Friday, October 28, 2011


Yoga. That word has always connoted only inaccessible new age-y things. Chakras. Chi. The healing power of breathing?

While I am deeply devoted to wearing yoga pants, yoga is definitely not for me.  Some of my best friends are known to carry around yoga mats and hang out in yoga studios, and while I pretend not to judge, I do quietly mock them. I mean, really? A yoga mat? 

And I have tried yoga. When I was pregnant with Jackson, I carried him very high, which put an extreme amount of pressure on my back. So much so that the sharp and searing knife pain in my middle back was unrelenting. Thus, I was desperate. So desperate that I tried a yoga class that was conveniently held in a boardroom at work.

I think it may have helped a little. Any time I spent doing the downward dog, I was not sitting in a chair, which is what aggravated my back pain the most. What that class did for me was reinforce my preconceived notions that all yogis were flaky. The instructor spoke only about flow and air and space and energy,  and spent little time explaining the poses, which I would have found hard enough even without twenty pounds of J Boy and associated fluids sloshing around my mid section.

Since then I have attended the odd yoga class, usually on girlfriend spa weekends.  Some of my sisters are so highly devoted to their well-being that on a perfectly good weekend of indulgence, pedicures, massages, good food and wine are not sufficient, they insist on contorting their bodies, and well I go along for the ride.

This fall, I felt an uncommon amount of tension. Obviously, in and through all I am grieving the loss of my Mom.  The fall is always busy for us. New grades at school. New roster of activities. Children who seem to need 62 reminders to come to the dinner table / do their homework / brush their teeth / change their underwear.  Add to that birthdays, Husband's dividing his time between two jobs and a dog that barks just when I'm clinging to my last shred of sanity and yeah, I think I could use some yoga.

So I found a class Yoga 101 and thought I could spend 75 minutes for 5 Saturdays trying to find a way to let go of a little tension. Instead of an inaccessible instructor, I had one who explained everything and in five weeks I heard not one work about chakras.

And now, I get it.  It's a unique combination of strength and stretch and yes, relaxation.

Which I will be doing more of. On my very own yoga mat.

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