I’m doing something I’ve never done before on the blog: I’m reposting, in its entirety, an old entry. The reasons are threefold:

1) I want to lighten up the mood around here a bit, yet don’t quite feel light myself.

2) I’m getting ready for my trip to Germany in a week and am preoccupied with figuring out what to take to Germany and still have room to bring home many of millions of chocolate items.

3) I’m going to start yoga again soon and want you guys to know what I’m up against.

So, to prepare us all for the return of YogAlida, please to enjoy this blast from my short-lived relationship with the practice of yoga.

(Originally posted 3/1/05)

My New Friend Kathy Smith
Or: My new friend who makes me want to eat my face.

Ah yes. Kathy Smith. She’s my new friend, you know. See, she made a yoga tape for me. Well, probably she made it for many people, but I’d like to think she had me in mind. Even though the tape actually belongs to my mom. And I had no idea who Kathy Smith was before this tape. But anyway.

So I was home this weekend because I was sick sick sickity sick. And I decided that it is much better to be sick in bed if said bed has two big Labsbians in it. Love the Labsbians. Anyway, while I was home I did what I always do: I scavenged for cool stuff to bring back to my apartment. I left home on Sunday afternoon with a new book, some hot rollers, a new Auburn tshirt, and Kathy Smith. Good times.

See, yoga is supposed to be good for flexibility and conditioning, right? And I’m running now, right? (Yes, still running. So although the Someone is apparently no longer in the picture, and hasn’t been for sometime, running stuck. Go figure.) So anyway, flexibility and conditioning. And I’m running my first 5K in April so I figured Kathy Smith might be able to help me become a better runner. And I could have been correct, you know, if Kathy Smith hadn’t turned out to be such a sadistic bitch. From here on out, I shall refer to her as such. You see, being sick knocked me out of running all weekend, and I missed my Sunday run. Not good. So yesterday afternoon my run was. . .iffy. I decided that emergency circumstances called for a yoga tape.

So last night after my Biology class, I came home introduced myself to Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch (although in fairness, I didn’t realize that she was a sadistic bitch.)

YogAlida: Hi Kathy Smith! My name is Alida and I’d like your help with my flexibility and conditioning so that I can improve my running! I’m looking forward to doing yoga with you, as you seem so nice and calm, judging by your picture on the box of this VHS tape.
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: *said nothing, as she was a picture on a box*

Before I could begin, I had to set a calm scene. I changed into soft, loose pants and a soft tshirt. I removed all jewelry which I decided symbolized removing the trappings of this world. I brushed my teeth. . .well, because I knew there was a lot of deep breathing involved in yoga. And then I went into my living room and moved my Big Comfy Chair, my Big Comfy Chair’s Ottoman, and my Broken Down Coffee Table out of the way. I spread a blue and white gingham blanket on the carpet, opened the sliding glass door to get some fresh air in my living room, and popped Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch into my VCR.

Now, most sadists don’t start off being horrible. They have to lure you in with soothing tones and the assurance that they are going to help you attain your goals. Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch was no different. She spoke in a hushed whisper, dressed in a black yoga suit, and apparently always does her yoga on a fake deck in front of a fake ocean with two people behind her who may or may not be fake.

First, Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch taught me how to breathe. Did you know that when you breathe correctly, your abdomen should touch your spine on an exhale? For some reason, that image really creeped me out. And then Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch told me that on an inhale, my stomach should touch the ceiling. This really bothered me as well.

YogAlida: Um, Kathy Smith Who I’m Unsure About? I don’t really care for the image of my abdomen touching my spine. It kind of makes me think that I’m going to lose all of my insides if I exhale too much. And now I’m a little scared to breathe. Plus, the idea that my stomach will touch the ceiling on an inhale makes me think you are calling my fat. I know I have a plethora of stomach, but seriously. My apartment has a vaulted ceiling, Kathy Smith Who I Think is Calling Me Fat. Vaulted. Thoughts?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Blah Blah serenity samadhi serenitycakes.
YogAlida: Um. Thanks. That was. . .helpful.

Then Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch told me that we were going to start our poses. Immediately I called her a poser, but Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch didn’t laugh. That was my second clue that maybe she wasn’t all she was cracked up to be. ANYWAY. Poses. The first pose we did was to lie on the floor on our backs and bring our knees up to our chest. Then we moved our knees down to our left side on an inhale and moved them back up and over to the right on an exhale. Got that? Yeah, it’s tricky. Here, I’ll give you some room to give it a try:

Yeah, did you remember to keep your breathing deep? And did you see how Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch says to go to the left but she really went to the right? No worries, friends. I asked her about this.

YogAlida: Hey, Kathy Smith Who Doesn’t Know Left From Right? Oh. Um. Well, that was my question. Do you not know left from right?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: blah blah inhale deeeeeep exhale blah blah
YogAlida: Okay, now I think you are just avoiding the question.
Coffee Table: *Crash*
YogAlida’s Knees: Ow! Damn! Ow!
YogAlida: Oh mother–Damn you, Kathy Smith! You sadistic bitch!
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: blah blah deeeeeep exhale bwa ha ha ha blah blah
YogAlida: *blinks stupidly* Did you just do the evil supervillian laugh at me?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: blah blah I’m an evil bitch blah blah

Well. I’d love to tell you it got easier from there, but did you notice how I started thinking that Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch was laughing at me? And how I started to believe she was talking to me? It got worse.

(In Downward Dog)
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Remember to hold your breathing. Remember to relax and elongate your neck. Remember that you are fat and you can’t stretch this way.
YogAlida: I *know* you didn’t just call me fat. Inhale. And how can you relax *and* elongate your neck, Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch? You can’t. It’s impossible. I defy you to do it. Exhale.

(In Some Weird Pose Involving the Splits while Standing with One Arm in the Air and the Other Resting on My Knee)
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Are you breathing? Do you feel the tension seeping out of your lower back?
YogAlida: Um, I can’t even feel my lower back. And could you please quit reminding me to breathe?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Alright, now let’s turn our right foot all the way on its side, okay?
YogAlida: OW OW OW!!!! Omigosh. Are you figgin’ KIDDING me with this?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Remember, if the pose hurts, you need to pull out a little bit. Pull back on the pose.
YogAlida: If I pull back on the pose, I will be just standing here, not doing yoga. Is that what you want, Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch? Do you want me to quit???
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Hey, did I shove that ice cream down your throat freshman year? Did I keep you from the awesome rec center at A&M? It’s not my fault you are a fatty fatty fat fat with no sense of balance.
YogAlida: I ain’t even scared of you, Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch. I’ll find you. I’ll find you someday and show you how flexible I can be. Or something less kinky.
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: Girl, I’d like to see you try. I’m a yoga goddess. And I’ll cut you.
YogAlida: Ooooh, pretty talk. Where’s your serenity now, bitch? Huh?
Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch: I got yo’ serenity right here. And I’m not the one hallucinating and talking to a video tape. You forgot about your breathing, didn’t you?
YogAlida: Maaaaybe. Maybe I’m actually passed out on the floor. Maybe I forgot to exhale 64 inhales ago. I don’t even care though. I hate you and I hate your ass face.

So yeah. Yoga with Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch. Good for inner peace and tranquility. And for a hyperventilating-induced nap.

I’m not quitting though. Kathy Smith the Sadistic Bitch and I will meet up again. And I will emerge triumphant.

You know, as soon as I get this breathing thing down.