are not synonymous. While most of the class participants were able to bend and touch their hands to the floor with their legs straight and touching their head to their knees, I was content that I could reach and touch beyond my knee cap. I have the same flexibility I had when I was 10. Yogis are freaky flexible and they’re not shy to show off how good they are at it.

Don’t Go Tired

One of the hardest parts weren’t holding in farts or the exercise overall, it was trying to stay awake. There’s supposed to be a natural calmness to yoga and that can make you feel extremely tired. The exercising drained my energy, the lights were off, and there was no sound besides the soft meditation music. I was one child’s pose away from passing out harder than my buddy Mike after the FIJI rush party.

Spirituality

I’ve spent some time researching and learning meditation for a few years, now. I enjoy meditating in privacy because it’s easier when you’re alone and I think people who do it publicly are just trying to look progressive and trendy. Meditating, saying “namaste,” and gesturing to the heart and mind after the class didn’t feel right. My mind wasn’t clear, my mouth was dry, and my body felt like it could’ve been in that “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” show that used to run on TLC. The class didn’t have that vibe to where it would be normal to do all of that afterwards. In yoga’s defense, I only went once to one studio. It could be different at other places or at another class at the place I went.

Conclusion: At the end of the class, I wasn’t just tired, I was absolutely crippled, debilitated, spent. I paid for a 10-day unlimited pass but I didn’t go once after that day. That night I went to bed earlier than my bedtime from the 3rd grade. I might be willing to go back. Until then, you can find me trying to increase my flexibility in the privacy of my home. Namaste.

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