yoga ptsd. it’s real.

Could. Not. Resist.

So I’m fresh out of a yoga class and more crotchety than ever, as it was specifically labeled Hatha on the gym’s schedule and yet specifically turned out to be Vinyasa.

Listen. I don’t like Vinyasa. I come out with pain in my back (don’t bother me with big words like “psychosomatic”) and can’t move my neck for 2 days (it’s real! You don’t even know!) and feel generally all around irritated by all the speediness (because I’m slow), and hardness (because I’m awkward), and, arbitrarily, the fact there’s someone in the class today who persisted in breathing loudly through his/her mouth and making me crazy. You’re supposed to be shutting out the distractions, and “panting like Big Bad Wolf” qualified as a distraction to the degree that soon I could not focus on anything else. During meditation, I took the opportunity while everyone’s eyes were closed to peer around the room, because if I identified the miscreant I was going to punch him in the throat. NAMASTE, MOTHER&*(^$R!! (…I might scream while I did it, all Die Hard-style. Yesssss.).

Yeah, that’s how the wrong yoga makes me feel: actively hostile.

I recognize this is very strange.  I can’t help it. Something about the energy of power yoga brings out my aggressive side.

Now, if I gave myself a therapy session on why this may be – and years of reading womens’ magazines totally qualifies me to do so – I could, after several false starts of blaming my mother, eventually reveal to myself the true likely origin of this hostility. My first yoga class ever was at the San Francisco gym I joined after college, taught by The Meanest Yoga Teacher on the Planet (except for this guy). He was tall and thin and nerdy and overdramatic, fiercely dedicated to the study but perhaps not the teaching of this art, the type of person who tells you how stupid you are but never explains why, or what you are doing wrong. “This pains me, what you’re doing right now,” he’d say, touching you on the shoulder, and moving on.

Sometimes he would spend the entire class forcing us to stay in one position, usually downward-facing dog, and walk around the room railing about our miserable incompetence. “It’s truly amazing,” he’d say, “how an entire roomful of people can fail to grasp something so basic.” Worse was when he would stop and direct the rest of the class’ attention to one unlucky participant. “No, no, NO! Do you see this? Everyone, look at this. Stop what are you doing. Stop. It’s horrifying, what you’re doing. Look at this man. Do it again, what you were doing. Ok, now. Everyone? What is he doing wrong? Do you even know? No. You don’t even know. Why am I here. Why do I waste my time? Eh? Back to downward facing dog!”

Worst of all (for him, not for us) was the idea of the shock we would inflict on his yogi, fortunately safely insulated from us back at his ashram in India, if he were to walk into our class one unfortunate Tuesday. “If my guru could see this,” he’d say in true grief, his hands pressed against his eyes, “he would stab a baby. You people are an atrocity.”

Since I assumed all classes went this way, I couldn’t understand how other people could tell me they just loved yoga. “It’s so GREAT!” gushed my coworkers. “Everyone should do it. I’m so relaxed and peaceful afterwards!”  Who were these masochists?

But on the other hand, I doubted myself. Maybe it did get better? Was it so miserable because I wasn’t trying? I went back, 3 or 4 or 5 times.

But it didn’t get better. I was always in physical pain after my hour of downward dog and verbal abuse, and I never learned anything except to passionately hate yoga. I finally gave it up. As far as I could tell, yoga was the worst thing ever. The masochists could have at it.

Of course, eventually – years later –  I tried another class, at another gym, and, realized some important truths:

(A) that guy was completely &*^@ bonkers, and also,

(B) no yoga should be that awful, and usually isn’t, and furthermore,

(C) there are different types of yoga, and you can pick what you like.

I turned out to be a Hatha kind of girl. I’m willing to stretch and reach and work on balance and consider trying be centered and calm and all that. I’m not always successful (did I mention my Latin temper?), but I try, and I like it. Probably better I not contribute my crazy energy to Vinyasa anyway. Chaturangas not fast enough? YEAH?? Well, your stupid guru can go – “Hmm, let’s close our eyes, now,” says the instructor, touching my head. “Try to relax.”

Oh, riiiiiight. We’re back to the part I claim to like. Well, I’m still not so great at meditation either, as you can probably tell. Stretching and breathing (QUIETLY, you BASTARDS), okay. Shutting out the distractions, well…still in development.


apparently, i have some kind of bad airport karma.

It looks like this!

So I’m in Atlanta for the weekend and my departure flight is at 3:25 pm. I’m actually going to make it, too, despite departing later than I’d planned, driving an hour through Atlanta traffic, missing my exit, and having to double back to refill the tank of the rental car before turning it in. It was going to be close. But I feel confident! Punctual! as I pull into the garage, hand over keys and rented Garmin to the Dollar employee, grab my bags out of the back and point out the pair of black pants evidently left in the trunk by the previous renter (black pants on a black hanger against charcoal interior = no one saw them, including me, until I was unloading my bag at the hotel 2 days ago). Across the parking lot, up the escalator, onto the Skytrain, 2 stops to the Terminal, up the escalator, down the hall, across the crosswalk, down the escalator, to the Delta counters, merrily I go. I just need my confirmation code to check into the kiosk. My confirmation code is in my phone.

 Where the hell is my phone.

 10 minutes of increasingly panicky searching later, including finally dumping my entire bag out into a chair, I face facts. It’s in the rental car. Goddammit.

 Am I going to miss my flight? What time is it? Where’s my phone?

Oh, right. Goddammit!

 I stand for a minute, actually weighing the two: my flight…my phone. Would they mail it to me? Yes. No! What am I saying? I need my phone.

 Up the escalator, across the crosswalk, down the hall, down the escalator to the Skytrain, 2 stops to the parking garage, down the escalator, across the parking lot. The Dollar checker-in remembers me. She also remembers that someone else drove off my car to the lot to be cleaned 5 minutes ago. “Over there,” she points, to the next parking lot over.

 Across the parking lot. Another Dollar employee in a neon green vest greets me. I explain the problem, and he’s willing to help.

“What kind of car is it?” he asked. “A red Chevy,” I answer.

“A red Chevy what?”

I stare at him.  Man, I don’t know. I don’t know cars. I’ve known Other Half and his car for over 6 years now and shared ownership for 3 and still, when asked “What kind of car do you have?” am forced to answer, “A green one”, because that’s all I usually remember. When pressed, while I will seldom come up with “Volkswagen” and certainly not “Passat”, I can usually add (super helpfully, in my opinion), “I think it’s German.”

 Personally, I thought it was pretty freaking amazing I came up with “Chevy”. Also, it’s red. Did I mention that it’s red?

And like this!

 “Like this?” he asks, pointing to a small red sedan. “Yes!” I exclaim. Could it be this easy? I open the door, dig around and under the front passenger seat. No phone. I shut the door and doubt. Is this the right car? Frankly, my dear, I don’t have any damn idea. I don’t know what my rental car looks like without my stuff in it. It had a red exterior and a grey interior. We only spent 2 days together getting from points A to B and back to A. We don’t have much of a relationship.

“There’s one!” Vest Guy says, pointing two rows over. Aha! I scrabble about the floor. No. No phone.

 “Up here?” A third red Chevrolet, several cars up.  Wait a minute. I stop and survey the sea of cars. There must be at least 15 identical red Chevys dotting the parking lot.

 Awesome. I am definitely missing my flight.

 Halfway through the lot we find my phone on the floor of a car which may or may not still have a pair of black pants in the trunk. I thank Vest Guy profusely and trek back to the terminal to arrange a new flight to DC, since mine is currently preparing to taxi the runway. I am lucky, in the sense that there are practically hourly flights from Atlanta to DC, so I am not stranded for an extra night. For a mere $50 change fee (!!) I am booked on the 4:15 to National Airport, arriving only an hour later than planned. Other Half is glad not to have to drive to Dulles, located in the western Godforsaken Hinterlands, which is much further from our house. As far as I know, I arrived home with all my pants. No animatronic animals were involved in my delay. So I guess it could’ve been worse.


Also: like this!

I think I’m going to start driving more often.

dammit! this explains all those years of burned onions.

45 minutes, people. 45.

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