Quite a stretch

 

I tried a yoga class—my first ever—early this week. It’s called FNR Athletics at the Urban Ashram studio in Makati. It’s part of the lifestyle changes I’ve wrought upon (lol) myself. I can’t even touch my toes without bending my knees, so going to the class, I knew it was going to be a day of reckoning and my pounding heartbeat reminded me so.

Being a newbie, I didn’t understand the nuances of the class description on the website. All I got was the neon notice that marked it as “beginner friendly” and so phrases like “prepares the student to handle more complex work,” “recommended as cross-training for athletes,” and “students who are looking to transition from FNR to Vinyasa” slid past this oblivious yogi. I don’t even know how “Athletics” managed to squeak by my brain without ringing alarms in my head.

So, I’ll cut to the chase: the resting position for FNR Athletics is the plank. Lol. THE PLANK!!! I can last barely a minute on the plank, and here, everyone settles into it like they’re about to get ready to sleep. So for every pose and transition, we all eventually default to the plank and shift to downward dog (another resting position), then vice versa–by the 20th minute mark, my mat was wet with sweat and my shirt clung to my body like I just had a wet shirt scene in The Notebook. And the thing was, no one else was struggling, no one else was drenched, and everyone kept up with the instructor. Meanwhile, I would sink into my knees, catch my breath, attempt to blot the pool of sweat with my towel, then jump to the final pose. It was tough, but it was great. I liked how it whipped me real good.

At the end of the class, I was smiling inside. I liked how the experience both humbled and challenged me. I liked how my chest and shoulders opened up, and how my legs stretched and my spine lengthened. I liked how my body ached—for rest and a good night’s sleep. Overall, it was a good experience. The studio was well-maintained and the staff was pleasant and professional. I have one more class this week, and I’ll most probably drop by for more.

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