Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Learning Acceptance

I went to my yoga class again on Monday, and again I left there both elated and calm. I think I am hooked.

We practiced outside on Monday, in the middle of the main quad on campus. I surprised myself by not being too embarrassed to be fumbling around in public, even with my wide butt in the air in the Downward Facing Dog. Halfway through the hour, though, I did get a bit nervous. It had been raining lightly on us for most of the session, but then lightening and thunder moved over us halfway through. I have a hard enough time holding the poses without a wet mat, so I was really concentrating on not splitting my body in half or tipping over and snapping my neck. It wasn't as meditative as I would have liked. Although, it cleared up by the end of the session in time for the calming wrap up, and it was delightful to lay still in Corpse Pose, watching the clouds drift by overhead, in no hurry at all.

There were a couple of women in class the other night that were not there last week. Apparently they are regulars. I found them to be friendly, but a bit off-putting. I wish I hadn't let them irritate me, and I wish I wasn't still irritated to the point that I need to write about it here.

When our instructor paused to see if we wanted to stay outside when the lightening moved in, I mentioned if the lightening came much closer I'd prefer to move inside. (We were surrounded by five-story tall pines and outdoor light posts.) One of the women then sort of lectured me -- not the group or the instructor -- on how we are outside, communing with nature and it was a beautiful thing. I appreciate the nature bullshit, I do. but I didn't appreciate being spoken too like I was some kind of asshole. I mean, I wasn't freaking out because OH MY GOD MY MAT IS TOUCHING [carefully manicured, pesticide- and herbicide-laden] GRASS AND SOMETIMES MY TOES DO, TOO! No, I simply didn't want lightening shot up my ass while in the Downward-Facing Dog.

Earlier, before class started, the other woman mentioned no less than three times, how she and the first woman went skiing (cross country) "one last time" that morning (there is still crappy snow in the mountains 30 miles from here) and some of the things she saw on her "afternoon run." I get it. You are awesome, your treasure yourself and take care of yourself, are nature-loving and progressive and I am not. Obviously. I suppose I would have admired the tale of your day if you'd mentioned all of this once. The second time I was a bit annoyed. By the third round you convinced me you are a jackass or radically insecure. Neither is very flattering.

Thankfully, my irritation at my new classmates floated away without my even being aware of its leaving as soon as we started the session. I sound so cliche, I know, but this stuff is awesome. By the end of class I felt content with myself and much more forgiving of the ladies. I decided to give them a few more meetings before I formed my opinion of them.

I am not feeling too forgiving, I suppose, as I felt the need to write about them here. (In my defense, I have a raging case of PMS right now.) I feel a little bad relaying how these women were acting here. So, why am I publishing it? Why don't I just hit delete? I am sure they are lovely women; they were both very friendly with me when they saw me for the first time. Very smiley and happy.

I guess I want to ask you: Do you run into similar attitudes, appearances when you workout or attend a class? Or rather - have you ever interpreted what is most likely neutral enough incidents into something snarky? (Also, I suppose I am just feeling a little bitchy today and I am going to embrace that emotion as my freakin' nature and just run with it.)

It looks like I not only need to learn flexibility and balance through my yoga practice, but patience, (lasting, genuine) forgiveness and acceptance, too.

14 comments:

  1. I do this too. I always make excuses for people, and feel bad for hating them. Why are we so...NICE? Sometimes a snotty bitch is just a snotty bitch, ya know?

    So glad you're enjoying the yoga. "I appreciate the nature bullshit" was HILARIOUS. Ha!

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  2. I have not run into anyone like that, but also I avoid yoga type classes for that reason. Actually I lived with someone like that for awhile (and she was a yoga teacher) and it was awful. I wrote about it on my blog before. I tried to ignore her as much as possible.

    Also, I'd have been secretly hoping for that woman to be struck by lightning after that comment, so that I could be like, "How do you like communing with nature NOW, bitch?" Clearly, you are a better person than I.

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  3. Tessie - I know. I feel guilty just writing this, but then, I was really very annoyed. Argh!

    Jess - Too funny! Ninety-nine percent of the time I am that snarky, truly. I truly hope I don't have to hear this kind of crap at every session; it will really change the experience for me. The others in the class are very kind and mellow; we all grin at each other when there is a pose that is kicking our asses. I really like the others.

    Let's hope I was just PMSing and reading into the others' behaviors and comments.

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  4. I don't do fitness classes, mostly because I feel inferior to the other members of the class. I keep hearing and reading how relaxing and awesome yoga is, but have only tried it with at-home DVD's. That lightening thing would have pissed me off. We stood outside in the pouring rain on Monday at Lisa's soccer practice - yes we were in nature, but it sucked.

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  5. After hearing about her afternoon run and cross-country skiing, I would've assumed she didn't have a job to go to like the rest of us. And then I would secretly hate her. Because that's what I do.

    For example, I don't trust our next-door neighbors. They haven't actively done anything wrong, but I get a bad vibe from them, you know? Their kids run amok and leave their bikes right in the middle of the street; the parents sit outside drinking and swearing all the time; and yesterday I came home to find the kids on OUR lawn standing over something. They scattered when they saw me, looking guilty as usual, and it wasn't until much later when I investigated that I saw it was a dead bird with a stick stuck into its side. A stick one of the kids was holding when I pulled up.

    Immediately, I classified them as serial killers in the making, but Jason says they probably just found the dead bird and were poking it. I think the opposite.

    Because I am paranoid.

    And because I saw two more dead birds in the street in front of their house this morning.

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  6. LoriD - Nature is not always groovy. Bleh.

    P&D - I am with you. I'd immediately think ill of the neighbors, and that those kids were BAD. A. would always give them the benefit of the doubt. He always does. *sigh*

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  7. OMG, hilarious!! Yes, I run into this all the time in Utah, where a lot of people are outdoors-y.

    Also, this post totally reminded me of this:

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/20/9-making-you-feel-bad-about-not-going-outside/

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  8. I am trying very hard to concentrate and be aware of compassion. Every night, when trying to fall asleep, I do this thing where I think about someone I have a hard time being compassionate for, then I think of puppies (impossible NOT to be compassionate towards puppies) and then I re-think about that person and bring some compassion to them. It's VERY hard, but I hope helpful.

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  9. Ha ha--I hear you. There are definitely some people whom, for no fault of their own (except for being TOTALLY ANNOYING), I find irritating. And sometimes I go way too far to the other side and actually beFRIEND people like this, just to show (to mySELF?) how forgiving and non-irritated I am. Which secretly makes me irritated more, of course. And then I spend too much mental energy in picking the scab of my irritation (entire afternoons devoted to explaining in my head how VERY IRRITATING they are, etc.)

    And there is a certain deliciousness to the whole process, which makes me KNOW that forgiveness, acceptance, etc., is probably in order. Like for example: an acquaintance of mine, whom I'd always considered to be sweet if spacey--she has a nice garden, she teaches yoga, nothing to comment on there--up and changed her name, legally--to first name Zed ("sweet"), last name Amore ("love"). I mean, it's none of my business, and I'm sure she had good reasons, etc. etc. But I can't stop myself from LAUGHING in a sort of delighted irritation. And then compounding it by telling it to someone else, like here.

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  10. Ok - that is irritatingly funny! We all take ourselves way to seriously sometimes. I guarantee no one else in my yoga class was imagining -- with cartoon characters and sounds -- a butt lightening strike.

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  11. heh. no one in my yoga class talks to each other, which is A-OK BY ME. i would have zero patience for that in a person.

    or! worse! i'd get COMPETITIVE about it, and try to one-up their skiing story by talking about the last time i went snorkling or something, and HEY, did i also mention i've been to MOROCCO? HMM?? oh yeah, no big deal, it was just super-cool and exotic, whatever. psh. i'm sure skiing was nice too, though.

    am bitchy. whee!

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  12. Just wondering if someday you can teach me the "Downward Facing Dog"
    Sounds like how I feel at the end of some days... ;)
    maybe it would be a good stress reliever.

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  13. It's that acceptance thing that gets me every time. Yeah, I hear you, though. And yoga is so good for you! Way to do it. Hang in there. I think the fake bitches give themselves away long before I get so over-the-top irritated that I try to deck one in the face. Good luck. NAMASTE! (perhaps I shouldn't put that in all caps)

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  14. Oh, I am so likely to get annoyed with people like that. It doesn't take much. I have certain trouble topics that I just can't engage in without having steam come out my ears, and your classmates would surely have ticked me off.

    I'm happy that you are enjoying the yoga so much, though!

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