I had a brilliant idea the other day. You see, a major weakness of mine is lack of flexibility. Even when I was a collegiate runner, I was pretty pathetic, which seriously annoyed the coach for some reason. No matter how much I worked at it, though, I remained at about the level of middle school Megan taking one of those state-mandated fitness tests. You know that thing where you sit with your legs straight and your feet resting against a box, and you see how far you can slide the ruler thingamabobber? Yeah. About that. I scored in the NEGATIVES. They had to go get an extra ruler and attach it to the box just to measure my “score.” Yikes.

Obviously, this isn’t the sort of thing that has gotten any better with age, or lack of activity, or having a baby. It’s pretty clear that my half-hearted, haphazard attempts at stretching after most, some, ok, hardly any of my runs aren’t exactly helping matters. I’ve also been wanting to do some sort of cross training on the days when I’m not running (which ranges anywhere between 2 and 5 per week…apparently, consistency isn’t much my thing these days either), and this is where my brilliant idea comes into play:

We have Netflix streaming.

Netflix Instant has yoga videos.

I can improve my flexibility, strength, and general sense of peace with the universe through yoga.

Awesome. Tremendous. Win – win – win.

If you haven’t guessed by now, things haven’t gone so well. I really, really, really suck at yoga…and it really, really, really ticks me off. There are many possible reasons for this.

Reason #1: I am too stupid for yoga.
Seriously. It’s possible. I’m a technical writer by trade, and normally the ability to WRITE instructions for a variety of audiences means that I’m pretty dang good at FOLLOWING instructions. There was this one time where I decided to put together a massively heavy and complicated piece of furniture by myself rather than help Scott with the “hang a TV from a wall” system he was installing. He said there was no way I’d be able to do that by myself. I challenged him to a race. I won…of course.

But this yoga video. My goodness. I purposely picked one that had a “basic” section up front so I could learn the moves or poses or whatever they’re called. She starts off by stretching her arms over her head, and I’m all, “oh, look how graceful I can be, I’m going to rock this out.” Then she leans over and starts saying things about “shoulders away from the ears” and “twist the spine” and then she says to go down in a somethingorother pose and somethingorother isn’t even an English word and the technical writer in me protests that “you can’t just start using technical terms without defining them!” and then collapses in a twisted pile onto the floor.

Reason #2: I am too inflexible for yoga.
It infuriates me that I’m attempting this in order to INCREASE flexibility but haven’t been able to figure out how to “modify” the poses for a person who isn’t a contortionist like the woman on the DVD. One of the things she does repeatedly is a toe touch, but she says it’s OK to touch your shins if you can’t reach your toes. That’d be the one for me, thanks. But then the next thing you’re supposed to do is “level your back” and “move your shoulders back from your ears.” Yeeeeeeeah. If you’re touching your shins, you’re back is already level. So do I just hang out there? Yes? No? And how in the heck is she doing “lower plank”? It looks like it requires reverse elbows, or a dislocated shoulder, or something. They should put someone like me in the videos as an example of what YOU might actually look like.

Reason #3: I am too uncoordinated for yoga.
This might be something that could improve with practice, but my attempts at “looking at a mountain sunrise” or whatever the “basic” section is teaching are much closer to a game of Twister than graceful, seamlessly transitioned movements. Assuming, of course, that I’m also colorblind and don’t know my right from my left, so that when the  contortionist on the DVD says the yoga equivalent of “right foot green” you can imagine the appropriate amount of perplexed fumbling before landing the correct appendage on the correct spot.

Reason #4: I am too hyper for yoga.
The Trophy Wife might have hit the nail on the head with this one. I was texting her throughout my attempts because I know that she actually LIKES yoga. Her first response was, “It just takes practice.” When my next text was, “This breathing thing is pissing me off,” she replied with, “It’s supposed to relax you. You might be too hyper for yoga.” I can imagine her laughing at me as she typed it, too, which is completely understandable.

The breathing thing DOES piss me off. You got that, perfect little DVD yoga woman? You can’t expect me to follow your every command AND breathe on cue. It’s just not fair. Leave me something that’s mine…and then explain to me how you balance on curled toes. ‘Cuz that’s weird.

With all that said, however, I’m going to keep trying. Mostly because I’m lacking in other ideas, but also because I want to beat it into submission and prove that I’m at least somewhat an athlete. That’s probably 100% the WRONG motivation for an activity that seems to focus on happy happy joy joy thoughts, relaxation, and becoming one with yourself, but that’s just the way it is. And hey — it’s better than no motivation at all, right? Maybe?

Yoga, I will OWN you…or perish in the attempt. Take that!


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