Yoga, You Deplete Me.
It has been three weeks since my indoctrination into yoga, and I’m almost recovered from the experience.
To give a little background for those who don’t know me. I’m sixty on the calendar but I place my body age closer to twenty something,. I have been training at gyms for the last 20+ years with the goal of becoming a well aged athlete. I consider my physical strength and stamina to be at the top of any chart out there. This is not trying to be boastful as I consider myself exceedingly average. If anyone puts in the same training over the years they would have the same place on the charts. So the thing that I still don’t understand is how holding your body in an uncomfortable position and then after a minute or two changing to another awkward pose left me balled up in a pool of sweat and totally whipped.
It seems that if being forced into uncomfortable body positions is good for you, people who fly a lot would be talking about all the health benefits of seats being 12 inches apart.
What To Bring And What To Wear
Cartoon by Jack Ziegler
Women and men face different challenges in regards to keeping certain body parts from popping out. Men in general are very supportive if a woman’s garment fails but across the board, most people to do not care to witness any escape attempts by a man’s private parts.
Men also have another concern and that is the possibility of an unintentional viagra moment.
If you’re a guy and you have not tried yoga because you are worried about this, let me reassure you. Next time you are feeling amorous, try arching back to the point that you can see the bottom of your feet over your head and I think you’ll agree it’s a mood killer.
In my closet I have the thigh hugging speedo style suit, like bike shorts, and I have the short short running shorts, the just above the knee basketball shorts with no liner and the just over the knee surfer baggies. I initially chose the speedo thigh huggers until I looked in the mirror and decided to go with surfer shorts that had a liner. I think it was a good choice but you would have to ask those around me to be sure.
Another required piece of equipment is a yoga mat which is thin rubber mat that even a cowboy would find uncomfortable and cowboys sleep on the range laying on cactus and use saddles for pillows. I realized that comfort is not the purpose of the mat, it is to keep you from sliding across the floor like a wet minnow.
On top of the mat you lay down something to collect your sweat so you can take it home and enjoy it later. A towel will do but they also design a yoga towel to stick to your mat. Google search Yoga Towels.
The session begins with the instructor explaining that if can’t hold a position or need a moment to recover they prefer you assume the “child position” rather than scream obscenities and stalking out of the building.
One of the fun aspects of yoga is the imaginative names given to different positions, such as downward facing dog, happy baby and drunken octopus. I soon realized that “Child Position” was a fake name and the position is really known as the “Cry Baby” position, which I assumed several times throughout the one hour and 45 minute indoctrination. You wouldn’t think holding your arms above your head as exercise but halfway through the session my arms were shaking.
Yoga not only trains you on flexibility, balance and strength but also, I was told, moves your internal organs into positions that will allow them to release toxins, speed up healing and allow them to meet other internal organs they didn’t know lived in the same neighborhood.
“Oh, you’re the spleen that everyone has been talking about.”
I thought my organs were fairly satisfied with the current arrangement but evidently millions of yoga advocates disagree.
In many areas, but especially health it is very difficult to determine what is “causation” and what is “correlation”.
Example: It is always hot when you have a corn dog at the state fair, your assumption that the corn dog caused the heat is what we call “correlation”.
Realizing that the sacred cow goddess is punishing you for eating corn dogs is what we call “causation”.
I have not researched the claims of health benefits from moving your organs around via yoga and hope if you have informative links that you will pass them along to me. I will add relevant links to this post as they come in.
Health becomes increasingly important in our lives as we age and we are all looking for a lifestyle which will provide more vitality and less pain.
I have a checklist for rating my fitness. It is not scientific but provides me with something I can track over time. The rating system uses high, medium and low and allows comments. These are the items on the checklist.
- Movement (stiffness, joint pain and flexibility)
Every time I work out or play a game I will mentally check off where I am in each area and often note it in my daily log. Over the years I have learned that each area tends to cycle up and down. I’ve experimented with routines and diet trying to reach a level where the highs cycle in more than the lows.
I had a real concern following the yoga session because Strength and Energy rated very low for two weeks. My fear of reaching the point where I am dipping my toes into a river of lesser returns is always a shadow on the horizon. It will come one day.
I plan to invest more time into yoga. Having only attended one rather intense session gave me only a tiny peek into the possible benefits and drawbacks of this body contorting practice. I’ve looked in on on yoga classes at LA Fitness and they are shorter and would be a good primer for my future return to Orlando Power Yoga.
I hope to expand my connections with yoga enthusiasts and hear their stories. If you have a good yoga story, please let me know.
“No Mess Day”
Plush Internal Organs
Cartoon by Jack Ziegler, available at: