Downward Dog and Cobra and Tree Pose, Oh My! The Chronicles of a Not-so-Relaxing Yoga Class


Carlie Schwaeber ’12
Web News Editor

Graphic by Connie Zhou '12 Yoga is a series of postures and breathing exercises practiced to achieve control of the body and mind, tranquility, etc., as proclaims.

So according to that website, yoga is supposed to be relaxing. I prove this definition wrong.

My sister loves yoga and is really good at it, and often brings me along.

Usually I head into the room knowing that it will be a battle for me, but after a long week of homework, yoga might be just what I need.

Well, I get into the room and everyone is in another world. They are all closing their eyes and breathing loudly.

Automatically, I am extremely jealous of how relaxed they are, but I am optimistic that I might be able to obtain a relaxed physique as well.  

That optimism slowly diminishes as the teacher walks around the room, telling me different poses I have to do.

Little do I know that everyone in this class was made out of Jello, and while I suffer, the rest of the class is succeeding.

But I am not a quitter, so I keep trying to get the different yoga poses exactly right.

Of course, right when I think I am a pro, the instructor comes over and moves my leg to the right. All of a sudden I think my entire body is going to snap in half.

Now I am feeling irritated. Everyone in the class, including my sister, are getting comments like “beautiful” from the instructor, and when she comes over to me, she says, “we will work on it.”

I brush this little comment off my shoulder and move on to the next pose.

I can’t even believe my ears when the instructor tells me to do the pose “Downward Facing Dog and the Frog.”

Hold up.

I am not a dog and I am not a frog. This is precisely what I can’t fathom about yoga.  

Humans are not meant to be animals, and stretching my body to look like a frog is just not an option for me.

I now regret all the times I didn’t just because I was lazy and I realize that this must be karma.

 What frustrates me most, though, is the fact that yoga is supposed to relax me.

I envy the people around me who can forget about all their troubles and channel their inner selves.  

In all seriousness, however, how am I supposed to focus on myself while one of my feet is in the air and both of my hands are on the floor?

When I leave the yoga room, I celebrate the fact that I got through it, and I think to myself, “Dang, if I can get through that class, I could get through anything”.  

A week later, my muscles have recovered and I realize that I don’t hate yoga, I just wish I could do it.

So I decide that I should try again so that maybe one day, I could become one of those people who can actually relax in yoga.

Practice makes perfect, right?