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Wake her up when the yoga's over

(MCT) — Maybe it was because Sally Field looked so serious talking about staving off brittle bones in those Boniva commercials. Maybe it was because every single woman friend of mine has been talking about her appalling "lack of flexibility." I thought they were talking about how they refuse to even consider trying the McRib — but really it's about their physical fitness.

Usually this is followed by some well-meaning member of the group mentioning that they're doing yoga, to which we all murmur, "Mmmmm, I've been thinking about that." But we've been thinking about pie more so it doesn't usually change anything.

But then I read "Eat, Pray, Love," in which author Elizabeth Gilbert described how her voyage of self-discovery that included dumping her perfectly nice husband and visiting several continents helped her realize that she could eat nine pizzas at one sitting in Italy and still feel good about it if she was headed to India to do some yoga.

I think there was a little more to the book than that but that was my favorite part.

Yoga class is cool. Our teacher, a young woman who radiates good health and gentle spirit, meets us where we are, so to speak.

"You can rest when you need to," she said on the first day of class, her gaze falling on me for a really long time.

I was delighted that she understood. So I lay down and stayed down because it was the first time in a long while that I'd had some me-time, phone off, panties granny. It was yoga-licious!

While the others breathed noisily and let their Chaka Kahn's flow, I fell asleep.

And was awakened by the instructor tugging on my shins. "We want to keep the muscles as relaxed as possible," she smile-said.

If I were any more relaxed, I'd be in an urn on somebody's mantle. This was the best exercise class ever! I might even buy one of those license plate holders that reads "My Other Car is a Yoga Mat!" OK, maybe not.

At the end of class, she asked us to thank our sun gods (who they?) and fold our hands in prayer. Wow. Let me just tell y'all my muscles paid for that the next day.

Yoga is going to be a much better fit for me than Pilates, which I mispronounced for a really long time until my unchurched, heathen friend told me it had "nothing to do with Pontius Pilate."

Next up: Yogilates, which I'm guessing, is yoga combined with foamy coffee beverages at the end. Can't wait!

(Celia Rivenbark's newest book, "You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning," is available at bookstores nationwide. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com for details.) (c) 2010, Celia Rivenbark