8 Simple Rules for Failing at Yoga



I really like yoga. You may hear me talk about it occasionally on this here blog-a-majigger.

Actually, I started a yoga blog about a year and a half ago. I started it because I thought I had so many deep and profound things to say about doing yoga. As you might notice, I didn’t link to it. No, don’t search for it. I deleted it.

Want to know why?

Because it turns out that all of the deep emotional and physical experiences that I had in yoga class translated into three very short posts, and that was it. I didn’t really have that much to say, apparently.

Anyway, yoga is my exercise of choice. Truthfully, it’s my only exercise, period. I absolutely refuse to do anything else.

This might lead you to think that I do a lot of yoga. That is not the case. Instead, I do yoga every single day for about three months at a time and get really awesome at it. Then I see that I’m in shape and figure I don’t need to go anymore, and I stop. And then a year later, when I’m tired of being out of shape again, I do some more yoga.

So, based on a recent experience where I once again started yoga at level one and had an absolutely horrible time, I’m making a checklist for myself. Next time I start yoga again, I’m going to take my own advice. Here it is. It’s good advice.

1.  Don’t stuff yourself with Indian food right before class. That’s right. This is a bad idea, stupid. Halfway through your sun salutations, you might start to smell the curry seeping out of your skin, and it will make you really sick. Once you start to get nauseous, don’t do any of those upside-down poses. It’s just that much easier to throw it all up.

2. Don’t start with a heated yoga class. Yes, heated classes are pretty awesome. I know you like them. Except when you’re not used to it. Then it’s just torture. Remember trying to suck in hot air as you struggle to balance and use muscles you totally forgot about? Yeah, that sucked.

3. Don’t go on a sugar and caffeine fast right before starting yoga and after being addicted to both for basically forever. If you do this, you’ll have a a really bad headache, and you’ll also be tired and shaky before you even start, which is bad when your instructor is a freaking drill sergeant.

4. Don’t start when you also have some, ahem, other things going on. Girl things. Cramps + vigorous up-and-down yoga = lots of whimpering and sadness. I don’t think I need to say anything else about this. You’ll remember next time, I’m sure.

5. Don’t forget to bring an appropriately-sized towel, and more than one bobby pin. Unless you think it’s really fun to try to absorb the massive amounts of sweat squirting from your body with nothing more substantial than a thick tissue, bring an actual towel. Slipping and sliding all over your mat is not as hilarious as it sounds. It’s pretty close to an actual slip-and-slide, except not fun. And then since you only have one bobby pin, your hair will stick to your face, which is super annoying and gross.

6. Don’t try to do every inversion and variation that you used to be able to do a year ago. You used to be able to do that pose. Meaning you should be able to do it just as well, for just as long, the second you start up again, right? Apparently not. Doing this will quadruple the amount of pain you are in for the next week or so and you might also fall on your face.

7. Don’t think about that time that you actually fainted in a hot yoga class. Granted, that was after eating nothing but Easter candy for three days straight, but you still fainted, and everybody still looked and then gave you sympathetic looks after class. Try not to dwell on that before you go to class, or else you’ll overreact every time you feel the least bit woozy. You’ll spend at least a third of the class on the floor in child’s pose, trying not to hurl/faint onto your neighbor’s mat.

Needless to say, I did each and every one of these things the last time I went to class. It was terrible, and I looked like this for most of class:


Wait, did I say there were eight things in this list? Okay, here’s one more.

8. Stop quitting yoga, you moron. Only an idiot would put themselves through the torture of starting from scratch on something over and over again.

Maybe this list will be helpful to someone else. Maybe not. Or maybe I missed something. Tell me what else I should never do. Have you ever done something incredibly stupid before working out?


16 thoughts on “8 Simple Rules for Failing at Yoga

  1. I actually don’t do yoga though I exercise regularly, walking, gym, lap swimming. However I make it a practice of standing on my head — please don’t laugh — for two to three minutes a day. I know it’s pathetic but it’s three minutes more than most people do

  2. Ha, love this! Yep, I’ve definitely done all of those. Here’s my favorite yoga embarassment story – when I lived there, I did yoga in a studio in SF’s gay neighborhood. So it was almost always me and about 20 gay guys yog-ing it up. (It was pretty awesome – gay yoga = no creepers hitting on you) Anyway, one day the teacher asked if anyone was pregnant or injured. Having a shoulder injury, I raised my hand. Immediately the room filled with snickers, stares, and whispers. It was then I realized that I was the only female in the room and that the teacher had lumped pregnancy and injuries together. Needless to say, I kept my injuries to myself after that. 😉 Love your blog, Lisa!

  3. Haha. This is perfect. Like you, I love yoga (or maybe the thought of yoga) but my attempts at getting into a routine have always failed (but maybe not as hilariously as you described here!) Thank you for sharing and for making me laugh!

  4. Pingback: Boston—my latte is delusional, but he really wants to help you out. | Who Stole My Baby?

  5. Here’s my story of doing something incredibly stupid before working out: Last Tuesday after work, I put on my tennis shoes and thought I would actually walk into the gym and work out. As if!

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