Yesterday I took my first yoga class.
That sh*t was no joke.
If you had asked me what I thought of yoga before the class, words like smelly, sweaty, crunchy and weirdos in strange poses, come to mind.
It certainly would not have been: strenuous, challenging, or bad-ass.
Who would have thought that yoga was the official full body workout?
Seriously, its up there with P90X and Insanity.
Without all the jumping around.
But since having my yoga cherry popped, I have a new-found respect for that-which-I-formerly-dismissed.
I titled this A Black Man’s Guide to Yoga because yoga has always been something that white chicks, Asians or gay men did.
I’m soooo PC.
But a Black man doing yoga?
As the infamous Ed Lover says “C’mon son!”
If you’re like me, at first glance, yoga seems innocent enough.
It’s like stretching.
Do a bunch of poses.
Throw in a couple of ‘Oms’.
And you’re done.
Sure. You do do poses.
But you pose with intention.
And you hold your poses.
For what seems like an eternity.
Every movement is purposeful.
Even your breathing is purposeful.
No. Don’t just inhale and exhale.
See the difference?
It doesn’t translate all that well in text.
But take a yoga class and you’ll get it.
My girl Oneika Mays (total bad-ass) completed her teacher training a few months ago and has been imploring me to take it up.
So yesterday, I took her up on the offer.
How hard could it be?
Real. Fucking. Hard.
Mind you, I’m no punk.
But I was on the verge of crying like a byatch yesterday.
But I did want to slap the shit out of somebody.
Just something to distract me from the pain.
Who knew yoga would make me want to slap my momma?
Yoga looks so easy.
It is anything but.
Five minutes in, I was sweating like a slave picking cotton in the middle of a African summer.
I never thought downward dog would make my triceps scream.
Or that warrior one would put a serious burn in my quads.
Sit-ups and crunches pale in comparison to the ab workout I got activating my core doing those damn poses.
I was at my wits end when we finally got to shavasana, or corpse pose.
Which is essentially playing dead.
The corpse pose is the last pose in a session, meant to relax you.
And (thankfully) it washed away the pain from the previous 50 minutes.
I walked away from class like nothing ever happened.
Must have been the endorphins.
So children, what is the takeaway from all this?
Yoga is awesome.
Oneika, signs off on all her blog posts with “Namaste”, a customary salutation among Hindus and Buddhists.
But since I’m a Black man, I’ve got to flair it up a bit for my peoples.
So Namaste bitches! I bid you farewell.
Now go do some yoga.