Sweet Home

I started in Kindergarten at the age of 4. My mother would walk 3 blocks to school with me in the morning and be there to walk home with me when I got out of class in the afternoon. I had a sack lunch and a small rug for a nap afterwards. Life was simple on the hardwood floor of my youth.

60+ years later I am back where I started. There is a hardwood floor, a small rug, but no sack lunch at the gym where I take yoga classes.

Spending an hour on the floor these days is a lot easier than when I was a kid. For one thing, I do not suffer from burning eyes and congested breathing as a result of the staff using a groundup-red-wax floor sweeping compound.

What I do suffer from is the Learning Curve. The ancient practice of yoga is brand new to me and something that I want to continue doing on a regular basis. I have felt a noticeable change in my breathing patterns after only two sessions.

I spend a lot of time looking around to see what the instructor is doing. My Downward Dog is more like a Peeking Duck and it can be a challenge to avoid looking like a pervert when I am trying to mimic the correct pose.

My first class was 4 days ago. It started at 11 am on Saturday and that should have rung a bell for me. There were about three dozen people in a class that averaged thirty years-of-age. There were more women than men among the young, flexible and regular attendees of this particular session.

I put my mat down in a corner of the room near some older pupils whose physical condition was more like mine. A few ladies gave me a polite smile, which I returned, and a few men gave me the old junior high chin-flip. I smiled and flipped it right back at them. Kindred spirits do that, afterall.

The instructor put a music CD in the player. A rhapsody of bells, flutes, stringed instruments and measured silence came through the speakers. It was relaxing, but unfortunately I had trouble hearing the teacher. The combination of the background noise and the sound of the blood rushing through my head drowned her out for the most part.

Four of us got the lowdown when we identified ourselves as first-time students at the beginning of the class. “Listen to your bodies,” the Curvy Lady said.

CL went on, “If it hurts to do an exercise, or a pose, stop. Be content with the ones that you can do.”

At least that is what I think I heard her say. The data input from my eyes was overriding that of my ears as I watched her get into the first pose.

Over the next 60 minutes, we did our best to keep up with CL’s steady progression of stretching, planking, twisting and rhythmic motion. It was a gentle revelation of how far I need to go to undo years of bad work habits over a lifetime in construction.

I have since found a class made up of “older students”—average age is 55+. It has a different instructor and pace, and is more suited to my beginner’s status.

Just like in the Saturday class, we finish up with a group chant, “Ohhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”

I have found a new home.

  13 comments for “Sweet Home

  1. January 30, 2015 at 6:56 AM

    Good for you, Allan. I’m also in my 60’s and go to Boot Camp every Sunday. I’m contemplating trying the Yoga class, but the moves look quite challenging. I’m sure you’ll master it though. Keep us updated. 🙂


  2. January 29, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Home Sweet Ohm!


  3. January 29, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    Practice makes perfect. Keep at it. I find most people are encouraging and remember when they were fledglings.


    • January 29, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      I feel more like a Groundling, but I do see a benefit to this practice. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. January 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    Here’s a chin-flip to you, yogi Allan. I too tried yoga a couple of years ago, and was completely frustrated. Because I wear glasses, it was almost impossible to look up to see what the instructor was doing because my glasses would slip down my nose from sweating. Heaven knows what I looked like. Now that I’ve retired, I’m looking into senior classes at the local community center. You’ve inspired me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      It is nice to know that I am serving as a good example, Angeline. Good luck with the search for the right class.

      Perhaps one of those adjustable eyeglass bands that ballplayers wear with sunglasses would hold yours in place.


  5. January 28, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    Allan, this is wonderful. You will be amazed at how your body responds. And your instructor is correct, listen to your body. Yoga is the most beneficial practice I know, and my first downward dog was more like a squatting turtle. So, give it time. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling light as a feather. ~~Namaste~~

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2015 at 8:56 AM

      Squatting Turtle—I knew there was a name for my pose. Thanks for the chuckle, Stephanie.


  6. January 28, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    Bravo, Allan! I’m so glad you’ve taken up yoga. Stick with it. You will see remarkable results over time, both mentally and physically. Don’t look at the other students in the class. (I keep my eyes closed for at least half the session.) Make your own practice. And write about it again. Namaste.


    • January 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM

      Thanks, Joyce. I am looking forward to the journey down the Yoga Highway and will update from time to time. I think that I can stop looking around so much after I get more familiar with the routine. It worked like that for me in my aerobics class this past Fall.


  7. January 28, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    Excellent! I tried it. Had CL for an instructor and flexible females for co-yogists (I made that up 😁)
    I quit.
    Maybe I need to find a class with yogists more my age. (Auto correct keeps changing ‘yogists’ to ‘yogurt’ so I’m pretty sure it’s not a word)
    Keep up the good work.


    • January 28, 2015 at 6:50 AM

      Thanks for the encouragement. I think that you may have a subject for today’s Daily Prompt-make up a word & explain the meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

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