255 Hope Street, Providence, Rhode Island

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My New Yoga Practice

I started a yoga class today. My work-out routine normally includes twice weekly strength training and cardio three times a week. I’ve been to plenty of yoga classes over the years but with a busy schedule (like all of us) I never managed to practice yoga on a regular basis. As I’ve reached middle age (my husband likes to remind me that at 56 I’m actually beyond middle age. Thank you, Carl) I’ve heard my body’s plea to offer it more gentle, loving care.

I searched quite a while for a yoga class that worked. Anything I found was either too far, too hot or too powerful. (Excuse me, but power yoga is an oxymoron.) My health club offered several yoga classes but somehow I couldn’t reconcile practicing yoga in the same place I ran on a treadmill, swung kettle bells and strengthened my glutes. It didn’t seem to fit. And besides, there were no candles, no Buddhas and no lotus flowers.

I was a yoga snob.

But today I went. Sunday mornings at 10:00. Good time. Fifteen minutes from home. Close. Next to the supermarket. Convenient. The class stretched my physical limits in a good way. Actually it’s a fairly gentle vinyasa practice but I hadn’t done this in so long that my body discovered itself in new ways today. The instructor, Evelyn, is around my age and I liked seeing her do things my body’s not yet ready for. There’s hope.

The best part, though, came at the end. After completing what was, to me, a fairly intense practice, we rested a few moments then sat cross-legged on our mats, palms in prayer fold by our hearts. Evelyn ended the practice by saying softly, reverently:

“Now, express gratitude to your body for all it did for you today.”

Ahhh. Yes. I’m in the right place.

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