I have been taking a yoga class here at my condo since the end of 2013. Once a week, our Yogi arrives, mats and yoga bricks in tow, ready to lead us in a 90 minute class of deep breathing, deep stretching, and deep thinking. He always begins the class by reminding us to be mindful of ourselves and those around us (this is where I got the idea for my mindfulness goal of 2014). I like this part of the class; I can actually feel my body relaxing. I am aware of every breath I take. I try to empty my mind as much as possible. I close my eyes; my breathing becomes deeper and deeper. I can still hear him speaking to us, leading us in breathing exercises before we move on to our full body yoga poses. I am one with my mat.
No seriously, I have fallen forward onto my mat.
I like to think of myself as a graceful swan, moving through each pose with my wings gliding up and down, in and out of namaste. Most of the time, however, I am more like a baby giraffe: legs and arms flailing, slipping on my own feet, trying my best to stay balanced. I’m glad there are no mirrors about.
Regardless of my occasional lack of coordination, I enjoy this class because of my Yogi. He has a very soothing voice. He does all the poses with us (to perfection, I might add) and helps us when we need a slight tug, lift, or pull. Tonight I discovered something very interesting about him–something that made me jump out of Balasana (child’s pose). We were attempting Ustrasana (camel pose) when he softly told us that we could push ourselves further if we wished by going into a modified bridge pose from Ustrasana. He demonstrated for us, and then said, “I never attempted this pose until I was well into my 50’s.” Immediately, my eyes popped open. I sat up and exclaimed, “Wait…just how old are you?” He smiled. “56,” he said. I was shocked. I think the shock on my face was evident because he quickly added, “I look a lot younger than my friends.” Yeah, I’ll bet!
Is this what yoga can do to you? Make you look years younger? I swear, I thought he was younger than me, or at the most, my age. It made me even more determined to continue with my yoga practice, my meditations, my mindfulness. When I am 56, I want to look 40, or better yet, 35.
Now, if only I could sit up from Balasana…