Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Missing the Point

First of all, let me start off by saying that I am not a third sister, although I'm often confused for one of them. However, I have brought a third state into the mix. I know, things just got interesting. Hold on to your pants.

I was asked by Z-Muffin to contribute to this blog. I'm not sure how Toast feels about, but I hope she understands.

I am an amateur at yoga. I pretended to do it on my own throughout college and have taken part in several classes at various studios. I feel the perspective of "Sometimes I know what I'm doing, but most of the time I'm just stretching!" is a nice supplement to what has already been discussed by Z and T and.....oh, right, just Z and T.

I've been looking for a studio to attend since I moved to Chicago a little over a year ago. I've spent a lot of time researching and writing down times and hanging "free yoga" fliers on my fridge, but I haven't gone to one class. Until last Saturday, when I attended a free class at a Dahn yoga center near my apartment. Dahn yoga is all about breathing and releasing stagnant energy, and meditation. (btw...if you're new to the Dahn, which I was.) The class was great. A perfect way to start my morning. Simple poses and Jung Choong breathing techniques. A fresh serving of herbal tea with Amy, the instructor who took a picture of my aura...

...too helpful and caring.

As it turned out, "the master would like to have an individual class with" me. "Holy crap, I'm awesome!" thought I. "For only $15?!" I went to my one-on-one class yesterday, which was delightful. We moved around quite a bit as a warm-up, Master Joy striking my side as I stretched, knocking out all of that stagnant energy. We then went into a warm, cozy room with mats and candles and pictures of Korean visionaries. I laid down and breathed while Master Joy massaged my intestines. It's true, my breathing did improve, and I did feel great. My mind was relaxed for the first time in a long time.

Then came the hard sell. Joy pulled out a piece of paper and she started writing down all of her recommendations for what I should do. The Dahn Center is not a place that entertains wishy-washy yoga-ers. You have to be a member. You have to pay $280 for 3 months. This is how the conversation went... Me: I cannot afford that. Master Joy: Well, this is a long-term investment and you really need to focus on your health. Me: Ok, but I can't afford that. My brother is getting married in June in Japan and I have to pay for my ride. MJ: I know you want to go to your brother's wedding, but you need to focus on your health and focus on yourself. In my head: So, you're saying I shouldn't go to his wedding and should instead pay for your dinner?

Somehow, I was convinced to pay $80 for 5 classes. It's funny. I felt incredibly panicked and anxious all day.

You know that Friends episode where Chandler keeps trying to quit his gym and once he gets there, they convince him otherwise? He has to take Ross with him as back-up and Ross ends up joining, too. Well, that didn't happen today. I quit. I quit my yoga studio after 24 hours.

Next Saturday I will practice yoga at Moksha Yoga Center on Clark. And I won't pay.


Zen Muffin said...

all i am ever trying to do in my yoga practice is take it to the level above 'just stretching.' but i'm beginning to think it's an art to be practiced over a lifetime and i will never actually get there as automatically as i think i should.

i can't believe this happened. and after reading this article (,2564,ALBQ_19858_4543303,00.html) I'm even happier that you saw almost immediately that this was a sketchy place.

Zen Muffin said...

it messed up the website. let me try again.,2564,ALBQ_19858_4543303,00.html

Zen Muffin said...

never mind just google "Dahn Yoga" and it's like the third thing that comes up. It's an article in the Albuquerque tribune.

FrenchToast said...

z muff, gurt: i agree with the 'just stretching'. in all my classes i am trying to hard to get beyond my natural bendiness and find the center of the practice, enlightenment, rock hard abs, etc. i agree with z muffin about it being an art that you practice, the yoga litany. wamp, wamp.

Zen Muffin said...

come to think of it, all i am ever trying to do in my WHOLE LIFE is take it beyond 'just stretching.' i mean, to really live my life rather than just go through the motions on autopilot. life is yoga, yoga is life. sounds like a bad t-shirt slogan but there you go.

Ashley said...

yogurt, where are you? your post gets the most comments of any post ever on the yogery (wow!) and you disappear into obscurity, perhaps frightened by your new-found fame?