Now would also be good
I challenge anyone, ANYONE to please tell me that yoga isn’t solidly good exercise.
Yesterday morning, just for variety’s sake, I set aside my beloved kickboxing tape and instead put in a long time favorite yoga DVD by Shiva Rea.
While I was perfectly able to manage the very deep squats and leg work, this morning my body gifted me with the kind of scream-worthy soreness that was a fine and dandy reminder that consistency is a damned good idea, and more importantly, yoga is goddamned hard work.
Very hard work.
A few years back I made friends with a man who had squeezed his 6'8", 370-lb self into the seat next to me on a flight from Vancouver, Canada to Denver. He’d retired from the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars as a center. These days he’s a high-worth financial advisor. We got friendly enough so that I was invited to the family’s house. His wife was 6'3", an Olympic volleyball champion. They had a dog. Great Dane. Of course they did. All the doors in the house had been cut about a foot higher than normal.
Kinda like walking around Mount Olympus if you will.
And they had a kid. Genes like that? Holy cow. Use your imagination.
At dinner that night we talked a lot about workout programs, while his infant son was doing 100-lb dumbbell curls from his baby chair. Jeff does yoga. Always has. And during his NFL career he considered it essential. Still does. So does his wife.
I’ve always been intrigued that so many people pooh-pooh yoga as girls’ stuff.
For my part if a 6'8", 370 lb NFL player does it because it’s damned good exercise, excellent body discipline and helps him both prevent and recover from injury, well. And besides, he’s hardly alone:
Two of my Medium peeps, Vienna De Vega and Ann Litts, are very experienced practioners/teachers. A few years back my sports chiro emphasized that if I wanted to stay in the game, daily yoga was a very good idea. I am nowhere near that regular, but I am moving back in that direction if for no other reason than the constant sitting that our current Conditions has created.
Not good for aging, arthritic hips.
Yoga is very good for aging, arthritic hips.
And it’s particularly good for calming the mind, which is also a pretty good thing right now. Best, you can start were you are. My tape is for intermediates. I’m so far from intermediate that when I substitute yoga for kickboxing, my neighbors throw Kennedy silver dollars on my deck instead of nickels.
So while you may not want to leap into 1000 pushup challenges, it might be a good time to take on a gentle yoga challenge. Start where you are, bend where you can, put pillows on the carpet to catch you when that Warrior Pose is just, well, you know. I fell over pretty hard yesterday but I was laughing as I did it. Not as hard as my neighbors. I made a lot of money yesterday morning.
Humor is a good thing to bring with your mat. That, and patience, and the desire to begin the sacred process of learning how your body works, how it responds to respectful requests instead of demands.
There are a lot of reasons it’s been a practice for 5000 years, beginning with Vedic priests.
Unlike, of course, this:
Which, kindly, are at least some of the reasons why I’m happy to be away from the gym right now, and working out on my living room floor.
But that’s just me.
This photo of course is NOT me. If it were I wouldn’t be picking up so many silver dollars off my deck.