Now I know the entire purpose of yoga besides all the stretching and strengthening is the whole connecting the breath to the body and finding your center and blabbity blah but I went to Catholic school. We weren't allowed to wear pajama pants on school property because the nuns were concerned that pajama pants would call to mind the bedroom which would obviously call to mind that wild sex thing and THAT was just not happening at Merion Mercy Academy. See how that logic works? Nuns are so smart. Girls will be girls, but Merion girls will be chaste little ladies.
We didn't even have sex ed, which I still feel kind of gypped about because all of my friends have these wonderful memories of putting condoms on bananas and you know what I got? I got the "The Miracle of Life" in biology class. This, I assume, served the dual purpose of both sex ed AND a valuable lesson on the importance of abstinence because OH THE HORROR. And for the record, it was YEARS before I learned that there really aren't 3,000 calories in a single tablespoon ... you know ... DESPITE what my freshman year bio teacher insisted, and as I've said before, if you really want to strike fear in the heart of a Catholic school girl, just tell her it'll make her fat. That, and show her a video of a woman's lady bits being sliced open with a pair of surgical scissors and you can pretty much guarantee no one in that class will want to go anywhere NEAR a wiener for a good long while. HA. Wiener. Ew. On a related note, I still don't know how that stork gets that big ol' baby in the mommy's belly. It's AMAZING. In conclusion: whenever you say anything in reference to my pelvic region, I'm probably gonna blush and I'm probably gonna giggle. And then I might even wonder what Sister Barbara would say. I'm sorry, but you just can't undo seventeen years of Catholic education in one sitting. I have years of awkward blushing and inappropriate giggle spasms ahead of me.
ANYWAY. As last night's class wore on and the poses became increasingly difficult, the instructor decided that we would be trying handstands. I've never done a handstand in my life. I've also never crossed a full set monkey bars or successfully completed more than two chin ups during each year's Presidential Fitness Tests and I don't care what my grade school gym teacher says, blowing that whistle in my face is just not going to get me to three! Damn noodle arms!
Now the challenge with noodle arms is that my arms hyperextend in weird and noodly ways. My elbows go places they shouldn't and what should be the front of my arm is usually the underside and many times my arms look like they are so twisted they must be broken. On the plus side, I could probably make some serious extra dough by renting myself out to stand in front of a used car lot and dance.
I make all the men fall in love with me on the dance floor. Me-oooowwww.
This sometimes makes holding particular yoga poses a challenge because I have to focus so hard on keeping my arms straight like a normal person's. So last night, when the yoga instructor had us throw our feet up and try a handstand, I was a bit flustered.
"I really don't know if I can do this," I said.
"Oh course you can," the instructor calmly replied. "Up you go."
"Okay, um, well ... " I threw my legs toward the wall behind me and hoped for the best.
"BEAUTIFUL, Bridget. Beautiful. Straighten your arms. My goodness they are so funny. Good, now engage your pelvis. Engage it. Focus on your pelvis. Don't unstraighten your arms. Keep your arms straight. Focus on your pelvis. Pull that pelvis in. Feel it." She grabbed my hips and thrust them against the wall as my arms shook like a fever patient, struggling to support the rest of my body above them as the blood rushed to my head. Thoughts started racing through my head and my face reddened. My arms shook harder. Oh my gah my arms are totally going to give out. I'm going to fall and break my face.
"Arms straight, Bridget."
Oh my gah this will definitely break my nose. Blood will be everywhere.
"Visualize your pelvic bowl. Engage it isometrically."
Visualize my pelvic bowl? Pelvic BOWL? Isometrically? What the fuck does that even MEAN? I started laughing. And once I started I couldn't stop. I was gasping for breath. Laughing upside down is harder than I would have anticipated. My face was tomato. Oh my gah I'm gonna drop. "Oh my gah I'm gonna drop."
"Okay let's go down nice and easy then. Bend your arms. Breathe and engaaaaage."
"Nope, dropping right now. Goin' down. Gooooin' down. Oh gah."
The floor came to meet me face so I tucked my head to my chest and rolled out onto my mat. No blood. No broken cheek bones. Just a lot of awkward pelvis moments. There's just something about the thought of isometrically engaging my pelvis bowl that tickles me. So yeah, I'm just going to add that to the list of Things That I Have in Common With a 12-Year-Old Boy somewhere in between #17: my affinity for fart jokes and #41: my inability to control myself when jelly beans are in the room.
And because I know you were wondering, my pelvis bowl is feeling AWESOME today.Tweet