Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lessons in Contortion

In my effort to build up core strength I shuffled through my vast collection of workout DVDs to find something that met the need. Many were still sporting their original shrink-wrap as if to mock me and previous attempts (or non-attempts, as it may be) to strengthen my body.

I stumbled across one entitled, "Yoga for Weight Loss". I figure this would be the perfect answer. Yoga builds core strength, right? And if you can lose weight in the process what's not to love?
Now here's a shocker.....I've never done yoga. But surely if they make a yoga DVD aimed at weight loss it will be suitable for fat people. I mean, that would be the target market for such a product, right? And I would think that most fat people are not yoga masters so certainly it starts at a beginner level.

I'm all pumped up. I'm gonna lose weight, build some abs, and transport myself to a zen-like state all with one DVD. I'm proud of myself for taking this training seriously and this is exactly what I need. I even used some new hair product and I'm having an incredibly good hair day. I'm oozing positivity and ready to take whatever Little Miss Yoga Chick throws my way.

I make sure the house is empty for this first attempt. Because, really....have you ever seen a fat contortionist? And why would you want to? It can't be pretty.

But I'm convinced that in no time I'll be mastering all these silly poses and I'm anxious to see how they marry weight loss and yoga together. So with the house empty, my confidence soaring, and my hair looking even better than Little Miss Yoga Chick I hit play and wait while the secret to all my problems is revealed over the next 53 minutes.

The relaxing music fills my living room. I can almost smell the flowers and feel the spray of the ocean depicted in the beautiful scenery. I listen intently as my instructor tells me of all her credentials, important celebrity clients, and unique philosophies. Bring it on!

We start sitting Indian-style on the floor. This is brilliant. Exercise where you sit. I'm a model student and concentrate on my breath and my tail bone. Soon we're standing up. So far so good.

My first moment of concern was when she instructed me to "fold forward". I look up at the TV for direction. Yep. She folded alright. Right in half. Like the clamshell DVD case where she lives. I don't necessarily "fold", but I manage to bend over some. That sitting muscle is getting in the way. This was my first clue that I may have not been the target audience for this particular DVD. But I'm sticking with it. No way am I throwing in the towel yet.

Now I'm bent upside down, my arms are behind my head, and I'm shaking my torso side to side. I'm not entirely sure how I got here. And I'm wondering how exactly I'm supposed to follow along when I'm upside down and looking at my inner thighs. But, dutifully, I wait for instruction. She is giving me a good, descriptive play-by-play so that I can keep up.

Thankfully we return to standing position and I'm praising God as she spends a little time on neck rolls. Neck rolls are almost as good as sitting. She continues to instruct me on the perfect mountain pose. I'm good at this one. Its a standing one again.

Then all of a sudden my calm instructor turns into the Auctioneer from Hell. With the cadence of a jackhammer in overdrive she rattles off a sequence of poses that have me "swan-diving" into a folded over position again. Then I'm in a push up position, then a cobra, somehow from there I've got my butt sticking up in the air in the downward facing dog pose. At the same time I'm trying to adhere to her orders to spread my toes and breath and stretch and lengthen and rotate this or that inward. Eventually I'm standing up again, but I'm not really sure how I got there. I find myself embracing every vertical moment.

Then she utters two short horrible little words.

"Two more."

I turned to the TV and asked, as if she were really in the room, "Are you kidding me?"

She didn't answer and was in full-on auctioneer mode by now.

I should've seen this coming. I mean, you did - right? When I started this entry you probably knew this couldn't end well. It was like watching a horror movie and telling the stupid blond girl not to go into the woods. But I ran willingly.

I tried. Really I did. I figured 53 minutes isn't that long. Surely I could stick this out a little longer. Then I looked at the counter. It had elapsed a mere 7 minutes and 45 seconds. And I wasn't feeling very zen-like.

I figured it best to salvage the good hair day and admit defeat.

I may take on Little Miss Yoga Chick again someday. But in the meantime, I've got this Pilates workout that might work. I'll let you know how that goes.


  1. If you ever feel like giving the yoga dvd's another try. Take a look at any by Rodney Yee. Nice relaxing and you feel it afterwards. I've seen one dvd called yogalates, that one was wicked tough. Very nice post.

  2. I have a book that is something like "Yoga for Old People" or something close. It explains all the poses and give tips on how beginners and people who aren't very flexible can still get benefits from yoga. It's pretty cool.

    Also, I watch yoga on the Fit TV channel every once in a while. Watch. I don't participate. Those people can almost kiss their own butts. Very flexible. hahaha

  3. I'm way impressed that you got as far as you did. My friend does yoga and I never realized how intense it is.

    I'm sure when you revisit yoga chick things will be different.

  4. Ed - Thanks for stopping by! And I appreciate the suggestion on the yoga instructor - I'll check him out.

    Jay - You watching Fit TV with "Yoga for Old People" by your side is not painting a very happy picture. Although, I do believe there could be a drinking game in there somewhere.

    Dee - That stuff was hard!!! They try to snowball you with the pretty scenery and the calming music and the intructors who never sweat. I was completely amazed at how hard that was!

  5. Hey, my comment never appeared! :( We had a bad thunderstorm this morning and when I hit "Post Comment" the screen froze! (Hate it when that happens!)

    Basically, I made a not-so-flattering comment about the Little Miss Auctioneer Yoga Bitch and it's just as well it never came through.

    I remember taking yoga a few years back and getting frustrated when 70 year old men and women were doing shoulder stands (head between two chairs) and I couldn't even stand on my feet! It was embarrassing as all hell!

    Good luck to you, Chica!! Don't give up! :)

  6. Ily - Sorry about the computer gremlins. I hate that! I'm glad you share my disdain for the Yoga Chick. I totally thought she was on my side - until she turned on me.

    I'm not giving up yet. Of course I may be 70 by the time I'm able to bend like that. In which case I will be sure to make the rounds to all the yoga studios in order to rub it in!

  7. Just ditch that DVD (or use it as a coaster) and get one from Megan Garcia. She is a plus sized model and has a book and a dvd for yoga for plus sized people. Round bodies need a different approach to yoga.

  8. Joy - Thank you so much for your suggestion. I actually bought her DVD on eBay after reading your post and it is MUCH better. Finally a yoga DVD I can actually get through!

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