Relax Your What? by Deb Jenny

Sometimes I’m startled that I am as old as I am. Because despite the maturity that comes with age, I can’t help but occasionally revert back to juvenile middle-school behavior that I’d thought I’d outgrown.

In my attempt to be mature and worldly, I enrolled several years ago in my first yoga class. I needed to learn how to chill out a little bit, and figured being in touch with my inner Zen would help to center my balance, achieve yin-yang, and maybe I’d get a little feng-shui thrown in for good measure.

It was great. First class, I learned my sun salutation, stretched limbs so tight from lack of use that they deserved to snap like tree branches. My teacher, a former type-A New Yorker-turned-Yogaville devotee whose chosen Yoga name, Suraya, more closely resembled that of an Indian guru than someone from the Bronx, was very serene. His soothing voice tranquilized even the tensest of class members: me. In his calm coaxing tone, he encouraged us to rid our minds of any pollutants, to focus on our center, and be at peace within. Fine, I was on the same page at this point. I’d really started feeling that I could change, become a woman unfettered by the stresses of life.

The final fifteen minutes of class were devoted to complete relaxation. Cool, I thought. That is right up my Type-A alley. We all lay on the floor, eyes closed, focused on our own inner universe. The mesmerizing music on the boom box washed over me as Suraya talked us through letting go of whatever tensions remained. He began with the toes, worked his way up ever so gradually to calves, knees, thighs.

And then came the clincher.

“Relax your anal sphincter,” he said, as serious as an executioner, not even remotely cracking a smile.

What? That’s impossible. First of all, It defies the laws of nature. And secondly, even if we could, just think how nasty that would be! We can’t do that, I thought. Like a naughty kindergartener whose head is supposed to be face down on the desk during naptime, I snuck glances all around me. No one but me thought that was the funniest line ever uttered.

I could feel my laughter erupting, and from my unrelaxed belly it rose. I tried desperately to suppress it, but it was of no use. I cackled so loudly that the entire class opened their once-relaxed eyelids and glared directly at me. Even Suraya looked a bit uptight.

As the class drew to a close, the peaceful silence destroyed, I slunk from the room, somewhat embarrassed at my level of immaturity. But I actually felt more relaxed, having belted out a good belly laugh.

Yes, I realize I have gone from middle school to middle age, but isn’t it nice to know that you don’t always have to totally grow up?

26 thoughts on “Relax Your What? by Deb Jenny

  1. ROTFLMOA!!! Oh if only you knew how to fart on cue! Now THAT would have been funny! See how relaxed I am Master? Smell the calm. Give me an elliptical and please, leave my anal sphincter alone. Too funny, Jenny.

    And CONGRATS on Sleeping With Ward Cleaver getting onto Amazon for pre-sales!

  2. Ha! That’s funny you said that as this morning in yoga I was thinking how absolutely humiliating that would be in the midst of a silent yoga class…
    Thanks for the little Amazon comment–it’s pretty exciting!
    And to you I say “Namaste” 😉

  3. It’s like Rodney Yee, my favorite DVD yoga dude and his “relax your groins” comment. Anything for you Rodney!

    I was sitting in the high school gym last week listing to the most boring welcome speech ever given and topped off with highlights of the schools most horrible moments last year–b— threats, assaults, etc., and I just had that spit-wad kind of rebellious urge come over me in the biggest way. Like Get this Bum off the stage! Good grief, I can’t stand the principal and I’m 51!

    CONGRATULATIONS

  4. It’s like Rodney Yee, my favorite DVD yoga dude and his “relax your groins” comment. Anything for you Rodney!

    I was sitting in the high school gym last week listing to the most boring welcome speech ever given and topped off with highlights of the schools most horrible moments last year–b— threats, assaults, etc., and I just had that spit-wad kind of rebellious urge come over me in the biggest way. Like Get this Bum off the stage! Good grief, I can’t stand the principal and I’m 51!

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AMAZON LAUNCH~!!!!! Very exciting. You go girl! Suzanne

  5. Very funny, Jenny! While I like to think of myself as a yoga devotee, I still often have to stop myself from laughing out loud in class, especially when I bring a new friend and everyone is doing Breath of Fire breathing, their stomachs pumping in and out, the noises coming out in loud pants.

  6. Suz, perhaps YOU ought to think about becoming principal ;-). Can you imagine how much fun that would be?!
    We haven’t done the vaunted Breath of Fire–I will have to press my yoga teacher on why not! Sounds loud…

  7. Honey, when it’s YOUR pants from whence the noise issues that preposition matters little! And polite ladies say, “Pardon my having been loud in the pants.” I have a girlfriend who calls farts, “panty burps.” I gotta get a betta class of friends, huh? Or vice versa. Hilarious post, Jenny. Thanks for the much needed Beavis and Butthead moment. He he he he.

  8. Now I’m really laughing!! But Jenny is right, the the loud pants that I was talking about have more in common with the noises Meg Ryan made when she was faking an O than with farts.

  9. Ooooh, laughter yoga–that sounds fun! Combine that with Gail’s heavy breathing yoga and we might have found the perfect combination!

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