Posted by: kerryalina | 16 March 2012

Challenge Class 28: Crop Tops are Evil

It took me a long, long time to work up to wearing crop tops in class.  Shorts? Sure, no worries.  My thighs, which had been carefully hidden from the light of day since time immemorial, were free to glisten whitely under fluorescent lights from day one.  But baring my stomach in class?  Unthinkable.

Part of it was laziness – it’s so much easier to slack off on sucking your stomach in, contracting your abdominal muscles, seeing your ribcage visible in the front mirror when you know nobody can see whether you’re bothering to follow instructions.  But most of it was fear.  I don’t have any problems with exposing my skin in public – hell, I’m a 20-something Aussie.  I spend half the summer gallivanting around in bikinis.  But that was so, so different from having to stare at my own abdomen in the front mirror as it bulged and bunched and twisted for 90 minutes.  Or even worse, putting my forehead to my knee and encountering my curled-up stomach only two inches from my nose.  Filling my vision until I could see nothing but a creamy expanse of sweaty, lumpy skin.  Totes sexy, amirite?

I convinced myself that wearing crop tops would be detrimental to my practice – that I’d be too busy staring at my own flesh to concentrate on locking the knee or keeping my shoulders down.  But then I started this challenge and realised I didn’t have enough Bikram outfits to make it through a week without going to the laundromat.  So I sucked it up, sucked my stomach in and bought two shiny new crop tops.

I.  Loved.  Them.

Yes, I could see my stomach in the mirror.  Yes, I got called out when I was too lazy to hold it in.  The result was a near-constant contraction of my core during class.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I can’t believe how quickly it resulted in new muscles, more strength and improved balance.

So, needless to say, I was firmly on the pro-crop top team.  Until last night.  Until I was getting dressed for class, awkwardly pulled my crop top over my head… and was immediately stabbed with the PAIN OF A THOUSAND KNIVES in my left shoulder as I torqued it out of alignment.  The pain continued through the class, disturbed my sleep last night and is still assaulting me today.

I know people injure themselves with yoga all the time.  I’m the only person I know of who can injure herself getting dressed for yoga.  The only logical conclusion?  Crop tops are evil.  They lull you into a false sense of security and then they attack.

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