Yoga not what I envisioned

woman in black tank top and black leggings standing near wall
Photo by Retha Ferguson on

Jackie Wells-Fauth

In case anyone is having problems with their eyesight, no, the woman in the picture is not me. I put it in because when I think of yoga, this is what I always envisioned. A beautiful, graceful stand on only one leg. My yoga is as similar to this as a flying cow is to a fairy (me being the cow, of course).

I have to admit I’ve come to the world of yoga rather late in the game and I may not be looking for the same things out of it that others are. I was told that if I did yoga, my balance would improve, my overall body toning would be better and I would experience things I never had before. One of those is true, but not exactly in the way they may have intended. The experiences have been profound!

Since I started late, I started slow, with a yoga for seniors routine. Now, the woman who was demonstrating the procedures had gray hair, but she didn’t bend like any senior I have ever seen and I certainly didn’t bend anything like her. She would demonstrate a move with precision and grace and I would follow with inaccuracy and imbalance. My eyes bulged, my joints popped and my body moved with all the beauty of a hog in the mud waller.

I was determined, however, and little by little, I began to master the moves she showed me. And most days, I am able to put my body in regular motion within a few hours of having done my yoga. I haven’t mastered that standing with my hands folded and one leg up, though. Oh, I can fold my hands all right, but that makes it difficult to grab the things around me when I attempt to bring my leg up and balance on only one limb! Now there’s an experience I never had before, so maybe all that hype is right!

Starting small was the theme of this project and so I am learning to do squats and body twists and ankle lifts. Well, I think I’m doing the squats correctly, as long as I don’t watch myself on the bends. I do a fair job of body twists, but when it comes to arching my back and staring upwards, I still see spots before my eyes…although maybe not as many;  I haven’t counted. The ankle lifts have been very helpful, but there again, I don’t like to watch that move. I think I’m being very graceful and ballet-like and a look in the mirror tells me that one wrong twist and the ballerina will be permanently scarred…not to mention the damage to things surrounding me if I go down.

So, the yoga actually has helped me with balance, and I know my body moves a little better and definitely I’ve experienced things I never did before, so I may have to amend my previous statement and admit that yoga has been beneficial. And if I ever master that standing on one leg with my hands folded, it’ll probably be because I’m actually leaning on the kitchen counter behind me. Happy yoga to you all!



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