what to expect from a contortion class


A couple of weeks ago, I started taking contortion classes. In my head, taking contortion was going to be like an intense yoga class. We’d do some active flexibility exercises and assisted stretching. Most of the class would be spent lying on the floor.

Spoiler alert: I was wrong.


I mean, in the basic sense, I was more or less correct. We started the class with crow pose and the one that looks like tortoise pose but you have to balance on your hands instead of laying on the ground (it’s been a while since I’ve done yoga, kids). Then we moved on to side crow and crocodiles.

It turns out that when I do crocodiles I have body dysmorphia. Except that, in the reverse to most people, I imagine that I’m way better than I actually am.


After handbalancing, we moved on to backbends. I got called out for being whiny (I completely own up to this—I whine and then I do it anyway.) I also got called out for not working hard enough (apparently if you can laugh while you’re in a chest stand, you’re being lazy. I would plead no contest, except that I’ve always laughed when I’m uncomfortable).


Spoiler alert number two: despite my laughter (uncomfortable laughter, I swear), chest stands hurt. If feels like you’re basically pressing your chin back into your skull.

It feels like that because you are.


My rookie mistake was not realizing how much my chin would hurt… and how much it would slide along the carpet as I maneuvered my legs (sort of) over my head. I joked about getting a chin scab as I grabbed my sweatshirt to place underneath my chin.


5 days later, my chin was peeling like I’m recovering from a bad sunburn.

This is not exactly the party trick I was planning to develop in the class.


After training, my back and quad muscles were so sore that, when I saw a sign advertising student massages on my walk home from class, I stopped in and booked one.

Then I went home and made cinnamon buns.


Recipe here.

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