Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I am taking Sivananda yoga at a local center near my house. It's 90 minutes long meeting twice a week. Last night was my first class.

There are six of us in what the center calls the "Beginners' Course", however I am the only true beginner. My 5 classmates (another guy and 4 women) have all taken some form of yoga training in the past (one even went to "yoga camp" for six weeks when she was 17 which, to me, seems a little like getting driving lessons before you take drivers' ed). I am the only one who has neither done, tried, attempted, practiced, nor even seen yoga up close.

For the most part, I think I did pretty well. The only pose I could not get into was the shoulder stand (see image at right). Because of my wide back and lats, the teacher said it might take me longer to assume that position. So that's one I need to practice at home.

When I am alone.

With the doors locked.

And the blinds closed.

And my phone turned off.

In any event, it didn't deter me enough to not go back. So here we go - into the world of physical and spiritual improvement.

God help me.


  1. I started doing Yoga in September and its awesome. It can be intimidating at first learning all the poses but the strenght and flexibility you gain is amazing. And I SWEAR that doing yoga has kept me from getting sick this winter while the rest of my coworkers and family members went down with one ailment or another.

  2. Good for you, Dop! I think you'll find yoga to be both challenging and relaxing.

  3. How exciting! I have always wanted to try yoga so I hope you keep everyone updated on how you like it. I am sure you will be the best one there in no time, since you are so good at everything else you do.

  4. When I was in yoga teacher training, I learned how to do a supported shoulder stand -- use the wall to brace yourself. You still have to be extremely careful with your neck, of course, but I couldn't do the "freefall" shoulder stand, so the supported stand became my new best friend. I'm a big grrl and balancing my body in what amounts to mid-air was NOT going to happen.

    If you're interested and don't know how to do it yet:

    Sit on the floor next to the wall. Have your sturdy blankets ready to support your neck and shoulders. Slide your butt as close to the wall as possible and then swing your legs up. Align shoulders with blankets so that head is able to recline a couple inches below your shoulders. Will be helpful when you push yourself up and your chest squooshes into your face. (Or maybe that's just me.) Bend knees, place hands on lower back, and push backwards until you're in the position. (Any yoga book, as you know, should show pictures of this pose.) As with any inverted pose, be extremely careful with your back and neck. You can "walk" your shoulders in to better brace your back. If you feel any pain, stop. Obviously.

    Anyway. Just in case you wanted to try it. If you hurt yourself, please don't sue me. Not that I have any money. Or a trust fund. :)