All right reserved for a massaging, vibrating, heated recliner
Now before you start visualization folding chairs in the Crouching Dog position or wing backed chairs in the Cobra position, I shall explain.
At the Senior Center there are various levels of yoga. There is Chair Yoga, Floor Yoga, and Flat-on-Your-Back-Can't-Get-Up Yoga. I had experienced the Flat-on-Your-Back-Can't-Get-Up Yoga sometime in the past decade so I decided to begin with Chair Yoga. At least I would be closer to the floor if I fell out of my Tree Pose.
The first time I went to class, I asked the receptionist at the door for the yoga class. Perhaps it was my accent, or my weight, because she said "The yogurt machine is right down the hall." When I explained I wanted the Chair Yoga class, she said "Good!" and pointed to the right.
I was hoping I would not be the oldest living person there. I was not.
The instructor had us spread out a yoga mat on the floor and place our chair on one end of the mat, then sit. Ok, this I can do. I was sitting in my chair, swinging my feet back and forth waiting for her to begin the relaxation music when I realized everyone else's feet were touching the floor. While I was taller than the other ladies from the knees up, I was definitely on the short side from the knees down.
The music started. The instructor was facing us. She told us to reach our left hand straight above our head, then slowly bend to the right as far as we could and hold it while breathing. I reached my right hand above my head, (I was copying her, mirror image and all) then I bent to the left as far as I could (about 12 inches) which put me face to face with the octogenarian who continued leaning until she had the palm of her hand flat on the floor. I may not be the oldest, but I'm definitely the stiffest.
This modern torture version of the medieval rack continued. We did stretches, pardon me, “poses” for another 29 agonizing minutes. No pose was done more than twice, but every muscle in my body argued vehemently that this was a lie. My hamstrings pinged like a guitar string. My deltoids screamed. Muscles that heretofore had no names let their presence be known. New words raced through my brain that even sailors did not use.
After class as I sat in my chair, breathing hard, with flushed face, and giving thanks for the short distance to the floor which I was sure I would soon be seeing up close, my chair mate quipped "Not much of a work out today. Maybe the Floor Yoga class next will be more of a challenge."
I remember thinking "If I grab the legs of my chair and give a little jump, maybe I can work my chair over to the door frame where I can pull myself into The Standing-in-Severe-Pain pose. Then, in an hour or two, maybe I could make my way out to the car."
As I was sitting there, a 90 year old man came in with his walker and sat down next to me.
"Want me to put that away for you?" I hopefully asked.
At the receptionist’s desk, I paused. The Suggestion Box tempted me. If they are going to call it Chair Yoga, shouldn’t the chair for beginners have wheels? I was about to put the suggestion in the box when a coupon for BenGay caught my eye.