Today was my first chair yoga class. Inspired by my friend Cate Poe’s mother, Nancy Poe, who started yoga at age 70.
But I think not in a chair.
Because I have issues with numbness & balance & coordination & a lifelong issue with graceful movement, I decided that the chair yoga sessions at the local community center were the beginning of a return to yoga.
That, and I have a habit of falling. (My son Nick & daughter in law Jane gave me tennis shoes for Christmas because I told Jane about a recent fall. Tennis shoes keep me steady on a tile floor.)
I practiced yoga in my twenties & again in my forties. I introduced it to my sons & their four cousins when I found myself in charge & they misbehaved. I put them all in time out, pulled out yoga mats & put on Rodney Yee’s AM Yoga tape.
At first they laughed, then they moved their bodies & eventually asking to do yoga became a regular moment in my time with them.
My falling issues are not new to the current decade in my life. I used to fall regularly moving from one building at Coronado High School to another.
I think that falling & all the books flying (no backpacks in those days) led to the introduction of Douglas the Mouse.
Which is another story & I believe I told it a long day past.
(Although I would joyfully retell it again.)
Yoga classes were introduced this past summer in our one square mile city lodged between Houston & Sugar Land, since last August, & every month, I tried to arrange things to attend a session. Other things intervened, but January was the month to make it happen after reading a post by Cate about her mother Nancy weeks ago.
The class was, for me, amazing. Just eight people (I was the youngest except for the instructor who I believe is younger than my eldest son), most of them veterans of previous classes.
It was work. It tested parts of my body too long neglected. I loved the class.
And I was jealous of the veterans, who performed so much better. I understand that it is not a competition, except with one’s own body & they reminded me of how far I have to go to perform that well.
It was a good morning, when I left the community center near 10 o’clock.
I needed taco shells for lunch & chicken thighs for dinner, so I went to my current neighborhood store. As I walked toward the front door, I thought about the personalities of my chair yoga classmates & was in deep thought.
My purse strap fell off my shoulder & as I heaved it up, I hit a bundled up little lady coming from behind me.
Mortified, I apologized & she assured me she was fine, not to worry. I recognized her.
My victim bundled against the cold was the same woman, the same chance encounter I met a few days before Christmas.
Walking at the same brisk pace.
She slowed her pace a bit & reassured me she was not hurt.
I told her I had been in deep thought & she said,
I think we are all in deep thought these days.
We wished each other a Happy New Year & after she resumed her brisk pace, I moved differently.
Perhaps from the loosening of my muscles during chair yoga, perhaps from the benefits of deep breathing, perhaps from meeting a chance encounter a second time.
Whatever the reason, I am certain that my body & mind, challenged & stretched, is moving differently. With more strength.
As are my thoughts. Deep thoughts for these days.