Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I love Yogis...

I am so bad at yoga.

Really. I'm always the worst in every class I attend. I'm pretty sure yoga is the only class where they say "beginner" or "Level one," and no one is ever a beginner or a level one. Never.

But I still love it. It really does help my mental state. I just feel so much better after doing a yoga class.

And I love yoga people. I love them. I want to be one of them. In fact, if I could go back ten years, I'd probably decide to be a yoga teacher, because I've never met a yoga instructor who didn't have a great outlook on life or seem to want the best for you.

For example, the other day I went to my new yoga studio and said to the guy at the front desk, "What is this flow class? I'm really a beginner, so can beginners take this? I really am the worst in every class."

And you know what this guy said to me?

He said, "Don't EVER say that about yourself. Ever! I never want to hear you say something like that about yourself again."

I just thought how nice it would be for this yoga man to follow me around all day, while I'm working, or being a mother, and keep saying that to me, "Never say that about yourself. Never say you're the worst." How great would that be?

And there's just something about being in a yoga class that makes you like everyone around you. At the end of every class at this new studio I've been going to, not only do you bow to the instructor and say, "namaste," you have to bow and say it to everyone around you.

I mean, that's nice. It's so very rare that I find myself in a room full of people where I actually have good thoughts about everyone. But in yoga I do. I like everyone around me.

So yoga has become my new obsession. The one problem is, well, actually, there are a couple of problems.

The first being is that I actually want to become very good at yoga. Which means I get quite competitive. Which, I know, I know, I know, is so not the point of yoga. You are not supposed to care about what the person beside you is doing. Which is so beautiful. It's such a beautiful thought to not worry about the person on the mat next to you.

And, yet, I can't help but look at the person next to me - to see how much better they are than me. So that's one problem.

Yoga is not supposed to be competitive, and yet I am, by nature, a competitive person. So I'll need to get over that. How does one get over that exactly?

Second, yoga takes a lot of time out of your schedule. I mean, the classes are an hour and a half. So, if you take travel time to and from into consideration, and an extra 15 minutes, which I need to get the spot at the back of the class, we're basically talking my entire morning...or entire afternoon.

That's the thing. To fit yoga in regularly is pretty stressful, especially considering I have to edit a draft of a book and am in the middle of writing another one. I mean, I got to work! I have work to do!

Which also goes against the grain of yoga. You're supposed to be relaxed, right? Yoga is supposed to be relaxing. And it is, while I'm in the middle of a class. But not so much while I'm trying to get there, make sure I get my spot, and then thinking, after the class, that I just spent two and a half hours doing yoga (or getting to and from yoga) when I should have been working.

The other problem is, and this is one that I'm not sure how will ever be solved and is totally embarassing, but I do not know my 'left' from 'right.' And in yoga, you need to know 'left' from 'right.' I'm always behind everyone else, because it takes me a few seconds to remember which is my right side and which is my left side, after the instructor is like, "Left foot forward, right foot behind."

But I still love it. Because people who do yoga, at least at this studio I go to, are honest to goodness good people. They're all like, "I'll help you Rebecca. We can get together if you like and I'll show you the moves." And, "Never say anything bad about yourself," and, "Is my mat too close to yours? Are you okay?"

I mean, a monthly unlimited pass at yoga is way cheaper than therapy. And it seems to work a heck of a lot better.


Blogger YogaDawg said...

Good for you regarding Yoga. That was my first introduction to it a few years ago, all the teachers seemed so damn happy. I didn't even need to do any poses, just being around those people improved my outlook. Even though my website satrizes the Yoga scene, I do it in a sense of Yogic fun.

All the best in your Yoga adventures...

3:08 PM

Blogger Kirsty said...

That's funny -- I've just gotten into yoga a little bit, me and some of my pregnant friends hired an instructor to come to my place. I thought prenatal yoga would be easy, but I getted my ass kicked every week. I think it will be a fun way to get back into shape after the next (and last!) baby!

5:23 PM

Blogger Devra said...

I had that "left" and "right" issue and still do. I am left handed so my natural inclination is to begin everything on the "wrong" side. Forget aerobics classes or even line dancing. I can't do the chicken dance, which frankly, is no great loss.

11:49 PM

Blogger Laural said...

I totally get where you're coming from. My problem at yoga is I get bored at the end when you have to lie there and relax. Seriously, every time we get to that part I suddenly need to pee, and that is all I can focus on.
Have you thought about writing on your feet - like a little "R" and "L"? I took a ballroom dance class for my wedding and I did that. I know my right and left, but I got totally confused.

5:37 AM

Anonymous concerned lumberjack said...

Yoga rocks, but it's hard to convince tough guys to do it.

5:48 AM

Blogger Mommy to an Angel said...

This made me laugh... I don't know my right from left either!

11:03 PM

Blogger Michelle Davies said...

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If you are keen, you can shoot over an email to


4:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What yoga studio to you go to?

1:01 PM

Blogger Karla said...

I tried Yoga once and I could hardly walk for days. I always wanted to be the person I was looking at wishing I could do that. I will so never be that person

3:06 PM

Blogger Michele said...

Oh My. I thought I was the only one who had to quit yoga because I was too competitive. Its been a few years, but I used to fantasize about being called up to the front to be used as an example because I thought I was so flexible.

Yeah, I was completely missing the whole point.

10:30 AM

Anonymous lizriz said...

I deal with my competitive streak by just never telling anyone that I'm totally being competitive. ;)

Sometimes, though... those yogis can tell!

4:01 PM

Blogger Bearette24 said...

I love this entry! I am a yoga teacher, and I can tell you, you are not alone. Nobody knows their left from their right :) Or very few people. Everyone messes it up at least occasionally.

8:56 PM

Blogger Haley-O said...

You obviously found a GREAT place to practice. There are so many kinds of yoga -- and Iyengar yoga is NOT like that. Just FYI. And, I've heard Bikram yoga can be nasty, too. The teachers are like drill sergeants! But, flowy hatha is totally lovely and positive and kind like that. Enjoy!

7:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gad, how typical. Yoga is EVERYBODY's obsession. Problem is, the object you and most people call yoga is nothing of the sort. Instead, what you're learning is the palatable "lite" version, if it bears any resemblance to true yoga at all. If you've never heard of Patanjali or haven't a clue what "nonduality" means, you ought to put away your high-falutin' Lulu gear and space-age yoga mat and find yourself a true guru.

1:50 PM


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