Trying out yoga again! Downward dog was never so hard!


English: downward dog posture I took this pict...

English: downward dog posture I took this picture for use in the Anahata Yoga instruction manual. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I decided to go and do a yoga class. This is part of my resolve to do something different every week. I am on my never-ending journey to maintain my health.  I have been stepping up the exercise and feel a lot better than a month ago! (I am also trying to eat smartly).

I used to do yoga about 6 years ago. I’ll be honest, I never much liked it. First of all, I have a lot of weight to hold up when I’m up on all fours. Downward dog is not my favorite position to be in . (Maybe it’s because I am allergic to dogs.)  Your hands are lower than your legs, and you have to hold your behind straight up. in the air. Not ever owning a dog, I’m not sure whether dogs actually do this yoga position.

Knowing I might not make it through the class, I did the elliptical machine for 20 minutes beforehand. I put it on heart rate zone, and it got my heart-rate up to 132 which I think is a little high for a 62-year-old woman who is overweight. So, I already was sweating when I went in the yoga class.

The instructor was making the room all dark and playing exotic music. These yoga instructors are all spiritual types who weigh hardly anything. They are real flexible and can do all sorts of tricks with their bodies.  They also spout off smatterings of pithy sayings coming from Eastern philosophy. I like that part.

Anyway, I was already tired after I was sitting Indian style. It must be cause I’m so weak. My back does not want to be straight.  Then I figured out that my pants were actually too tight around the waist. Not a good beginning. If you go, make sure your pants are loose! That’s why they make yoga pants.

I was bound and determined to make it through the class . One thing I should have known from experience is it’s not smart to eat cereal and drink 2 cups of coffee before you point your head towards the floor.   I reviewed my morning breakfast during downward dog. I was glad my breakfast stayed where it was. Then, for some unknown reason my eyes and nose began running. (Downward dog?)  I was having an allergy attack while I was trying to stretch my arm around my right side while putting my left foot in front of my right foot. Then my glasses kept falling off my head. So, I kept removing them, but I couldn’t see the instructor, so I had to keep putting them on and off.

I actually wanted to leave after the first 10 minutes, but I’m proud to say I did the entire class. Not like everyone else, but I did what I could. Which wasn’t a whole lot, but the sweat was pouring off my forehead.

The instructor was very sweet, and kept giving modifications for my benefit. In yoga they usually stress doing what you can, and not worrying about what other people are doing. I’m fine with that!

One thing I do know about yoga is that stretching and breathing is a good thing. I was so happy when we got to the part where we relax. I wasn’t expecting the instructor to put a towel around my eyes.  That was a little strange. Usually they put it on your body.

The class was finally over and I said my final  Namaste. I will say I felt terrific when it was over.

I’ll try again next week.

I would recommend yoga. From past experience, it helps burn calories and gets oxygen going through you body.  You’re so happy when it’s finally over too!

Do you have an exercise you don’t enjoy, but do it because you feel better when it’s over!

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Exercising with 20 and 30 somethings


A yoga class.

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I took the initiative to join a Health Club.   We knew it was time to really work on maintaining our youthful appearances, and our grown children were bugging us.( It was nice to know that they wanted us to survive well into our 100’s.)

The first Health Club we joined was convenient and inexpensive, but we found that you do get what you pay for. The yoga class consisted of  30 very old people laying on the floor and moving one leg at a time in a semi-circle. The steam room was one lonely shower stall with an on switch. The towel service was less than generous, one skimpy towel. The pool was  occasionally cloudy, and that couldn’t have been a good sign.

I finally convinced him to join the gym in the trendy shopping center. It looked like the Taj Mahal after being in the broken-down gym. It had two big pools, well-maintained gym equipment, and an endless supply of towels.

I was in for some culture shock when I went upstairs and saw the clientele. They were very well-shaped 20 and 30 somethings. The ladies had sculpted arms and the guys looked like they were competing in body building competitions. (There were also some average looking people, but I was now one of the oldest clients).

After trying some classes, I was in for another shock; I couldn’t keep up.

Luckily, I found a good place for myself, the aerobics swim classes. There were other people my age, and I fit right in. Water is a great medium to exercise in when your older. There were some challenging classes: aerobics and biking in the water. It’s great for your heart rate.

Not a person that gives up easily, I still went upstairs. I found something I’d done before, bike spinning.  You ride stationary bikes while music plays. I felt like part of the class until the leader came up and asked me if I was all right. (After a few classes, he figured out that although I was older, I wasn’t weak). After a few classes I began to appreciate the loud music although I try my best not to concentrate on the lyrics.

The twenty or thirty somethings don’t mind sharing space with me, and treat me just like an equal. They’ll even assist me when I have a problem with a machine.

I’m happy to say the yoga class consists of doing all the moves, not just lifting one leg at a time.

If you’re sitting on your couch, I would recommend you get up and at least take a walk. After that, drive to your favorite reputable Health Club. You can always modify your moves. Nobody will judge you.

Look for a place with a clean whirlpool, swimming pool, and sauna. You will feel like a sexy revitalized baby-boomer when you are done.

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