Two posts in a week?
What in Sam Hell is going on here?
Time, my friends. I have time. And a level of peace and quiet, as my children are not at home. It’s amazing what happens when you give a mom a little space.
As the last few posts have been a little heavy, here’s a more entertaining one.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fitness gypsy. I will try just about any principle at least once, and while I refuse to become a full-on Kool-aid drinker who endorses any one thing as superior to another, I will absolutely defend whatever merit I find therein. I have spent about two decades of my life playing soccer on some competitive level, then kickboxed in college and completed ridiculous numbers of physical challenge events since becoming a mother more than seven years ago. I’m just a physically active person, and I enjoy exertion and being outside. Anything that encourages or enables that for me is good to go.
So I have amassed all kinds of equipment/programming over time, to which my poor neighbors can testify as I am always doing something questionable in the yard. And though I get gentle warnings not to “over do it,” concerned facial expressions from the tops of driveways, or general no-no headshakes, they have learned to make peace with it by leaving sports drinks by the mailbox and moving various tires or rope climbs out of the way when helping with my yard. With a characteristic grin, I’m always on my way to trying something different or mixing and matching movements before collapsing happily in the grass- when I have time, anyway. Clearly, this is what makes me happy, and they can get behind at least that much.
God love these people.
On the whole- getting back to the main point here (squirrel)- I believe that fitness is really much more than just being physically fit or proficient in any principle (although, disclaimer, certain events definitely do require certain training methodologies, if that’s your goal). Mental and emotional fitness is equally if not more important, and those things drive a lot of my athletic choices. As I mentioned in the last post, if I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s quite likely that you’ll find me practicing a form of yoga, trail running, or hiking because that’s where I find my mind. But if I’m in a pretty good place or feeling froggy, game on to suggestions. I have a mischievous, balls-out streak that makes whatever it is just my game.
So, as I’ve been quietly recovering, now more in my element at home than I tend to be while working, I have found my eyebrow raising itself these last few days at minor shenanigans. For instance, having found yoga to be a good influence on my life, I have made an effort to consistently grow my practice so that I might teach it with my own personal spin for fun in the very near future. My sister and I had just completed homework with the kids one day this past week when I found what appeared to be a practice exam for the completion of online yoga studies. Talking it out, my sister and I finished the seventy-five question exam- just for shits and gigs.
Well, that was definitely a real test. And we definitely passed it.
This led to general discussions about yoga practices and techniques, as well as my acquisition of the last required reading materials.
A night or two later, I stumbled upon a Facebook post by a friend from high school who disagreed with a new fitness movement claiming to be yoga or otherwise exercising yoga principles. Curious, I read the response from a commenter who holds the 200-hour yoga certification from Yoga Alliance needed to be recognized as an instructor in their data base for studio purposes. This person had actually tried said movement and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had yoga on the brain anyway, so I watched the posted YouTube video introduction.
Because, hey, if I’m gonna teach it, I should probably be up on any of its applicable forms, right?
Buti Yoga (pronounced like “booty”) is, apparently, a fusion of yoga, tribal dance, and plyometics. If that doesn’t make you immediately sweaty just thinking about it, you are probably not built like me. Because this girl has tree trunks for legs and zero rhythm. When I say I’m firmly rooted to the ground, what I’m really trying to say is that I have no ups; my legs are real heavy; and I could mess up a two-step. Plyo makes me wanna die a little on the inside, and though I played soccer for the vast majority of my life, the only physical benefits I really reaped from that are a very solid and low center of gravity, thighs that don’t match my pigmentation, and the ability to zone out while running. I’m not going anywhere fast or gracefully.
Read: This is a lot of things I’m really not good at.
I then watched this Sweet and Spicy Buti Workout and quickly realized I did not gyrate enough in college. As the original poster stated in her opinion, it certainly seems like a very sexualized “yoga” practice. I was immediately uncomfortable and pretty sure any attempt I made at this would be really, really ugly.
So, naturally, I watched about six more videos.
Laughing to myself, I watched the creator explain that it was definitely geared toward those who have difficulty remaining focused throughout a traditional yoga flow. Nevermind that most yoga practices are about mastering the mind, centering the body, and focusing the flow of energy to the body throughout the movements. If you like Kesha, possibly hard drugs, and dance music, but you’re sad in your heart that you can’t yoga, this is the all-inclusive answer. But, hey, to each their own. Yoga is also supposed to be a personal journey toward enlightenment. Who am I to say that seemingly twerking your chakras into alignment isn’t a way to get there?
With Darrin off coaching Catamount and the children with their father, I had a free Friday night to spend with my sister, the accidental yoga master and owner of cat leggings. Throughout these difficult periods of my life, she has been my right hand, my trusted confidant, and my sounding board during discernment. She’s also the person most likely to say, Don’t tell me what to do, in unison with me at any given point of a family gathering, encourage activities that make our mom uncomfortable, and get on board with whatever other acts of mischief I come up with. Like that time we did yoga wearing Luchador masks.
So armed with the glory of Buti Fitness, I dropped in on her and my brother-in-law last night to share. The three of us carefully considered the videos, concerned for the general health of the creator, and all positive that this would not end well for any of us who attempted it. However, upon further review, her form in the yoga movements was very clean and accurate, and constant movement was legitimately taxing from a cardio standpoint. Her Facebook page included several short videos that demonstrated a mastery of inversions, balance postures, and strength stances.
I can’t speak to the accuracies of the tribal dancing, though.
I will most likely attempt this next time I actually drink alcohol, I advised, and we moved on to Hail, Caesar and contemplating the intricacies of Cohen Brothers films. Deep down, though. I had to know. I had to know if I could Buti Fitness. I am the mother of three children and terribly lacking in any “modern dance” department. But my interest was piqued; my eyebrow was raised. There was no turning back.
I put YouTube up on the completely unnecessary fifty-inch tv I own in the living room, and, sure of my mission, navigated back to Sweet and Spicy this morning. With the laundry whirring and dish washing humming in the background, I apologized to Kimber (the lovely shepherd-blue heeler mix I’m dogsitting for Darrin) and hit play.
I just got utterly destroyed, and I’m not sure what just happened.
I’m glad I can’t see a playback of myself. I’m also glad that I finished before USPS delivered my Anatomy of Yoga and Pranayama textbooks. I cannot stop laughing, and I definitely made it even harder to “booty drop” by laughing through the “workout” I just did. That was so difficult, probably even moreso because I had to focus on movements that were foreign and terribly inappropriate. If I ever need to remind my children the importance of chastity while dating, this is exactly what I’m going to do immediately in front of them.
I may or may not do this again when I’m in need of some absurd physical activity that actually does make me feel temporarily exhausted. Given that it’s Saturday, I also may or may not drop in to weekly confession at my parish after I finish hiking with a dearest friend this afternoon. I can’t put my finger on what sin I just committed, but I’m pretty sure something grievous did just happen.
Regardless, it’s good to look in the mirror and see that impish quality peering back today.