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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.