I returned to the practice of yoga a few weeks ago. I can’t seem to get things right. I keep having to practice law and yoga.
I’ve done yoga for many years. I retreated for a time because, for unknown reasons, my neck and shoulders stiffened up. It was gradual but I wasn’t paying attention. Ultimately, I could barely turn my head right or left and started to lose the ability to raise my arms all the way.
My chiropractor, who happens to be my brother-in-law started the miraculous process of getting me back to normal (that’s a relative term… oh sure why not? pun intended!). I went on to find a physical therapist like no other through my masseuse, who is a genius unto herself. Yeah, I got a team you would die for.
So now that I can hear and see people talking behind my back, I returned to yoga to get as limber and balanced as possible, even though imbalance may run in my family. Yoga has magical properties.
Imagine my surprise when the yoga teacher confronted me at the door to the studio.
“Hi, I’m Lili, have you done yoga before?”
“Why, yes I have.”
I thought she was asking because often the yogi will want to know if you’re a beginner or have special physical needs that she should be aware of.
Wow. Why does that matter?
“Well, I started at the YMCA quite a long time ago.”
Geez, I’m thinking, do I need to qualify for this class? There are only 4 other women and every one of them looks older and no more flexible than me based on the stretching going on on those mats. I think I’ll be okay.
“I studied with Sandy. And then she moved to a private studio down the street and I practiced with her and Sue.”
“Well, this is a special yoga class. We do %$^#% yoga ( I have no idea what she said, I never even pay attention to the names of the poses. I have enough garbage in my head. I just follow directions and look at the teacher)
She went on to tell me that she’s 80-years-old, has to wear her orthopedic shoes during the class because she hurt her feet and she introduced yoga to the YMCA in this area 21 years ago because she studied with some famous guru and Deepak Chopra.
And she still wasn’t letting me go put my mat down. I really was intimidated by now. What had I done wrong? Why can’t I go sit with the rest of the old ladies? I JUST WANT TO DO YOGA!
Breathe. Just breathe. Yoga. Breathing.
‘Look, I said, I’m not into Power Yoga. I’m over that. I have a big, stressful day ahead of me and I just want to get my head in the right place.” And you’re not helping, I wanted to say.
“Okay,” she said, “well we better get started it ‘s already late.” That was my fault as well because I wasn’t passing the interrogation.
I’ve decided the whole fiasco was because I was wearing my new millennial-style, super chic, RBX yoga pants and Lili thought I was going to want guerilla yoga.
By the way, it was a great class. Very relaxing, goddammit.
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Cathy is the author of Showering with Nana: Confessions of a Serial Caregiver and