Teenage yoga. I have come to realize that these two words, when used in combination, are the ultimate oxymoron. And a surefire recipe for evil.
No one warned me that while I’m working hard to de-stress these future adults of society (god help us) that they are working hard to uber-stress me.
My teen yoga classes always begin with breathing exercises and eye rolls. And I’m not talking about yoga eye rolls. I mean those all too frequent glances of cynicism and condescension teenagers expertly use to belittle the rest of us. Because, hey, what the hell do we know that they don’t? I mean we’re just the dumb grown-ups and they know everything about life, right?
It’s not like I can’t fit right in with a group of teens considering the majority of them stand at least a foot taller than I do. “I’m hip. I’m with it,” I say to them in my best Dr. Evil voice as they stare at one another, shrugging cluelessly. But that is beside the point. It simply astounds me how quickly a yoga session with a bunch of juvenile, team Edward loving ninnies can go from “Om” to “O-m-g”.
And I’m sorry, but Jacob was the way better choice for Bella. Sooo, whatevz peeps.
Alas, adults of the world, marvel at my loose grasp of grammar after only 30 minutes in their presence. But I digress.
“What song is that? Omg, that’s so last year.”
“But… it’s Katy Perry,” I respond meekly as though I’m back in my sophomore year and my Aqua Net hairdo just fell flat. “Isn’t she, like, super awesome, totally, like, and stuff?”
It is at this moment I realize that I clearly have no idea how to converse with the young adults of today which frustrates the hell out of me since I used to be one. What happens to us that we become so disconnected to those feelings of rebellion and angst that teens display on a daily basis? Maybe it’s because we realize they have nothing to complain about now that most of us are juggling families, jobs, and bills that never stop piling up. Teenage jerks.
Forgetting my momentary sympathy and becoming more annoyed by the second, I say, “Never mind the music. Just try and find your focus so we can begin our sun salutation with mountain pose.”
“Mountain pose isn’t even a pose. We’re just standing here.”
Never have I wanted to twist someone into a yoga pretzel more and then not tell them how to untangle themselves.
And then a memory came back to me: my bedroom literally wallpapered with pictures of Duran Duran, my father angrily coming in to take them down because there were “too many”, and how furious I was with him for days after that. In my eyes, he wasn’t just taking down images of this band that meant so much to me at the time. He was tearing a piece of me down with them. And just like that, my inner teen kicked in.
“Okay, let’s just sit for a moment and take some time to regroup. Music, boys, parents. Talk.”
I hadn’t even finished that sentence before they were all trying to babble their gripes at me all at once. And after about 15 minutes of this impromptu release of emotions, I think they started to see me in a different light as well.
Plus it helps that I taped this image to each of their mats:
And this one on mine:
And we all connected after that, momentarily bonded. Standing as tall as mountains.