The Newbie Chronicles: (Part 1)

I don’t know how many of you are blessed enough to have a wonderful Manduka Pro-Lite Yoga mat like I do, but if you do, you’d know they are amazing.

However, I made a newbie mistake before going to Orange Sky Yoga today involving mine.

As I got ready to leave for Intro To Mysore this morning, I realized that I forgot to clean my mat yesterday. So, with about 10 minutes before class, and five minutes before leaving, I sprayed it down and gave it a good scrub. I used the typical Manduka cleaning solution (I paid $100 for the mat, I’m going to use what I know is safe on it) and wiped it down. In my haste to get out the door (just ‘on time’ is not early enough for me), I picked up my Yogitoes towel and then decided not to pack it, thinking I’d have no problem today since my mat was all good and clean and should be dry enough.

I SHOULDN’T have had a problem…but I really, really did, as I was about to find out.

The beginning steps of the Ashtanga primary series include holding Downward Facing Dog for sequences of five breaths at a time. For those of you who’ve never been in a Yoga class and done it, that’s a bloody long time. But, do you know what makes it seem even longer? Doing it on a sheet of ice.

That’s the best description possible for my mat during my practice this morning. Wonderful, beautiful, and as slick as a sheet of  ice immediately after the Zamboni has gone over it between periods at a hockey game. In hindsight, I find this ironic since it’s even bright blue like the ice in a goalie’s crease at a game. Also ironic is that I would end up watching hockey (albeit inline) all day after slipping on a mat that felt like ice in the morning.

I wasn’t embarrassed exactly as I slipped around, desperately trying to keep control of my breathing, while simultaneously trying to summon core muscles I’ve never worked out in my life to help keep my hands in place. I was just hopeful someone would laugh for me, because I definitely wasn’t capable at the time. I really missed Jessa at that moment. I kept visualizing her saying that amazing quote from a couple of weeks ago at Yoga in the park: “Smile! It makes it suck less.” But I was even beyond that, lol. It was so bad that in frustration I got up and borrowed one of the studio’s blankets. Even then I kept slipping, either due to the mat or my own muscle fatigue at that point….surely the former ;).

But dodge-ramit, at least my mat was clean…goodness gracious.

So, note to self, and newbie Yogi lesson 1 and possibly 2 are as follows:

1. Only clean your mat right before class if you somehow think you’re more of a ninja than you’re Yoga teacher and can do downward go with no hands. Also, if you somehow think you ARE more of a Yoga ninja than your teacher, you’re probably dumb, so even still, don’t do it.

2. If are going to a studio in which you know there are people who’ve got towels of their own, it’s probably okay to bring yours. You probably won’t look as stuck-up as you think you would, and you’ll probably be glad you brought it.

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