Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am Gumby... Hear Me Pranayama

Before we go any further in our relationship, there is something you should know about me: I hate yoga. Really, I hate it. I've tried it many times. I have taken classes and tried different videos. I've given yoga a fair shot, and I hate it. The only thing I like about it is that nice Gumby feeling I get from it. I really do feel like Gumby, and it's nice.

 I bet Gumby does a lot of yoga. Here he is in warrior 2.

I know yoga is very popular and has many physical benefits, but there are myriad reasons to dislike it. It's boring, and I don't click with some of the woo-woo-ness of it. I don't need to 'salute my inner goddess' because I don't have one. I'm not a goddess and there is no such being within. Sometimes I like to think I'm God, but I'm not, and neither, by the way, are you.

Also, I find the whole yogi-world too pretentious for words. I find it odd that yoga workouts are called 'practices.' Really?? I just can't bring myself to talk about my workout as a 'practice.' When I hear someone talk about her 'practice,' I assume she's a dentist. I don't think she's a fellow stay-at-home mom doing a yoga video in her living room.

I know a lot of people love yoga, and I don't mean to diss it. Some people I really love also love yoga, like my Darling Cousin, who has threatened, I mean, offered, to take me to her fave yoga studio next time I'm in New York. And I will go. With joy in my heart. Because I love DC, and it's the least I can do since I dragged her to Physique 57.

But there is something else I need to tell you: I struggle with insomnia. I have for years, and it's a horrible affliction. If you are good sleeper, please take a moment to thank the merciful Lord that you can sleep, because really, if there were one thing I wish I could do well, it's sleep. My Darling Husband is a champion sleeper. He could sleep on a bed of nails. He falls asleep all over the place. I had to tell our minister not to be offended if he looked out into the congregation and found DH asleep. He needed to know it wasn't him. It's just DH. He's amazing. I try to elbow him when he nods off in church, but sometimes I miss it.... usually because the sermon is so riveting. That's what I told the minister.

Anyway, recently I've been reading testimonials about power yoga and how it can really help with sleep, specifically a program called Ultimate Yogi. I read about all these people who are sleeping like rocks since they've been doing UY (and no, I did not read these testimonials on UY's website.)

Well, I'll do just about anything for sleep. I mean, I'm not Faust, but short of selling my soul to the devil, I'll try almost anything. So when I read recently that UY's price came down on Amazon, I took the plunge.

I know, seriously, when I am going to find time to do yoga on top of everything else? Because I'm certainly not giving up barre and all my other fun workouts that I actually enjoy. But I have to try it. This shows you how desperate I am. I doing YOGA. I'm rolling my eyes as I type this.

I already had misgivings about UY, mainly because the workouts (or should I say, 'practices'?) are LONG. I mean, some of them are over an hour. I'm rolling my eyes again. I know, I have a bad attitude and it's going to poison my non-existent inner goddess, but really, I'm already squeezing this in between barre, heavy lifting, laundry, housekeeping, cooking and taking care of my family, so an hour is tough.

Also, the instructor is a guy called Travis Elliot and Travis doesn't just say, 'downward dog,' he says, 'downward dooooooooooooooooog.' Seriously. He says that.

But whatever, the set arrived yesterday and I tried the Flexibility disc last night after I put the kids to bed. My night before had been pretty awful, so I was planning to take Nyquil to knock myself out, but after I finished Flexibility I decided against the Nyquil to see if UY would work it's sleepytime magic.

I fell asleep right away (as is my custom) and woke up at 2. This is when I usually get tripped up--I wake up four hours after I've gone to sleep and can't go back to sleep unless I take something. But last night I DID! I fell back to sleep quite quickly. I woke up again at 4.45 and I was so excited when I realized I had fallen right back to sleep at 2, that I couldn't sleep anymore at 4.45. But that's ok. Honestly, for me, 10-4.45 with a brief waking at 2 is a stellar night.

Today I did the UY Cross Train 'practice' (lalala, I'm such a yogi now) and I was kind of grooving with it until Travis told me I could manifest my own destiny through positive thinking or some other such BS and I said (alone, out loud in my living room), "please, Travis, what a crock of BS."

So clearly I have a little work to do on my attitude, but I see it as a positive thing that I can recognize when Travis spouts BS and I can call him on it. It proves I'm not Faust and I'm just honoring my feelings, and Travis tells me that's very important and key to my 'practice.'


  1. Hi. This is Leah. I have to comment on this entry because it cracked me up. I hate yoga too. We're not alone. Last month my Pilates class was supposed to do "Yogilates" as a special thing. The instructor walked in that day and mentioned she'd just noticed it on the schedule so hadn't planned special yoga components ahead of time. "That's okay," said one of my classmates. "I hate yoga." Then the rest of us chimed in that we all hated yoga too.

    By the way, Pilates can give the Gumby feeling without the "woo-woo" or the "practice." I don't know if it helps with sleep, though.

  2. Hi Leah! So funny, b/c I'm meeting a lot of fellow haters (!) thanks to this post. I actually feel like Gumby after a good barre workout, but I'm really in the yoga for the sleep. Last night did not go well... maybe the sleep effects are cumulative?? I'll keep trying it and report back.