As far as I can tell, there is a kind/style of yoga for just about any walk of life. There’s gentle yoga, hot yoga, vinyasa flow yoga, senior yoga, prenatal yoga and nude yoga, to mention a few. Gentle or senior yoga sound good to me, but I think I’ll skip the nude yoga, and with my hot flashes I have hot yoga covered!
In the beginning
This summer I got the opportunity to start taking yoga, and I jumped in with both feet – sore, tired, slightly arthritic feet, actually. I had no idea if my 53-year-old, overweight body could manage, but I decided to try it with an open mind. At the beginning of our first class we started with a cleansing breath and were instructed to set our intentions on class.
That really got my mind going. If I was going to do this (and believe me I’ve jumped on a few bandwagons in my time but usually hopped off pretty quickly) I was going to have to be “intentional.” Intentional with making the time to go. Intentional in my thoughts and attitude. Intentional with doing something good for me. And, probably the hardest of all, intentional in not beating myself up, comparing myself to the others in class, making negative comments about myself. That last part – wow! That one’s a doozy all in itself, isn’t it?
With good intentions
Back to my first class: there were maybe a dozen women in the room. It was a large area with one whole wall covered in mirrors. I “intentionally” placed my mat where I couldn’t see myself in the mirror. I knew two of the women, and I vaguely knew the yoga instructor, my yogi. I put a smile on my face and bravely followed her directions. After about twenty minutes I thought, “Yeah, I can do this!” After thirty minutes, I really wanted to find the clock. Surely the class was almost over! About the time I thought I might die, we started our cool down and relaxation.
My honest reaction – I loved it! Yoga has clicked for me, and while it’s not easy, it’s fun and it feels right. Every class I’ve taken so far has been different. My yogi has been doing this for years and she loves to target specific problem areas. It’s never boring or monotonous. There are still classes where I think I might pass out or die (okay, maybe I’m being dramatic), but overall I feel my body responding. I see strength and some muscle tone. I am more limber and “bendy” than before. I feel, well, I feel good!
Last week I was playing with my new grandbaby (she’s our first, wanna see pictures?), and she was on the floor. I kneeled by her, put my hands on each side of her, and bent down and blew on her tummy. I did it a few times, and then I realized I could do it! I could lean down, sort of like a push up, and come back up. I could do it several times in a row. I could do it and not hurt!! And, you know why? Because of yoga.
So, if you’re young, old, or middle-aged like me, I recommend yoga. It’s good for you – body and soul. And for me, it gives me the chance to get some extra sweet baby kisses.
Jennifer is a retired Navy wife and mother of 5. She wrote for a weekly newspaper while her husband was stationed at the Navy Yard in DC, and it was there she rediscovered her love of writing. She has taught various classes at a local homeschool co-op, with her favorite being a high school public speaking class. She started taking yoga classes summer of 2015 and found new strength and resilience. Her newest title of “Grandma” is one she wears with great pride and joy. Visit her at www.allinonemom.com.