is that a downward dog?

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 11.44.38 AMAlong with most of the population, I’ve returned to the gym in January.

I am terribly guilty of poor self-management over the last several years; like determining the age of a tree by counting its rings, you could look at a cross section of my belly and know that it has been three years since I’ve taken fitness seriously.  In a ‘previous life’ I was a personal trainer – I know better than this.


I figured the best way to ease this body back into its old 5-day-a-week regimen was through gentle yoga. My first Yin yoga class two days ago was pure bliss.

At the beginning of this class the instructor applies a lovely drop of sandalwood essential oil to the wrist of each student, we rub our wrists together and with hands in prayer position we bring our thumbs to the ‘third eye’ and set an intention for the class. Mine was gratitude…to be grateful to myself and the universe that I finally made my way back to the yoga mat.

For the next 90 minutes we stretched and breathed and after the final Namaste I felt like myself again.


Wanting to share my re-found enthusiasm, I decided to treat my girlfriend to a new yoga class neither of us had taken nor heard of before. Called “Align with Grace” and described “This alignment-based practice encourages balancing strength with softness.  The class transcends the studio and brings balance, strength, and softness into every area of life”, we floated into the room early to get settled, filled with eager anticipation.

In the front of the room we put our yoga mats down and started for our blankies from the equipment wall, but noticed on the way that other early students had much different equipment (heavy mats, rings, foam rollers) than what seemed typical for this type of class. We looked at each other, shrugged, and proceeded to roll up our yoga mats, put them to the side, put our blankies away, and then pull the proper equipment out, following our fellow students. Finally we settled onto our mats.


But Peggy was unsure. She kindly went out of the room to recheck the schedule, and discovered we were in the wrong room and a Level 2 Pilates class was about to begin. The vision of us running out from the front of the room with blue rollers, thick tan mats, yoga mats and what we now know as Pilates Rings in our arms will forever be vivid in my mind.


If that weren’t funny enough, Peggy noticed that the soft-comfy-align-with-grace class was a Level 3, and the instructor looked like she had been practicing for the last 672 days straight.


We giggled all the way to the car and went out for breakfast instead.




  1. I’m very guilty of not getting actual exercise. I get plenty in the summer months, working construction. But, winter comes, and I tend to get a bit sedentary. However, I know that I must start doing some simple strength training, not just for my looks and waistline, but for future health. They say that it improves bone density, and improves agility etc. later in life. Now, if I could JUST get up off this couch. :)

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