Yoga For Beginners and Those With A Sense of Humor
It might be time for this author to see a professional and have a full psychological check up! I mean what in the world am I thinking? I am sixty-three years old and suddenly I decided to start a yoga routine! At sixty-three most people with half a brain are thinking about laying in a hammock in the back yard, sipping a cold one and letting old age slowly advance. Not me, though! Oh no, I decide that I’m going to halt the advancement of age and declare war on the sedentary lifestyle that sounds so wonderful.
So four weeks ago I did exactly that; I picked up a video and began a journey into torture. I called on muscles that had practically petrified over the past two decades and sprang into action. Well, maybe I didn’t spring so much as I gamely limped forward, but begin I did, and I can proudly say that I am still doing it. I haven’t tossed in the towel yet! Daddy didn’t raise no quitter and by God, if pregnant housewives in Bangladesh can do this then so can I. I am, after all, a United States citizen, and we can do anything the rest of the world can do and we can do it better, right? Except for soccer, of course….and cricket…we suck at cricket….and we really suck at rugby….and we double suck at LaCrosse…but besides that insignificant stuff we are really, really good.
How did I get to this point where I am standing at the edge of insanity, if in fact I have not already plunged over the precipice?
At one time I was a pretty good athlete. Show me a sport and I was more than willing to try it; toss in some competition and I was all over it like a Doberman on a mailman’s leg. I played college baseball, golfed, played tennis with a vengeance, shot hoops and ran 10K races. I tried soccer, climbed mountains and never met a bowling ball I didn’t like.
And then it all stopped! As a single parent I finally gave up sports at the age of forty-five so I could spend more time with my son. Looking back that may not have been the wisest decision for my health but I never claimed to be smart and at least I’m consistent. Anyway, my son had my full-time attention and by the time he graduated from high school I was getting along in years and not feeling the drive to compete any longer. Sound familiar? It is so easy to fall out of the exercise routine, and I embraced the sluggish lifestyle that I had adopted.
And then I met the love of my life, Beverly, and she started to sweetly ride my butt (in that lovely way women have); she explained that she wanted her and I to have decades of happiness together and that wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t take steps to live longer. In other words, the old guilt approach! Having grown up in a Catholic home and having attended Catholic school, I was indoctrinated with guilt at an early age so naturally I was responsive to Bev’s approach. I can live and breathe guilt with the best of them; Sister Mary Attila would be proud!
THE HERE AND NOW
So here I am, four weeks into this new “healthy lifestyle” nonsense and yoga is a big part of the plan. I do it daily. I put my yoga mat down on the floor to the accompanying sounds of neighborhood dogs barking, and I soldier on each morning. If you don’t mind I would like to share this experience with you. I’m going to tell you about some of these hellacious bends and twists on the off-chance that you might like to try it yourself someday. Fat chance of that but I’m willing to do my part to save your sorry butts! Don’t try to thank me!
The Daily Routine
I need to give a plug to the architect of this miserable routine. I actually bought a video called “7 Minutes Of Magic” by Lee Holden. About the only thing magical about those seven minutes is the fact that so far I haven’t thrown that video into the garbage yet; but let’s carry on with the story. On this DVD there is an extended a.m. workout, an extended p.m. workout and a power workout. No, I do not do all three. Are you out of you mind? If I tried all three at this early stage I would be on a slab at the mortuary waiting to have my organs liquefied.
What is it about yoga where they have to use these weird names for the different exercises? Do you think I’m kidding? In one seven minute routine we do the following:
· Downward Facing Dog
· The Mountain
· The Cobra
· The Tiger
· The Child’s Pose
· The Lunge
· The Willow in the Wind
Too Far-East mystical for this boy and quite frankly not a bit truthful in the description. Let me translate those names in my own language:
· Downward Facing Dog…….Unnatural Position Causes Great Pain
· The Mountain…..Butt In Air Causing Embarrassment
· The Cobra….Spine Bending Wrong Way Equals Screams of Agony
· The Tiger….Kill the Damn Cat and Get Me A Beer
· Child’s Pose….Torn Ligament Position
· The Lunge….Goodbye Manhood If I Tear That Muscle
· Willow In The Wind….Praying To Yoga Gods For Relief
See, those are much easier to understand!
An Air of the Ethereal
Here’s another thing that baffles the hell out of me. While you are doing these routines Mr. Holden is speaking in the background, sort of walking you through each exercise with his words. I hate that he speaks so softly and gently, like that damn monk on the television series “Kung Fu.” While he’s doing his best to sound all peaceful I’m writhing in excruciating pain on the floor. I swear, if I ever meet this guy I’m going to beat him over the head with his own DVD, and I’ll gently whisper obscenities while I do it.
And here’s another thing! The video shows him doing these routines on an exercise platform that sits out in a peaceful lake. The sun is rising in the background, the air is calm, the water ever so gently lapping against the platform, and that soothing voice of his droning on. Who the hell does he think he’s kidding? I’m crammed in my writing studio, the rain and wind pounding the windows, horns honking and kids screaming, and not a peaceful vision in sight. How can I get in touch with my id with that kind of racket? My yin is all mixed up with my yang and I wouldn’t recognize a feng shui if you slapped me with one. I’ll bet Mr. Holden wouldn’t be so obnoxiously peaceful if he did the routines where I do them.
Are you doing yoga now?
Hey, this is the United States, and in the United States we sue people. I’m going to sue this clown for misrepresentation of a product. I mean, shouldn’t I be slimmer by now? Shouldn’t I be able to wrap my leg around my neck by now? Shouldn’t I be able to experience one damn minute of peace and serenity by now???? I’m an alcoholic and I NEED SERENITY!!!
I’m going to give it a few more weeks and then I’d better see results or I’m calling a lawyer. I want the same lawyer who handled the lawsuit against McDonalds because their coffee was too hot. I figure my claim is good for a cool million if a penny!
Until then I’m going to keep placing my body in positions only the Marquis de Sade would appreciate. I should have known this would happen. Forty years ago I got a copy of the Kama Sutra and damn near killed myself following that advice.
I am such a sucker!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)