Six months ago I decided to jump on the 2 Fat Nerds fitness wagon and I was going to start by going to a yoga class (sound familiar?). I got up early one morning, after drinking, probably heavily, the night before, and went to a class near my house that started at 7am. I ate nothing and drank no water, and halfway through the class I had to leave to vomit everywhere. I finished the class and swore to myself I would absolutely never go back.

Monday night, Gracie and I went to a yoga class in Cambridge at a studio neither of us knew anything about. I was borderline terrified to read the class description, while classified as basic, included adjectives like “vigorous,” and “exhausting,” a “full body and soul workout.” While incredibly nervous, I was also excited, because this was something new and a brand new goal that I had just set. My only hope was that I would not hurl in class.

Well, as it turns out Mondays are never awesome, and there is a reason the frumpy man in the elevator turns to you and sighs every Monday morning with an exasperated, “Mondays! Am I right?” Nobody likes them — it is easily the worst day of the week. So by 6-ish, when I finally left work, and started my commute home, all I could think about was dinner. I got home around 6:30 and distracted myself with an apple and the process of locating clothing appropriate to wear to yoga. I had planned to meet Gracie around 7:25 so we could walk to the class and be early enough to get situated all the way in the back of the room. At 6:55, as I was ready to walk out my front door, I picked up my yoga mat that had been in a hallway room since I moved to my new apartment a month and a half ago. I picked it up and noticed a kind of smell. It smelled like the homeless man that sits in Harvard station, surrounded by empty shopping bags. Yes, friends, it smelled like pee.

After noticing the massive pee stain on my yoga mat, I reminded myself that I had to go, or else be late (and run the risk of having to set up in the FRONT of the class). I quickly attempted to wash the (dog) pee out of the mat with the only cleaning supplies I had on hand (dish soap?) and ran out of my house, cursing the day I decided to sign up for a yoga class on a Monday night, and also rain-checking the opportunity to kill the really adorable (and loving) puggle that is my roommate.

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WInston was apologetic for soiling my yoga mat

By the time I met Gracie, I was anxious, frazzled, slightly angry, and a million other words that kind of describe the feeling of being a complete basket case. I was talking several miles and hour faster than recommended, and she tried very hard to calm me down.

And then yoga happened.

For an activity that is supposed to be all about meditation and connecting your strength and energy to your soul, or whatever, it was really hard. I am naturally flexible, but if I didn’t know already, I really know now, I have absolutely no strength. I was shaking pretty badly from the beginning, and at one point, when they told us to build up to STANDING ON OUR HANDS, Gracie and I just looked at each other and laughed. No way, sorry.

I really loved this class. While so much of it was challenging, and as I write this, I’m still a little (a lot) sore, it was something that I can see getting better at. Slowly, class by class, I know that eventually I will be able to do a side plank, and I will be able to do a bridge with my arms extended behind me, and I will be able to do a handstand (…maybe….) and I will hopefully get to progress with a yoga mat that doesn’t smell like a puppy’s accident. 

And maybe, after years of practice I will be as good at yoga, as Winston is naturally. Image