Humiliating myself, one yoga dance class at a time / by Vanessa Fiola

**Not to be defensive, but yesterday I only posted on the FB page. However, the next 7 days I'll be posting 500 words a day here as part of a creative writing challenge. Join the FB group.**


In my never-ending (until May) quest to get fit, I went to yoga today, bringing up my weekly workout statistics. I’ve been twice this week, which means that I have now doubled the average of the previous four weeks of the year. The trick is to set your goals so low it’s nearly impossible to miss them.

I say that I went to yoga, but really I went to something called Buti™. I didn’t even know it was a trademarked thing until I looked it up afterwards. Buti™ is a dance-based yoga class, if your dancing repertoire is limited to pelvic and chest thrusts. Think pole-dancing class minus the pole, plus the mat.

I spent much of the class worried. First, I wore new yoga pants to class. I received them for Christmas. When I pulled them out of the bag, my first thought was, “Ooooh! Ombré!” quickly followed by the pang of embarrassment that my friend thinks I’m thinner than I am because the last time she saw me in person, I was. But because I spent most of the last month not drinking, and doing Pilates once a week, I felt regrettably emboldened. 

The left inseam ripped in the very first pose and I spent the rest of the class watching the gaping hole in my tights become progressively larger, inching toward a place I would most certainly have had to bow out of class for. Worse, you know how if you buy a thing of sausage and you cut a hole in the casing and how the meat just kind of goops out from all the pressure? That’s how I felt. Like a patch of pillowy flesh on my left thigh was sprinting for freedom, mocking me in its rear-view reflection.

Second, I am certain someone more skilled than I can maintain a hip gyration in Warrior II and keep the right knee from pronating. The instructor looked so fluid and graceful in her movement. I did not look like the instructor. I bet she didn't worry about her ankle flexion. Instead, I felt anxious and twitchy and awkward with every new pose and its corresponding groove.

While Buti™ wasn’t what I thought it would be, I’m happy that I went. Had someone told me in advance that the class involved primal exhaling and was exclusive to women, I probably would have bailed. I tend to avoid gatherings where the promise is empowerment and woooo! because I hate rom-coms. But, as these things go, I ended up having fun, didn’t snap my knee, and I dripped actual sweat. Which is really what I set out to do.