Om, My Aching Knees!

It’s another week and another yoga class.  The weather has turned cold here in Pennsylvania and my joints have been letting me know it.  So I wasn’t exactly striding exuberantly into class today.  It was more a subdued shuffle.  Ouch!  Maybe some stretching and gentle posturing would help.

Our new “breath” today was one for warming you up.  Our teacher told us not to try it if we had sinus problems or were prone to hot flashes.  Hmmm, I’m the Queen of “flashes” and if my sinuses could be tried and convicted in a court of law for crimes against the body, they’d be put away for life.  Forget that breath!

We went through some of our poses from previous weeks and I wasn’t doing too bad.  Then we moved on to some new poses.  First up was the “Pigeon Pose.”  I’ll spare you the exact details.  Suffice it to say that you were supposed to have one leg out back behind you, one leg tucked in toward your body and your forehead on the mat in front of you, arms in front.  As the instructor came around making little adjustments to our postures, she asked me how it felt.

“It feels like hell,” I said, “But don’t mind me.”  I looked at my friend groaning next to me.  “I’ll never eat another pretzel,” I whispered to her.  “I suddenly have a LOT of empathy towards them.”

We tried another pose where you stand in a wide “V” and bend at the waist, put your hands on the ground and then your forehead on the mat. 

“Excuse me,” I said, waving my hand (which was NOT on the mat).  “I could have sworn you just said put your forehead on the mat.”

“Yes, I did,” the instructor replied.  “Of course, that’s the goal so you probably won’t get to that point right away.”

Uh-huh…..she took pity on me soon enough and came by with a block that I could put my hands on.  When she wasn’t looking, I stood it on end to gain another four inches.  Every little bit helps.

Next pose was the Boat Pose.  Oh, boy.  I’m a retired Naval officer.  If I can’t do something entitled “Boat”, I’m not worthy of being called an Old Salt.  This should be a piece of cake.

Our instructor began the instruction on this by saying, “Now, I WILL tell you that when this pose is announced in classes, it is usually met with lots of groans.”

Dang, this wasn’t sounding as promising after all.  We got down on the mat in the Staff Pose, sitting with legs stretched out in front of us.  “Make sure you’re firmly on your ‘sitting bones’ and feeling grounded,” she said.

Grounded?” I thought.  “This big ass isn’t going anywhere.  Believe me, it’s very grounded.

She showed us the pose (sort of like a crunch but with your legs off the ground and extended upward while your back is upright but leaning backward and your arms are pointing toward your feet.  Uh-huh!  There was a modified “half-boat pose” you could do where you bend your knees and can even support your legs a bit if you have to by gripping your thighs underneath.  Goodness knows, I was trying.  I figured that my arms hadn’t come through for me so surely my stomach muscles (they had to be in there somewhere) ought to be good for something.

Our long-suffering instructor made the rounds again, checking on our progress.  As she came down to our end of the room, I cheerily called out, “Just consider this the ‘Paddleboat’ section of the class.”

The Reverse Plank Pose was the next order of business.  Again we went into the Staff position and this time we were to put our hands slightly behind our hips on the mat and then point our toes and lift our torso into a straight line.  I huffed and I puffed but I seemed to be mightily grounded to my mat.  Apparently I had invented a new pose…..”The Cement in the Booty” pose.

Finally it was time for Savasana, the Corpse Pose, the highlight of my every yoga class.  As I sank down into the mat and felt the tension and stress floating away, one final thought drifted through my consciousness.  “Gosh, I could use a donut!”

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Hot Flashed Funk

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