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Thank Goodness, There Were No Eruptions!

October 20, 2010

I took my first-ever yoga class on Monday.

Yup, me. Downward facing big guy.

The class was offered at Remedy Coffee, the awesome Old City coffee house that also serves as the center for knoxlife church. Tyler Woodruff, a personal training and a member at knoxlife, has been offering the classes for a few weeks now.

The decision to go was easy. I can be impulsive like that. I’ll try almost anything once. I’ve eaten a Bertie Bott’s vomit-flavored jelly bean, after all, and lived to regret it. I’ve taken boot camp-style fitness classes. Heck, I’ve walked a freakin’ marathon! And I’d skydive or go horseback riding…if I were smaller (seriously, I didn’t know you had to weigh under 275 pounds to go horseback riding, but then the horse in question wasn’t a Clydesdale). So yoga would be nothing, right?

I was concerned about weird things. Like that I’d be the biggest person in the class — which happens a lot and I’ve never really cared, but the thought of being surrounded by willowy, hyper-flexible people was a little  intimidating. But, I picked up a yoga mat and went anyway. I also worried about eruptions from my digestive system, thanks to someone on Twitter who tweeted, “I hope you don’t fart, it can be very distracting.”

Not as distracting as suddenly worrying about the possibility of farting in yoga class. Just saying.

I walked in the room. I was wearing classic large person attire, sweatpants and a t-shirt. I don’t know what possessed me, because I never wear sweats. Except to bed. During the winter. The room was warm, and I’d be exercising. My yoga mat was destined to get wet.

Meanwhile, the willowy folk were starting to assemble, and I was grateful to learn I wasn’t the only guy in the room besides the instructor. 

We finally got down to business and, well, I liked it. I couldn’t do one or two of the positions at all because my body just doesn’t move like that, and there are several that need work (the thing that rolls into a cobra position being high on that list). But, overall, I found the focus on the movements, and thus off the rest of the world, incredibly relaxing. My muscles, especially in my back, felt incredibly loose. It really was a great experience.

As an aside, I was to take a minute to talk about yoga being offered in a church given Pastor Mark Driscoll’s recent denunciation of yoga as demonic. Gasp!

Here’s what I can tell you from my experience. Each of Tyler’s yoga classes has a Christian theme, like surrender or love. This was the “love” class. At the start he read a passage about the Christian nature of love. At the end, he offered up a prayer. I suppose it’s possible to make anything demonic, like eating or watching television, and maybe somewhere there is a demonic yoga class. This was not it. At the end of the day, Rev. Driscoll needs to relax.

Perhaps he should take a yoga class. He can join us. I know I’ll be back.

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