My spirit animal is most likely a hippo.

Not terribly long ago I decided I would give yoga another try. Not in a studio with other people around, I’ve done that and was quite literally so horrible I think that even Deepak Chopra would have suggested I just give up. This time I decided I would find a free On Demand yoga video I could do in the privacy of my own home.

I get my yoga mat, and a towel, and I think he said I needed a chair and maybe some sort of small block? I didn’t worry about that because I’m a beginner, I would just wing it. This was going to be great. I already felt so centered.

It started out simply enough, some deep breaths, nice, slow stretching. I was really, really good the first 45 seconds, like the best in my class.

Then we moved on to what I think he referred to as “Zen torture contortionism”, where I was supposed to be balancing on my hands, but my legs were parallel to the floor, well one leg was supposed to be, the other one I think was supposed to be in some sort of “V” shape pointed toward the ceiling. I think the pose was called “people are idiots”.

At first, I was frustrated, I was yelling at the T.V., “I thought this was a beginner video! You can’t just say ‘you’ll get the hang of it eventually’ and call it beginner!” But the more I tried and tried to do the poses, the funnier it got. I was bent over laughing so hard at one point I just finally stopped and watched the rest of the video while doing the “sit on your ottoman and give up” pose.

So, maybe yoga isn’t my thing. I then decided I was going to give meditation a shot. People from just about every religion or spiritual practice are always raving about how wonderful they feel when they meditate every morning before they start their day. I could use a dose of that. Who couldn’t?

Okay…I’m in my meditation space (which is really just my office with the blinds shut). All right…deep breaths, in, and out, in and out, in and…wait, is there a cat locked in here with me? Let him out, okay, back to it. Deep breaths again, in and out, in and…am I supposed to be sitting on a meditation pillow? What qualifies? Do I need to buy one on the internet? Like some fancy silk one from India? I have a throw pillow from T.J. Maxx in here, that should work. Except it’s uncomfortable, and cotton. Never mind, I’m doing this sans pillow.

Okay…focus…deep breath in, deep breath out…I should light a candle, right? Oh just forget it, I’m wasting time here. Okay…I’m supposed to put my focus on the point between my eyes, but just a little above them, sort of in the center of my forehead. Clear my mind of thoughts, just breathing, breathing, focusing…what should I make for dinner? I didn’t take any meat out to thaw. What do I have in the house anyway? Ground turkey, what could I make with that? I’m sick of the same things we always have, I need some new recipes. I’ll check as soon as I’m done here, but I need to get a load in the wash, and dang it, did my daughter clean out her dance bag? She probably has three weeks worth of nasty smelling tights and who knows what else in that bag. I need to talk to her about….

Right, focusing, focusing, breathing, clearing mind of thoughts. I’m at one with the universe, I’m a spiritual being, I’m cold, is it cold in here? What do people wear to meditate? This part of the house doesn’t have good air flow, I should talk to…

Well that was fantastic. I think I lasted 7 minutes. I feel super Zen-like now. Next I should find out what my spirit animal is. Maybe it’s a tiger, or an eagle?

I’m pretty sure it’s a hippo.

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