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yoga fail

It’s been a busy spring, work-wise. But now it’s May, and we’re entering the Summer of Yoona (“SOY”). As part of SOY, I have reintroduced myself to yoga and have been going most weekday mornings at 6:00 am.

I’ve flirted with yoga in the past but it’s never stuck.  And I’m not saying it’s sticking this time, because it’s only been three weeks.  But I feel better about this yoga (Corepower) because it moves quickly, is less hot, and is not so focused on the deep and complicated breathing that is so integral to yoga at other studios, and which I am utterly incapable of performing.  That’s right–I’m that kind of yoga person.  The kind that “does” yoga, not the kind that “practices” it.  The kind that asks her friend Patrick if he’s “good” at yoga, and is confused when Patrick responds that yoga is not about being “good.”  Say what?  Patrick could have been discussing astrophysics in Swahili and we would have connected better during that conversation.

Basically, the zen stuff is nice but what I really want from yoga is Jennifer Aniston’s arms.  And I think Corepower might get me there.  But it’s not perfect.  To be perfect, the studio would have to cut out the poses I can’t do.  By that, I’m not talking about the poses that I can’t do correctly–because there are lots of those.  I’m talking about the poses that I can’t do at all, like the Camel and the Crow.

I’m ok with my inability to do the Camel (above). Because I can physically do the Camel; I just can’t do it without regurgitating my last meal and passing out.  So it’s really a choice that I’ve made, and that means I’m owning my failure.  But the Crow!  The damn Crow.  The Crow haunts my dreams and turns them into nightmares.

This guy is making it look easy, but it’s not.  I’m convinced my inability to do this pose has something to do with my head/hair, which is quite large, because of the huge brains.  And it’s doubtful I will ever be able to do it, because to learn it, I have to practice it, and practicing this move could kill me.  If you screw up most yoga poses, you fall on your butt.  If you screw up this one, you fall forward, head first, and unless you are Flash Gordon, your arms can’t get in front of you fast enough to break your fall.  As my friend Kathryn says, she prefers her nose unbroken.  As do I.  So the stakes feel high.

I learned exactly how high the stakes are when Tom caught me practicing the move in our bedroom.  After asking what I was doing, he said, “Oh, the Crow, I can do that sh*t,” and then proceeded to hold the pose for .08 seconds before falling forward and skidding about 12 feet on the fir floors, on his FACE.  I don’t know how it felt, but it looked really bad.  You know, this story actually tells you all you need to know about Tom, whose sole experience with yoga consists of a free ten-day trial completed a year ago, the highlight of which was the class in which he fell into a deep slumber during shavasana and began snoring.  I know it happened because I was there, having spent most of the class trying to avoid getting kicked by one of his flailing white legs.  Despite his limited experience, Tom assumed he could just rock up into the Crow without having to work for it.  The balls on that dude.  I am in awe.

But therein lies the lesson.  Because, of course, I’ve not worked at it either.  In this age of immediate gratification, it feels odd to be unable to achieve something that appears so readily achievable.  I’m not giving up.  I’ve got a mound of pillows set up in my carpeted closet and motivation in spades, thanks to my coworker Josh Ross (at top), who can do the Crow.  Josh Ross, for the record, can barely touch his toes.  If Josh Ross can do the Crow, I can do the damn Crow.  I mean, I’m Asian.  Yoga is (South) Asian.  I simply refuse to accept the idea of a universe in which Josh Ross can do the Crow and I can’t.

One day there’s going to be a post on this blog with nothing in it but a photo of me doing the Crow.  In yoga speak, I’m setting my intention.  So stay tuned.

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. theculinaryaddict #

    Ha! I felt the same way when I started. It was suggested to me early on to stay away from comparisons bc its more about the journey. What happens when you achieve crow?-and you will. Yoga in conjunction with my 12-step program reiterate the importance of the process bc it is the process that creates change on a mental, physical, and ultimately a spiritual level.
    I’ve come to believe this is why it is considered ‘practice’-there’s no end or ultimate goal rather progress not perfection. Often times, unfortunately, my moments of clarity and humility on the mat last as long as it takes me to get to my car which is why I keep coming back.

    May 28, 2012
    • how am i supposed to respond in a joking manner when you drop the 12-step program in there? and i’m not comparing myself to anyone. i just want to do the things other people can do.

      May 29, 2012
  2. Haha, don’t give up! It’s probably the big brain. It took me an entire year to finally do a real headstand! It had to be the biggest lesson in humility. But in order to achieve the pose, I had to imagine myself doing every inch of the movement. So maybe closing your eyes and imagining yourself going through each step of the crow might help. Regardless, yoga is about patience, slowing down and listening to your body. Of course, it’s also about delighting in the process. Du courage 🙂

    May 27, 2012
    • i think this is very helpful…and would be even more helpful if i knew what each step of the crow was supposed to look like. right now i’m just trying to get all fours off the floor and clearly that isn’t working. a you tube tutorial might be in order. thanks for the advice!

      May 27, 2012
  3. bora #

    honestly i’ve seen crow a million times and i still can’t figure out where exactly you put your legs. thighs above the elbows and outside of the arms?? josh ross and that yogi look like they’re doing two totally different things.

    May 25, 2012
    • the two times I’ve gotten close I put my knees on my arms above the elbows. not on the outside. and i leaned my chest forward, as josh ross instructed. but when it started to feel like it might work is when I engaged my legs and pointed my toes in toward my crotch instead of letting the legs just hang there. as i say, though, it’s not really worked yet

      May 26, 2012
  4. I’d say the professional rocks the Crow better than Josh Ross. It’s clear he can’t touch his toes. He seems pretty pompous to even try. 😛

    May 24, 2012
    • irockthecrowevenifitaintpretty #

      and he does it in his work clothes. at work. in front of co-workers. totally pompous.

      May 24, 2012
  5. So true — I feel your pain. I’ve fallen on my face attempting crow, and have finally gotten to a place where I can eek one out, but it ain’t pretty.

    But side crow. Side crow? Even more baffling. I’m always amazed when people bust those out.

    Good for you for braving the early morning yoga — rock on!

    May 24, 2012
    • i should have specified that the crow and camel are the poses i can’t do in my C2 class. i imagine that i would have trouble with most, if not all, of the poses in the more advanced classes. and the side crow is a joke. it looks like a good way to break my wrists. jennifer aniston can probably do the side crow.

      May 24, 2012
  6. Your story of Tom made me (literally) laugh out loud and I sympathize with your struggle with sticking with yoga. However, I’m looking forward to seeing your Crow pose soon. Maybe it will give me just the inspiration I need 🙂

    May 24, 2012
    • i’m a big believer in collective will. here’s to both of us not sucking at yoga. cheers.

      May 24, 2012

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