It’s Monday night and I am unwinding after my now-standard activity of Monday and Thursday nights. Yoga.
Yep. That Eastern-mysticism adopted by the leftist freeks in Cali in the 60s but now a mainstreamed exercise of health, wellness and funny poses. Downward dog, cobra, cat/cow, warrior…and funny Indian words that I still cannot pronounce.
But I love how Lee pronounces them.
Lee is my instructor. And I love her as much as I do the yoga. Maybe more so. She is the most positive, gentle, empathetic person I have ever met. Never a negative word from her lips. She is beauty and beautiful in one. I love her.
In fact I told her so tonight, after we finished and she was talking to some of the other students in class, I walked behind her, kissed her ear & whispered ‘I love you’ in that lovely ear of hers.
But back to the yoga for a minute. I have been doing it for about four months now, and have finally gotten to the point where I can do most of the poses. And the ones I can’t? Well, that’s okay, and that brings up one of the things I love about yoga. There is no right or wrong. It is all about you and what want to get out of the practice. Nobody is an ‘expert’ at yoga. We are all just yogis coming to our mats as an affirmation of being kind to ourselves. To give ourselves honor. To treat ourselves to a wonderful amalgam of gentle exercise, meditation and blessings.
This is why, at the end of each practice, we honor each other with hands pressed together against the forehead, a bow of the head, and the word Namaste, which means, the light in me honors the light in you.
Mutual beauty and respect. How awesome.
I am now feeling the tangible effects of practice. I am wonderfully loose now, and it shows in my golf game as I have added about 20 yards to my drives. That was one of the main things I was hoping for from this, but to limit the positives to how far I can hit a golf ball is doing yoga a great disservice. It has taught me patience, empathy, soundness of mind and body…not to mention unbinding my 53-year-old body of years of institutionalized stress.
Lee is a taskmaster. Not in the drill sergeant sense, but in the sense of, she can do poses I can only dream of doing, and she makes sure we all get a good workout. At the beginning of class she asks what we want to work on; for example, the back, shoulders, legs, whatever. She then tailors the practice that evening to those areas. She is so giving and obviously loves what she does. I get the sense that it’s not ‘a job’ to her but something she relishes as much as we all do.
I now have a nickname. Being the only regular-attending male in the classes, the other ladies now call me Token Yoga Dude. I love that. Not to mention sharing classes with 10 or so women. Someone name me a better way to spend a Monday night than watching a dozen women twisting and contorting without going to a strip club.
I recently added Thursday nights to my practice, at Lee’s insistence. About a month back she felt I was ready for a second session each week. And I will tell you this – I will do anything she tells me to do.
The only other woman in my life that shares that honor is my mother.
So, this is a love story. I love yoga.
And I love you, Lee.