One obvious contrast with working life, which for me involved sitting at a computer for a good chunk of each day, is how much I’m moving around now. On the formal exercise side, I’m taking yoga two times a week. I could have started yoga for free as a YMCA member, but even the beginning level class seemed too intimidating. Since it is an ongoing class, most of the people who take it have been attending for years and the instructor tries to keep it challenging for them, admittedly, while still providing those of us who cannot hold a downward facing dog pose for 30 minutes, with options.
Though the first yogis may not have thought they were creating a competitive sport, these days, almost all exercise is about winning and being the best, which is why I selected a class I thought would be safe from exposure to lycra-clad, svelte, 20-somethings who could wrap any limb around any other limb and still be smiling.
I made a good choice. While the instructor for my current class has not yet retired, she surely could have — 20 or 25 years ago. She has to be over 80, though I’ve not had the courage to ask. The class is not quite “yoga light.” The poses are what you would do in any beginner’s class, but with little pressure for example, to rest the palm of your hand on the floor when bending over to touch your toes. I left last Thursday’s class feeling energized and slightly more flexible. (And also more confident, since observing that most of us just managed to touch our toes with our fingertips.)