Last Saturday, in our plain, overly priced apartment, my roommates (L and C) I bonded over yoga. The night before, they asked if I could give them more insight into what has now become a significant part of my life, something that I now realize I plug at least three times a day. Basically, my answer to any challenge or anxiety is yoga. Yoga all the way.
Naturally, when my roommates propositioned me with an early afternoon session in our living room-turned yoga studio, I jumped on the opportunity to Down-dog it up with them and immerse myself a bit more into the whole shebang.
I relied on one of my mentors, Tara Stiles to help lead the ladies of Apartment 805 in some slow, yet challenging yoga with her DVD, Daily Yoga. In this DVD, Tara offers people of all levels an effective practice with physically and mentally demanding poses. Daily Yoga was the perfect way to introduce my roommates to an hour-long yoga session led by Tara, who I apparently rhapsodize about almost as much as I discuss yoga itself. My roommates would love it.
Or so I thought.
After about 35 minutes, they called it quits, much to my dismay. Knee-deep (literally) in a pose, I heard them say “I can’t do it” (my LEAST favorite phrase in the English Language) with a finality that differed from the 60 other times they uttered those words. While I thoroughly enjoyed accruing yet another roommate experience to add to my mental dossier of senior year memories, I wish our time doing yoga as a “family” actually realized my dream that endorphins would surge through their bodies and render them yogis for life.
Since then, I have cogitated about why this roommate yoga, this physically and emotionally fulfilling experience for which I thought the three of us would enjoy, went awry.
I chose the wrong DVD: Sure, Daily Yoga caters to people with both advanced and basic experience with yoga, but I think I overestimated its ability to ease those of us with no practice at all, like L and C, into yoga and to spark within them an interest in it. The length of the routine frustrated my fellow college yogis, as they felt overwhelmed by the prospect of doing yoga for an hour, when they much preferred to stop at the half-hour mark. Also, our instructor for the day, ex-model/dancer Tara Stiles, donning short-shorts and glowing skin, seamlessly enacted various yoga sequences, and perhaps intimidated my roommates. Maybe for our first dalliance with yoga as a roommate family, I should have selected a shorter-length DVD featuring an instructor who weighs in at slightly over 100 pounds.
I was behind them: The way I saw it, L and C would reap much more insight and understanding from the DVD if they were the closest ones to the television in our living room. I claimed some space behind them, allowing them full view of the screen, figuring that if they felt confused about anything, they could simply look clearly at Tara Stiles for clarification. Plus, as the only card-carrying member of yoga experience in my apartment, yoga-ing behind L and C was the polite thing to do.
Or so I thought.
They actually preferred to watch me enter a pose because with my body type and skill level, I provided them a more realistic model of proper pose alignment and enactment. Plus, they grew annoyed at having to constantly look up at the TV when their heads were hardly in a position to move during certain poses.
While I wish that my yoga session with L and C ended more positively and instilled within them a desire to continue their yogic journey with the same zeal as me, I feel grateful for their frustration with trying yoga for only the first or second time. Our time together demonstrated to me the challenge of explaining yoga to young people who have never tried it. I deepened my understanding of the way I approach yoga, and how I want to promote yoga to others. While I have yet to arrive at any concrete answers to mention at this moment, I rest assured knowing that I am slowly discovering more about myself as a yogi who wants other people, particularly college students, to yoga-it up with her.