2. Do Yoga.

I have done yoga before. Once again, 75 pounds ago. I basically hated it. The notion of pretzel-ing yourself into ungodly positions and then staying there, breathing into the discomfort, just for the fun of it didn't really turn my crank. In more recent years, my relationship with yoga has been limited to the pants. They are so comfortable, and practical for the mom of a toddler who is always bending and crawling somewhere for some reason (parenting is it's own kind of yoga). Having always believed that owning the clothing for an activity and wearing it publicly is ridiculous if you don't participate in the activity, it seems like it was about time for me to use the yoga pants for their intended purpose.

I'm going to go ahead and say it, because I know you're thinking it: My number one fear was that I would (my mother taught me to be polite when tackling this topic) break wind. This is the most embarrassing thing about yoga. Some of the positions you find yourself in are conducive to the passing of the gas. Having never met anyone in the class, naturally I didn't want our first conversation to include the words, "excuse me." After some careful thought about this, it occured to me that I might not be the only one concerned about this matter. That was enough to calm me down.

Similar to my experience of going back to dance class, I was also afraid that this new body, this larger body, might not be able to twist and turn in the ways I would command it to. Taking this into account, I found a class at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis called Big A#%! Yoga. This class was designed by and for women with a little more... junk in the proverbial trunk. There was comfort in knowing that I wasn't going to have to bend over and possibly fart right next to a Heidi Klum look-alike. Besides, I reminded myself of all this body has accomplished. It has created and sustained life, given birth, survived multiple traumas, and heals itself time and again despite a chronic disease. These miracles should not be ignored.

Having now conquered these two fears, I only had to conquer the final fear... I had to do this alone. No posse like I had for dance class last week. None of my other fleshy friends were interested in bending over and possibly farting with me. I will not lie to you, doing something all by myself has been the cause of my backing out of things last minute in the past. I tried to take a community ed class once a couple of years ago, I paid $60 for 10 weeks of class, and never went because I was too afraid to go without knowing anyone. Those who know me would tell you how ridiculous this is because I'm known as an outgoing gregarious person. The truth is, I get shy in new social situations because I am not comfortable with the inevitable judgement. So, while it seems silly, this was the greatest of my fears.

I arrived with just about one minute to spare. I generally like to be places early, but dealing with my fears meant leaving no time for small talk. This is not entirely the truth. I actually parked the car ten minutes before class was scheduled and rode the elevator up to the floor I thought the Yoga Center was on. I was wrong, but when I ducked into the stairwell to take the stairs, I immediately turned around to check the door behind me only to find that I was locked in the stairwell. I ran down the stairs checking each door on each floor hoping that I would be able to escape. Luckily, I was able to free myself on the first floor and then catch the elevator to the correct floor. I was relieved that I didn't walk into a room full of my fellow yogis, asses in the air, accomplishing Down Dog.

Class began, I didn't fart (or if I did, I didn't notice), I got into all the positions (some with less effort than others), and I actually enjoyed myself. Throughout the class, the instructor talked about being a "compassionate observer" of yourself in the experience rather than judging yourself in the experience. It occurred to me that this advice is best to take beyond the yoga mat. Notice your fear and discomfort, accept your fear and discomfort, and move forward with your fear and discomfort in tow. Without judgement of your new companions, face the task at hand. It's possible that you'll pass a little gas, and you may not be able to fix yourself in all the positions, you may even have to go it alone, but by allowing yourself to be who you are at any given moment, and honoring that person, you can do anything.

Next week, I've never done it myself, but I love eating it... I am going to make sushi.


  1. I am thrilled to here you found the Big @#$ Yoga class at the Yoga Center of Mpls! It is the best I have found for those of us who need modifications and to feel part of the group. I felt very conspicuous in regular yoga classes. I now know that I only need to be concerned with myself and what is happening on my matt. The class has been both physically and emotionally beneficial for me.

  2. I tried out for the MN Vixens.......and made the team!!!!!!

  3. Love the new blog! Inspiring and insightful.
    And thanks for the shout out on your blog list. :)

  4. Fabulous dear! It does feel good, doesn't it? I'm glad you are feeling freer to take on new challenges. I'm excited to find out how sushi goes! I've never made it, but certainly LOVE to eat it!

  5. Ha, I love that name--Big A@#$ Yoga! Awesome. I listen to your show all the time. I am with you about not going to places by myself. But, it's getting easier as I get older. :)

  6. I have been considering going to Big A** yoga since I heard about it (and met the owner of the studio) like 4 years ago...maybe someday soon I'll follow thru

  7. I had to laugh reading this post. My husband practices yoga in it's various forms and the first thing he did when our sons were born was show me all the "wind relief" poses.


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