My First Yoga Class

This weekend after my meeting in Los Angeles, and my dentist’s appointment in Brentwood, I spent a couple of days with my friend, Elane Geller.

My friend Elane.  Yes, I spelled it right.
My friend Elane. Yes, I spelled it right.

Elane is amazing.  At age 70+ she can run circles around most of us.  She was a special speaker at a high school on Tuesday, so she did two lectures, then we went out to a restaurant to meet two more students so she ended up doing an impromptu third session.  Then on Wednesday we got up and made arrangements to go out for lunch with her best friend, 42-year-old Diane.  Before Diane could join us for lunch she had scheduled a yoga lesson, so she invited us to join her.  I have never had a yoga lesson except a few stretches with my daughter-in-law several years ago.  So off we went.

Guess which one is me?
Guess which one is me?

I thought fo sure it would be done in an hour.  But no, it lasted about 90 minutes.  I sort of lost track of time because I was so busy breathing.  That was the focus of the class.  We learned to breath in and breathe out.  Although I struggled a bit with that at first, believe it or not, I was actually beginning to catch on after 90 minutes.

We spent quite a bit of time on our backs.  I thought, OK, I think I’m going to do well at this.    I glanced over at Elane, she was breathing, too.  We were both doing really well.  The teacher even told us we were doing well.  Then the trouble started.  The teacher told us to go to child’s play position.  Laying on your thighs with your arms stretched out in front of you on the floor and your head sort of resting on the floor, or as close as you could get it to the floor.  My back was screaming at me not to do that, and the teacher sweetly asked if anyone hated the position.  “This is the basic RESTING position,” she told us.

Child's play

Resting?  Hmmmm  OK, so I’d better get used to this – breathe, breathe.  Soon she had us on our tippy toes, and our arms supporting our weight with our backs straight.  I thought my wrists were going to crack, but Elane was doing just fine, so I hung in there, butt up in the air.  Doggie, something.  No pictures, please.

Doggie Something
Doggie Something

Then she had us crawl our legs up to our hands.  I had no idea I could do that, but somehow, since Elane was doing it, I decided I’d better give it a try.  Plank style, I think.

standing yoga style

Finally we got to stand upright on our feet.  That was a break, but then she asked us to lift one of them off the ground, and twist it outward , and stretch out our leg to the side, and then bend it back at the knee, and stretch it out again.  Finally we could put it down with the other wobbly leg, and then switch legs and start over.  There wasn’t anything to hold on to, but Elane was doing great, so I had to do it, too.

We did a few stretching things with our arms, too.  I thought they were in pretty good shape, but I discovered that my right one hurts a little.  My neck is sort of not relaxed, and my arms aren’t long enough.  Other than that, I did great – the teacher told me so, and we did advanced work.  She told us that, too.

Elane hobbled down the steps coming out of the yoga class because she told us that she had shooting pains in her knees before she started.  OM  I can’t believe she didn’t say that BEFORE the lesson.  She just toughed it out, and said she felt better afterwards.  I just felt like I was going to throw up.  Happily I didn’t, you’ll be glad to know!

After our encounter with the world of healthy, we went out to Umami Burger eat and had a greasy hamburger with sweet potato fries and onion rings.  All was well with the world.

Umami Burger

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, and I'm working on retirement. heheh Read more about me here. http://wp.me/P7tP3I-2

53 thoughts on “My First Yoga Class”

  1. That sounds tough, Marsha. I did a couple of Pilates classes once and managed 6 lessons of Tai Chi. That nearly killed me. If you go back for more, well done.

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    1. Unfortunately, Andrew, I don’t live nearby, but for those who live in Sherman Oaks, it’s a great deal $11 for 11 lessons. I couldn’t believe all the stuff I was able to do. I can’t do it today, believe me! 🙂

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  2. Don’t give up! I’ve been doing yoga for nearly 30 years and love it. I try to go about 2-3 x a week now that I’m not working but even once a week is REALLY good for you. I like classes though there are plenty of dvd’s etc you can get but I’m way too lazy to do that. It has been the only cure for backache and strengthens my core to keep me on the bike.

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  3. Are you sure you are in Surya Namaskara picture? Haha!
    I believe that is what we call the sun salutation!
    Thanks for the reminding, Marsha! I have to get ready my yoga mat again! 🙂

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      1. We have a joint blogging friend who writes to me who cannot spell hoovering ie. vacuuming. So I have to laugh when she tells me that she has been hovering all morning. The force is with her as well as yourself 😀

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        1. Haha. Maybe she means hovering, and she’s just trying to get your attention by doing so. You are a fun person with whim to hover I mean Hoover!! No I mean hover. Maybe both, but it’s awfully noisy in here isn’t it?

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  4. Oh dear – this had me laughing, Marsha (sorry!). It sounds like torture and I could just visualize you doing all those uncomfortable moves. Are you feeling stiff now??? 😯

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  5. Yay Marsha! You showed up on the mat, experienced yourself in new ways, paid close attention and breathed. That’s what I call the best yoga class ever. You did do great and I hope you continue. Well done and well blogged!! xo
    p.s. I’m 48 – I only act 42.

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    1. I know, isn’t that hilarious! Not only that, Elane and I gorged ourselves the night before with chocolate-peanut butter ice cream with brownies, and caramels mixed in. Then after the class on the way home (don’t tell Diane) I stopped and got yoghurt. mmm I’m so addicted! 🙂

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    1. That’s a start. I think it is the best exercise I have done. You can do it for a longer period, and by the end of the session I really was more limber! I don’t think it negates aerobic exercise, and strength building, but you only have so many hours a day! I combine walking with visiting, and planning and thinking. I sometimes do strength building, and I don’t combine it with anything. I would have to do yoga in a group setting for a while until I learned it. So my experience was social, but in a private sort of atmosphere – no talking!

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          1. A friend keeps insisting I go to a Zumba class with her. I fear it might actually kill me. I don’t think I would be able to talk OR breath in a class setting, but rather trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing! 😉

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  6. Have I inspired you with all my gym attendance?? Oh no, it was Elane who did that. I think you should find a yoga class nearer to your home. It sounds as if you were better than you thought you would be…Well done.

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    1. Oh Carol, you inspire me with everything you do, from teaching your class with a positive attitude, to your beautiful pictures, great relationship with your husband and family, fun sewing trips with friends, and baking delicious chocolate treats, and just being my good friend and sister. 🙂

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    1. The burger was ok, the sweet potato fries were good. I didn’t like the onion rings, and Elane and Diane had to send back their tea because it had no flavor! I had water, and it was good.

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  7. Oh my gosh! That was so painful to read. My back is killing me all of the sudden as I envisioned your positions. 😉 But, yes, I felt better when I saw the burger – and I love sweet potato fries.

    Good for you hanging in there for 90 minutes of yoga. I’m impressed. What a great friend you have!
    P.S. – On your chart, I am #1 and #12. I can’t do any of the others.

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    1. I must have done something wrong. I was able to walk, and was hardly sore. I have no idea why! It’s amazing how limber you can get in just 90 minutes. I’m going to have to keep it up, somehow. I just haven’t had time to find a class here. That will be the challenge. 🙂

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  8. Oooo yoga, very popular around here. Aye, especially amongst the surfers. I can see why, too. Aye. I tend to get slammed onto the beach by giant heathen waves, contorted into all kinds of rather peculiar positions, to the delight of very dry and very safe beach-goers that just loooove to onlook, and then guffaw away in great blasts that somehow always carry well over and sail far, far beyond the roar of the waves.

    “Haw haw haw! Look at that strange whale-girl that landed on her head with a leg wrapped around her neck after that five-story wave smashed her onto the beach! Haw haw haw! Hey Harry, gimme anuder brewsky, will yeh? This is quite a show!”

    But as the phrase goes, “I get my own back,” however. I can be a scary, very wet and briny, intruder on a loving, sand-sluiced embrace, for example.

    When “darling” little couples have carved out a nice niche at the foot of the dunes, and high tide is beginning to warble in, I will flipper over, (the innocent photographer floating by, taking harmless little snaps of the water, take no notice), just in front of their little “surreptitious” love nest, all secluded and nice and all that, and then I let the waves do what they do most swimmingly well- javeline lasses onto the unsuspecting heads of couples nesting in dunes. So, as the sweet twain is in the oblivion of happy hug, they suddenly find their bliss slightly fractured by the sudden presence of a squawking camera-in-a-waterproof-bloatie-bag toting Irish lass with giant flapping lemon flippers coming at them from every direction and two terrible massive glinting black goggles gawping at them as she is tossed and twirled and and swirled in the salty heavens above and comes crashing down into their laps.

    “Oh dear, my apologies, the waves just threw me here, horrid luck. Did I disturb you? Dreadfully so…” and can barely get in that last word as the ankle is grabbed by another smiling green wave as Ocean tows me in again for another hurling. See, I AM a nasty old cur! Nothing sweet about this one!!

    Yes, yoga, good idea. I want to be as flexible as possible, thus. I was thinking of obtaining one of those marvelous medicine ball object things, too. Oooo would that not be joyous? I once had one. It was plundered. Why? I have no idea, I suppose because it was a giant blue ball and oh so fun to bounce about on, right rambling.

    Oh! Did I ever tell you I once mistook a spooning couple on the beach at night for a dead body? I don’t know if I have ever mentioned to you that I am always looking for dead bodies. I once really wanted to be a pathologist…but anyhow, I was out for a late-evening stroll on a midnight-stroked navy beach, and saw a dark sprawled figure in the distance. I became exceedingly excited, “Have I finally found one?!!” Naturally, I went running toward the motionless dark figure, all animated like a little child might be when she sees a lolly-pop store or a puppy or some such rot. So there I was, giggle-running with joy, and nearly plowed right into them and then stopped stolid still and blurted, “OH not dead…” I scrambled away rather quickly before they could respond and proceed to dislocate limbs and so forth. It certainly was disappointing. Of course, nice too that they were not dead and so forth…I suppose….

    Excellent entry, very entertaining read!! I wonder, does Elane surf? I know you do, in Hawaii- same surf-style as my own, if I recall correctly- get thrown. Nothing better.

    Right…I REALLY rambled here, Oh dear….and I do not know what I have revealed…WHY do I keep writing comments before drinking at least 17 glasses of lime-water??? WHY?

    Cheers!

    Autumn Jade

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  9. Great piece! I did my first yoga class about 2 months ago and it was exhausting!! Never thought it would be so demanding on the body and it lasted nearly 2 hours! My only regret was not ending with one of those burgers.

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