Monday, September 18, 2017

Yogain



I did yoga today for the first time in years and now I can’t lift my arms.  

I feel like I’m always starting yoga up again. Yoga’s my thing, too, my favorite method of exercise. If I love it so much, the fact that I regular drift away to warrant a first time in years scenario is a problem. Why is sticking with yoga such a problem?

It could be because I like to lift my arms.

I could say that I’ve drifted away from yoga because of the strain this form of exercise puts on my wrists; I have virtually no wrist muscles. I’ve analyzed images of wrist anatomy and I am assured they are there, but maybe mine were designed less for supporting the weight of my body and more for activities like holding a book or swiping a credit card.

This wrist weakness leads to the ultimate frustration of not being able to support my full body weight on my hands like the other, more nimble yogis in my classes. This balancing act is a major part of every yoga class, and it’s beyond my level of expertise. Realistically the weight of my legs alone matches the weight of the petite crow-posing sprite on the mat next to me. The danger of losing control over my heft and crushing the innocent as I attempt to stick the flying pigeon is very real. I need to keep my center of balance low and connected to mother earth, for the safety of all involved.

On the other hand, I can tree pose for days, not unlike an actual *ahem* tree.

Anyway, I’ve been doing yoga off and on since I was 26 years old, an accomplishment that I was stunned to realize, and I feel like I should be better at it by now.

Or maybe not, considering that most of those years since 26 were “off” ones, some of those years saw more yoga-ish classes than actual, full-blown yogic centers of enlightenment that influence every facet of life, an authority that I think yoga should have if you claim to be into yoga, like Madonna or Gwyneth Paltrow. Who wouldn’t want a Gwyneth Paltrow-esque version of her own best meditative life?

I want it, and I want it now.

The plain truth is that I got out of the habit of practicing yoga, and I want back in but it’s hard, maddeningly, like anything worth doing. I have to get used to the idea that I am not going to be at the zenith of my yoga skills right out of the gate at this point in my life which is about four years after the last time I was into yoga. Yoga-ish, at that. I have to practice, practice, practice, until I can support the equivalent of a tree trunk on my bird-boned wrists.

Namaste. Sigh.

*******

6 comments:

  1. Hey, the need to lift your arms is important. I have tried to get into yoga, and I just can't. I can't quiet my brain enough to do it, which is probably exactly WHY I should try it more.

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    1. Don't beat yourself up over it. Some people are yoga people and some aren't. I know more people who aren't. I think I prefer a form of exercise that makes me feel like I'm dying slowly instead of one that makes me feel like I might have a heart attack at any moment, like running or crossfit.

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  2. I feel this. Got back on the treadmill today after way too many weeks off. My body is protesting. My legs are crying three hours later. But hey, we did the things. That's something.

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    1. I feel like if a person can say "I did something" then that's an accomplishment. I am only mildly upset that I don't look like Gwyneth Paltrow yet. YET.

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  3. I've tried yoga before and I just can't do it. Like physically cannot do it.
    Let's just go to a bar and get drunk. I feel like you should be able to lift your arms after that.

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    1. Alas, my current path to yoga class is a direct result of too many trips to the bar. Sigh. Life is unfair.

      What I like about yoga is the freedom to go only where your body allows. Like if your knees hurt today, simply lie down until the next pose. If your shoulder hurts, sit this one out - respect your body. Some day you might even go to yoga class and end up lying down the whole time. This is perfectly fine.

      I also may not be doing it right.

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