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Hooray for the Yoga Klutz!

Just started a beginning yoga series at our local yoga studio and I’ve been excited about this since the day I signed up! I’ve been exposed to several “bouts” with yoga over the years — a short class at a spa, an advanced class that I certainly didn’t belong in at the gym, stretches with friends and some videos over the years. But I found my balance and flexibility waning as I got older.

Hence, enrollment in a beginners’ class with the hopes of getting the basics so I know the difference of a “Downward Facing Dog” and “The Warrior”. And I’m not just pretending to know the difference.

The best news — yoga is NOT a competitive sport. No one really cares how bad you are – or good. Though we do stand in awe as Nicole contorts her tatooed limbs in way too many directions! But, as they say, you practice yoga – you never achieve it. Which is why you don’t see many Type A men in class. (All the Type A women are in the power and advanced classes!)

The worst news — I was BY FAR the oldest person in class. Please give me some credit for my skier’s knees, broken ankle from squash, stiff shoulder and general lack of tone everywhere, making my yoga practice much more challenging than that of the 25 year olds in class.

Week One I surprised myself on some of the things I COULD do. A yeoman’s attempt at a shoulder stand at least got my ass off the mat. And speaking of asses, mine stuck up fabulously in my downward dog! But my transition moves are pretty lame and balance needs lots of work.

I realized I was the class klutz! You know — the slowest, clumsiest, weakest participant – that makes everyone else feel graceful and proficient! Someone has to be the klutz and it was a perfect role for me that day!

Once I got over being intimidated by all the young nubile bodies in class – several very serious about these exercises – I just gave it my all. And felt it the next day! WOW! Core muscles I had forgotten about kept aching all week. Clearly a good sign of progress.

Week Two I arrived to a full room – many new beginners! And suddenly I was no longer the klutz! I may still have been the oldest. But there was a woman who had more medical issues than me and one who was heavier and even less coordinated. Judging from her jewelry, her most athletic endeavors seemed to be hoisting her bling around her neck each day! She couldn’t do anything!

But these other people freed me from being the -est of the class and I was simply a participant. Not that we’re being competitive. But I noticed something about myself. I found when I wasn’t the Class Klutz, I didn’t have as much to overcome or prove to myself. I kind of slipped from being a fighter, challenging my klutziness, to mediocre performance.

So tomorrow night at class, armed with my new yoga mat, I plan to mentally put myself into the yoga klutz role again and take on that challenge. Maybe I won’t look as clumsy as others, but, in my mind, I’ll be a total spaz!

PS – so everyone else is looking at each other during class, too? Right? While we’re all trying not to fart? Right? These are the things you don’t talk about…

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