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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Assuming The Position

I started practicing yoga back in September of last year for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I didn’t want my upcoming Golden Years (aka the What’s-Happening-To-My-Neck Years) to be spent, like I hear so often, telling people “you should’ve seen me when I was in shape”. I’ve seen the looks that younger, shapelier people give each other when older people say things like that, and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of it. Cocky young people! (Insert my future, fist-shaking old-coot mug here.) It’ll happen to you, too! And stay offa my lawn!

So I started practicing yoga.

Have you done yoga? You should, if only to get a true understanding of contortionism. Instructors say things like, “Place your two hands on the floor in front of you. Now carefully tuck your knees into your armpits, balance your body on your palms, and, using your core strength, pull your legs up, resting your full weight on your palms.” It would be funny if they weren’t fully expecting you to follow instructions.

Ask anyone who practices yoga and 80% of them (I made that up) will tell you that “savasana” is their favorite pose. What does “savasana” mean? It means “corpse pose”. Now doesn’t that sound like something you want to be a part of? Actually, savasana means you’ve come to the end of your practice and are free to lie on your back, arms and legs wide, in complete and well-deserved repose. There is nothing more to do – you’ve done it all. How often can you say something like that? I love savasana, look forward to it, wait for those words to cross the instructor’s lips.

I go to yoga as often as possible. Amy, Becky, and sometimes RD (AEIOU and sometimes RD) are there three and four times a week as well; and we set our mats, as required by the number of people in our classes, just inches away from each other. Sweaty, sweaty inches away from each other. You know you are close, when you are that close.

If you know what I mean.

You’ve heard of the benefits, I’m sure: increased flexibility; increased stamina; the multiple benefits to the nervous system, the endocrine system, all your systems; the relaxation. But there are benefits that you don’t find listed in the brochures.

For example, when’s the last time you changed your clothes in public? You may be in for some surprises! I marked the day with pride the first time (a good three months into my practice, if I recall correctly) that I changed from my business clothes to my yoga clothes without the elaborate and choreographed display that many women go through trying to change pants without taking off the pants they are currently wearing. How is this a benefit? Not really sure, but my thought? It’s okay to change your pants – nobody’s really looking at your butt.

Another benefit? Muscle tone and weight loss. The bat wings I had been cultivating under each arm have firmed up nicely. People no longer stare (so rude!) when I point out directions whilst in a sleeveless shirt, which is worth the price of admission alone.

Another benefit you might not have thought of? Footwear! That’s right – everyone takes their shoes off when they enter a yoga studio. Excellent opportunity to get a really great deal on a used pair of shoes! I kid, I kid. But it is a great way to see where shoe fashions are going.

Anyway, I can recommend yoga. I feel great, look better than I did, and when I’ve been drinking, the odds are good that I can be talked into doing push-ups, which as we all know, is just good fun. And if those aren’t reasons to exercise, I don’t know what are.

2 comments:

lenzaidi said...

Pearly,
i got your weblog addy from Val Aziz (Shes my cousin's wife and a doting young mum really)I dont blog but i post feedback to my friends.Intend to write one in the near future.
So ive done yoga for 2 years now.I started when i was in Bangkok withour understanding where it was leading me to.heh.I continued yoga in Kuala Lumpur(the capital of Malaysia,Singapore is our nearing neighbour)
I just love to put my body into the trance of yoga and reap the benefits later on.I did ying and yang yoga too but its just too slow for me.
Ive experienced intense bliss,i f elt my body very lgiht and walk with a spring.Mentally nothing matters i felt on top of the world.Today im still looking for that moment.
Oommmm, ommmmmm

lenzaidi said...

some typos
*without
*felt
*light