Flip the Dog

I went to the gym today.

Tiny miracles abound.

It only took most of Saturday telling myself that this was going to happen, setting an alarm, and laying out a yoga appropriate outfit. Unfortunately, the 10:15 a.m. yoga class at my gym is the most conveniently timed yoga session. I know that 10:15 a.m. sounds like a reasonable time, but it really cuts in to my coffee drinking/ cat cuddling weekend morning time.

Every day of the work week, my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and I spend an hour and a  half stumbling around; running in to things; only talking to, not holding various cats; and gulping down a breakfast that basically equals calories to make my body go while simultaneously getting dressed and putting on make up. I relish days when I don’t have to be anywhere! Sure, those are lonely days sometimes because it speaks to my lack of socializing, but that particular loneliness doesn’t kick in until noon or possibly 5 p.m. It depends. Ideal mornings mean leisurely coffee, a breakfast I have time to taste, reading, and cat cuddling.


So it was with some resentment that I strapped on yoga gear and ate a less than awesome breakfast while watching the clock. I’m the person who can’t relax at the airport until I’m actually on the airplane. Getting to places on time, finding parking, getting to the right room, all things that make me anxious. This is why I don’t jump when friends are like, “Why don’t you try this new yoga studio?” “Because I don’t know how that place works or how their parking works or their front desk or the locker-room or any of the other protocols that go in to a gym environment!!!”

I made it on time. I sat layering on the resentment as I listened to two women have a cross the room too-loud discussion about jobs and a test one of them had to pass. I’m glad we- the dozen people sitting between them- were all able to participate.

Then the topic transitioned to where was the instructor, maybe she was running late, maybe the test-taker would volunteer to teach the class (what?!). “You know traffic is really bad where she lives.” No, I don’t know this. There always seems to be a contingent in exercise classes who have made it their business to befriend the instructor and know all of his or her business. They take the teacher’s pet notion in to adulthood. I’m flummoxed by when and how this happens. I got here for class. I don’t know anyone in this room, so I won’t be engaging anyone in conversation unless it’s to say, “I’m sorry I fell on you.” At the end, I will clean up my stuff and leave the class.

I resented not having a cup of coffee in my hand or a cat on my lap.

Finally, news came down the loud, nosy grape vine that the instructor was checking in. Go time!

Yoga generally makes me feel all stretchy and powerful as long as I never glance in a mirror. I can do without all the “get in touch with your inner hoo-ha, chatty monkey” bullshit. Just get to the posing and breathing already.

So my inner eye tells me that I’ve got downward facing dog under control. I am elegant. I am strong. “I am a leaf on the wind.”


Downward facing dog: Got this.

Hell, I can Three Legged Dog  until my butt cheek charley horses.


Three Legged Dog: Pissing all over this move. Like in a good dominant way, not me peeing my pants again.

This  particular instructor had an interesting playlist. Mumford and Sons, okay. Been there, heard that. Followed by Justin Timberlake’s  “Sexy Back”….weird, but okay. She was also one of those instructors who roamed the room and was only in my eyeline when she was demonstrating ridiculous things like “Ok, now stand on your left hand with your right foot, peer in to your right armpit, and bring it back to boat pose. But just the right armpit.” No.

It was survivable. Even with my glasses off half the time, I was able to clock other people’s moves and keep up. Even when Herr Yoga Instructor was “barking” out moves in yoga-ese. Some terms, I knew and understood the expected pose. Some were mysteries solved only by looking at the woman next to me who clearly had it going on. (I know she had it going on because she wasn’t spending two-thirds of her time covering her muffin top or struggling to keep her giant boobs from escaping their sports bra prison like SOME people I know.)

Things started to get weird and unfamiliar when Three Legged Dog transitioned in to something that felt like a side plank.


Oh, dear, elegance, grace and strength going bye-bye.

And then Herr Instructor said: “Flip your dog!”


My inner eye’s notion of graceful, strong, lithe poses went to shit as my dog flipped over and my right foot thudded on to the floor, shaking the gym Godzilla style. My inner eye was now seeing a cross between a cartoon bullfrog and Jabba the Hutt.


Bring me Solo and the Wookie.

From here, we did dips. And, yes, the dog had to be flipped back over, still on three legs.In all my years of yoga classes, I have never flipped the dog.

You shouldn’t flip dogs, it’s cruel.

I made it, it felt good, but then I took my infrequently exercised ass to Tim Hortons for breakfast and ate the rest of my resentment.

17 thoughts on “Flip the Dog

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