A lot of people are taking Yoga now for all kinds of reasons – peace of mind, flexibility, socialization, etc. My friend decided that we should take Yoga to get us out of the house and to become healthier. Some time ago, I had bought a DVD from The Great Courses on the Essentials of Tai Chi and Qigong. It is a really great DVD but somehow, when following the directions, I ended up going right instead of left and tripping over my feet! I thought that a more personal instruction might be the answer, so we went over to the Recreation Center to enroll.
The classes are held in our old grade school building which had been remodeled extensively. We went to visit a class being taught by Dee Krier and it was so much fun! There are about 15 – 20 students in the class, all of whom are at a comfortable age. Our joints are all starting to creak and we’re not so much worried about what others may say about us. People are wearing sweatpants, leggings, or shorts and tee-shirts. Best of all, everyone kicks off their shoes! (If I had better looking feet, I’d go barefoot but, as it is, I generally wear big, woolen socks. They add an extra size or two to my shoes, but the comfort is worth it.)
When we were all ready to begin, Dee turned on this great music that sounded like it belonged in a magical garden filled with songbirds and singing trees. We stretched up tall and bent over to hang loosely from our hips. This is when I discovered that, at some point during the night before we went to Yoga, an evil witch had stolen into my room and glued a large water balloon to my stomach!
I hadn’t noticed this before but, when I bent over, there was this growth hanging between my chest and my hips. There were two other growths on my chest that seemed to squeeze in with the growth on my stomach so that my knees seemed unimaginably far away! How did this happen?
We sat on the floor with our legs stretched out in front and I found the same symptoms on my inner thighs! Granted, my knee caps haven’t seen each other in decades but I thought that was because I wear jeans or pants. Now I discovered that there were water balloons attached to my upper thighs that wouldn’t allow my knee caps to come into contact with each other!
We got into a table pose on our hands and feet – ok, I could do that – but then, we were to slide one knee up under our chest and the other leg was to slide out behind us. I could do that one also, sitting on the leg that was under my chest, but when we were to slide off that leg and sit down next to it, I had to adjust myself so that the water balloon that was my stomach could find space somewhere. It was a little disconcerting – until I risked a glance around to see how others were handling this. There were a lot of us who were adjusting the new pose to consider knees or hips that didn’t want to bend or stomachs that weren’t flat. It was wonderful! I wasn’t the only oddly shaped person there!!!
We were supposed to flow down onto our backs with one or both knees bent to make it easier on our lower backs. That was ok but then we were to raise our knees to our chests. With all the water balloons on my stomach and chest, my arms weren’t long enough to reach my knees! I finally grabbed my sweatpants and called it good.
At the end, we lay on our backs while Dee walked us mentally through a serene landscape and we rested our minds and bodies at the end of the class. It was wonderful, until it was time to wake up and get back on our feet. I mentioned to this lady on the mat next to me that I needed a crane to get back up. She kindly offered to share the chair that she had strategically placed between us.
I really enjoyed the experience. It’s nice to know that there are other brilliant people in the world who are trying to get their bodies in shape or to at least stop our bodies from getting worse! If you are taking a yoga class and you hear huffing and puffing going on the mat next to you, it might be me!