PUMPING IRONY: Yoga Master

I put about 20 miles on the Schwinn on Saturday, running various errands with My Lovely Wife.

That helped to work out the DOMS (delayed onset muscled soreness) lingering from Thursday’s impromptu hoops session. By Saturday morning, both knees were a little creaky, my shoulders were achy and my left ankle didn’t seem quite right.

So, rolling out of bed Sunday morning for a 9 a.m. yoga class actually wasn’t as crazy as it might have seemed had I not been so stiff. MLW has been attending a Wednesday noon class at our neighborhood yoga studio for a few weeks now, and she had suggested (a bit tentatively) that we might want to check out Sunday’s free session, which promised to give us the basics we need to start a home practice.

I was skeptical:

Not because I didn’t think I could break my lay-around-with-the-newspaper routine for one Sunday morning, but because I’ve never been very good at yoga. I’m not at all flexible, I have a great deal of difficulty following the instructor’s movements, I don’t inhale and exhale at the right time, and I never really relax into most of the poses the way you’re supposed to. Other than that, I’m pretty much a yoga master.

Still, I’m all about trying new stuff (ha ha), so off we went Sunday morning to Nokomis Yoga, where we met the instructor, Solveig Corbin, and three other neophyte yogis. Solveig got us all situated on our backs with our legs up on a pile of rugs so we could do a little meditation before we got around to the stretchy stuff. This is the part of yoga I really like — the relaxing part. Next, she showed us a couple of poses we could do while seated in a chair, then a lunging pose and one that had us on our backs with our legs to one side and then the other (not so much, in my case). Then more meditation (whew!) and that was it.

This particular kind of yoga (I forget the name, of course), Solveig explained, emphasizes holding the poses for a long time — a discipline that didn’t bother me too much, since I can’t get into the poses very well anyway, but it didn’t sit too well with MLW. On our way home after the session, she said she’d probably stick with her current teacher and her style, which doesn’t tax her bum knee so much. Besides, she’s been working on the Sun Salutation pose, which, once mastered and practiced every day, will allow you to live forever (or so the story goes).

I’m not angling for immortality, just a bit more flexibility, but I might actually try this stuff, in one form or another, more than occasionally. It can’t hurt, right?

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