Downward-facing dog

When I was young, my next door neighbour taught me how to do yoga. It was so much fun, especially getting into the flow of it, making each movement follow out of the previous one. I felt flexible and limber and not so clumsy anymore. Who cared that I was rubbish at sports like field hockey and volleyball and couldn’t even hit a baseball with a flat training bat? At least I could do yoga, and do it well.

But then something happened. I became an adult. And somewhere along the way, I stopped doing all the things that I thought were fun as a child. Hanging from tree limbs. Collecting stamps. Drawing fictional blueprints. Yoga.

I spent years telling myself that yoga was a perfectly acceptable thing for an adult to do. It was very hip. People were talking about it. All I needed to do was sign up for a class. Errrr… maybe next week. In the meantime, I could reap the benefits of having done yoga in the past. When I’d fallen down the stairs and had to have my spine and hips realigned, my physical therapist commented on my amazing breath control (I was breathing through the pain). I could also get up to all sorts of adventures in the sack (I could put my feet in my neck, ha!).

So now I’m 36, and working on my autistic spectrum diagnosis. It’s a rough road, full of surprises. Most of them are instantly recognisable and acceptable, this is how I am, this makes sense. Some are harder. And somewhere along the way, I came across an article that mentioned yoga and its benefits to people on the spectrum, especially with strengthening muscle control. So yes. I need to start doing yoga again. Never mind that my executive function right now is whimpering and hiding underneath the bed. I look for the nearest studio and they have online reservations (yay! I don’t have to call!), so I sign up for a class in two days. I also mention that I have ASD and that they can give away my spot if I don’t show up because it’s sometimes hard for me to keep appointments (the simplified version for neurotypical people).

The next day I start panicking because I haven’t managed to do the laundry for about a month. Showing up for a yoga class in dirty clothes is probably not ok. I can’t think of whether there’s anything clean in my wardrobe that’s suitable. So I decide to go out and buy myself some yoga clothes. That stops the panicking. I’ll have something to wear without having to do last-minute laundry.

(Which turns into frustration when I get to the sports clothes store and there’s no clear division between the different kinds of clothes. Training jackets and shirts and sweatpants and tennis shorts and tank tops all hang haphazardly next to each other. And there’s nothing that says “men” or “women”. I’m lost. I know exactly what I need, but where do I find it? This store doesn’t make sense. In the end, I spend about 2 hours going up and down the 3 floors trying to locate stuff. And nearly melting down with anger because after 45 minutes trying on different sizes of sports bra, it turns out that my assumption of my regular bra size being too small was wrong. The first bra I tried on was not a 34D like it said on the hanger. It didn’t fit because it was a 30B. That sort of thing drives me nuts.)

Anyway. Despite my executive functioning crisis, I have an appointment for a yoga class, and I have things to wear to yoga class. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. The class starts at 9:30am the next morning, so I make sure to set my alarm for 7:30am, giving me time to wake up properly and get myself started.

So of course I oversleep.

Read on for Awkward pose – part II of my yoga adventures!

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