Somewhere I read that Yoga is good for you. Especially as you get older. It helps with your flexibility and assists in maintaining good balance. So last week I decided to try the Body Flow class at my gym.
The class started with a Tai Chi warm up. I was good at the first thing we did – breathing in and out while slowly raising my arms above my head. But by pose number three I knew I was in trouble. We were suppose to place the heel of one leg on the knee of the other leg and then pretend like we were going to sit down half way on a non-existent chair. That pretty much didn’t happen. By the time I got the one leg up and was able to balance, we were off to another pose.
We moved on to a yoga position called downward dog. I’d done downward dog before and while my heels weren’t flat on the floor, I did kind of resemble an upside down V which is how you are suppose to look. The problem was that at the end of the pose we were told to take one leg and move it all the way up by our hand while keeping the other leg in the downward position. Neither my body nor my brain was able to understand this command.
We moved to the floor to work on flexibility. The teacher sat and grabbed her leg under the knee and then somehow succeeded in straightening it out and pulling it back against her body while keeping her back straight. I was in awe. I managed to sit, grab my leg and not fall over. By the end of class one thing was very clear. Balance and flexibility aren’t something my body does well.
Balance and flexibility are also something I struggle with beyond the gym door. I tend to be one of those people who says yes to things when I should say no. I feel responsible for things that aren’t my responsibility. I do for others and neglect my own needs.
I have at times filled my schedule so full that there is hardly room to breathe. I plan out my day, my week, my month. Everything looks good and I’m confident I can do it all. And then something happens that throws everything off. Because my schedule was rigid rather than flexible everything starts crashing into each other. Things fall through the crack. And in the end, I feel like I’ve let myself and others down.
Right now I’m working on my fall schedule. Trying to decide what I want to commit to this year. Last year I ended up in five different groups, did volunteer work, and tried to keep up with church activities while taking occasional trips to visit friends and family. This year I think I’m going to cut back a bit. Find a more balanced approach. Allow for a more flexible schedule. It will take work, and time, and practice, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
As for Body Flow, next Friday morning I’ll put on my yoga pants, grab a mat and give it another try. I may even go to the Sunday afternoon class. Who knows, someday I may actually end up being a balanced and flexible person.