About four years ago a fellow student in my creative writing class read aloud her poem that used the term "downward dog." Most of my classmates were familiar with this phrase, although I had not heard of it before. The woman sitting beside me explained that it was a yoga position. The term tickled my fancy somewhat, but not enough to inspire me to join a yoga class or do some research into what the downward dog looked like.
All is different now. I am going to yoga, believe it or not, with my friend Janet. She had to do some convincing to get me in the studio door; I postponed my appearance for at least a month. Each of the last two Fridays, however, I have scurried over and met her for class. The first night, I was almost looking forward to it; this was something new and I would learn what all the buzz was about in terms of yoga. The second time, though, I knew what to expect. I wasn't looking forward to it at all.
Based upon my new experience, I have decided that downward dog is my least favorite position. I have to say I don't really have a favorite position. They are all torture. What makes downward dog so unique is the length of time we spend in that pose, with our butts up on the air, and our arms and legs straight supporting our bodies, and our heads down, trying not to collapse on the floor. Yes, downward dog has its challenges.
Now I that I have been through a couple of sessions, I can realistically say that it will be a few years before my body gets used to yoga. I can't recall the position we were in the first night, but the instructor paused next to me, and asked if anything hurt--"Everything hurts!" was my reply to the amusement of my classmates.
I do like how it is a quiet activity. I like the lying on the floor at the end and meditating. I like "namaste" when we are finished. I like the idea of working my body in such a careful, relaxed manner, as opposed to aerobics or running steps in a stadium. I like those things, but it is going to take me a long time to get used to this yoga.