I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yoga as a Last Resort

When I was still in preschool, my parents signed me up for gymnastics. My dad recently told a story how when he came to watch my practices one day, that I was the little kid who couldn't do a headstand or a cartwheel. Somersaults were my specialty, but I could only roll forwards- not backwards too. I fell off the beam and couldn't touch my toes. As a result, the instructors gently suggested that I try to find another activity.
A few years later, despite my pleading that I just wanted to play soccer, my mom also signed me up for ballet and jazz lessons. I was a 7 year old who was 5'2'', about 100 lbs, and frankly, the only pupil who would've benefited from a tutu with a built-in training bra. Dance lessons probably lasted a couple of years until I took up tennis, and mercifully, that and soccer became my sole extracurricular activities.
During college, my roommate Kim was an active member of the Swing Dance club, as well as a club officer. Kim is one of the nicest people I know and I had a hard time saying "no" to her when she asked me to attend the club-sponsored lessons or dances. Once, during our junior year, I went to a lesson and was accused by one of my alternating dance partners as being "so stiff " that "[I] must be in the marching band." Then he reinforced his remarks by impersonating a marching drummer. I ran out of the building crying and thus, was exempted by Kim from ever attending another group lesson.
When I worked in Norwood after college, I went to Workout World (WOW) on Route 1. To give myself some breaks from the treadmill, I started to take a pilates class twice a week. After a month or 2 of classes, the instructor told me that since I was having so much trouble with one of the basic positions that kickboxing might be better suited to my natural abilities.
All of these stories bring me to tonight, when I have my first "Introduction to Yoga" class at the BCAE. For years, people have been asking me, "Do you do yoga?" or "Have you tried yoga? It's wonderful!" I always tell them that I tried pilates, dance, and gymnastics, but they always have the same answer: "Yoga's different. Just try it!" So tonight is the beginning of my 6 week $90 committment to yoga and more importantly, finally having an answer to the "Have you tried yoga?" question.


Anali said...

I hope you enjoyed your yoga class. I really enjoy Hatha yoga. It's very calm and relaxing. Oh and I thought of you when I read this post.


I'm sure you would have something funny to say about it! ; )

littlem said...

As anali said, there are lots more variants of yoga, since it has also been described as a philosophy rather than just an exercise.

That said, there are some of us who -- even following years of balance beam, kip, modern dance, and Pilates Cadillac "grace" --cannot bounce a ball off a knee, ankle, or racquet, as you can.

My first tennis lesson was with one of the favored jocks in the neighborhood, who was teaching me as a favor to my mother and who refused to give me another lesson after I missed the ball and hit him in the mouth (by accident!) with my racquet.