May 8, 2010

Yoga was a road not taken....

Returning to yoga at 60 is -- humbling. I think that the day after yoga class, I shouldn't be feeling all these aches from gentle stretching. I know, I know...just goes to reinforce that I NEED to continue.

Yoga is one of the roads I’ve not taken.
I was first introduced to yoga over 40 years ago. My then boyfriend (who later became my first husband, Charlie, when we were young...) was a student of Swami Satchidananda aka Swami Satch
Charlie learned the ways prior to both the Swami’s introductory comments at the Woodstock Festival and his sold-out Carnegie Hall event as well as the later sex-scandals.
Anyway, at the time I saw no benefit to the sun salutation routines that Charlie did each morning.
I preferred other means of relaxation and when I wasn’t partaking, I was politicking. Anti-war and feminist activities took precedence over stretching and naval gazing, or so I naively thought.
But I did admire Charlie’s fit and flexible body and his quirky yoga practice enhanced his “art-eest” personality.

Another what-if moment for me...I wonder about how I would be different in mind, body, and spirit if I just choose yoga then and continued with it.
Instead I rejected the so many invitations I had throughout the decades. I took occasional classes, went to wonderful weekend retreats, performed to the instructions on the various video tapes. And then stopped. Again and again.

So now at 60, I begin again. I am so aware of my limitations, of competing with my younger self (ohh, I used to be able to do that pose; I have less balance, less strength), of being hesitant. Yet the instructor is a natural, helpful and enthusiastic, and the yoga studio is an incredibly beautiful space. And I’ve reconnected with a former acquaintance – who, ironically, I met years ago in a one-time yoga session I attended. She is a regular – to the class I now attend and to the practice. And she is older than me...perhaps wiser...certainly inspiring. I tell myself...keep with it. Maybe this time I will.

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