After 10 years on the West coast, I finally agreed to go to a yoga class. I thought I would report back to my East coast friends and family who may be worried if I survived.
I went to a Yin yoga session. During the session, we did multiple exercises of dragon or lion's breath, where you are to exhale as hard as you can, with your tongue out. You should try it, again, with more gusto. I wasn't sure if I was at yoga or in a hidden camera show. Out of 7 of us in the room, the woman beside us literally started crying, like sobbing during the class.
We ended the class with a group ommmmmm while our hands maintained the prayer position against our chests. We bowed to the instructor with a namaste, as he thanked us for coming, and offered hugs to anyone after class if they wanted one.
While I poke fun, as the stereotype couldn't have been more pronounced, I actually enjoyed the experience -- it's not often we take time out of our day to pause and reflect. It was repeatedly articulated this was a safe space for everyone, and you were mostly left in your own head, while maintaining various positions for ~6 minutes at a time. While the self-described macho types often make fun of yoga, I think it takes courage to be comfortable enough to get to know your own mind and body. I challenge anyone reading this to give it a try.
If you're in Vancouver, Karma Teachers yoga offers a pay-what-you-can (PWYC) model, so literally everyone is welcome, so there's no reason you can't try it! If you want to review your options, check out the Vancouver Yoga directory.
I know I'll go back, and am glad I went.