About six months ago I stopped going to the excellent 90-minute yoga class that I love. It seemed that rather than garnering my energies the way the classes always have, they were now depleting me. Berating myself for being lazy, I’d push through and then drag myself around for the rest of the day. I learned to take naps. Perhaps the stress of writing and publishing my new book had something to do with the energy drain. But I also have to face the annoying fact that I'm 75 years old. My body has become different.
When I stopped being able to go to the strenuous yoga class, I signed up for a one-hour class at a recreation center. Luckily the teachers there were well-informed and well-trained—you can imagine that I'm rather particular about what people tell me to do with my body. But I had to get past my “body snob” attitude about the other students—their bodies are bent: they are old ladies. And who, exactly, am I? And what, exactly, is yoga?
In August, when I got home from teaching two workshops and delivering my Google Talk (Do watch it!), even the elderberry classes were too much for me. For a while I had to drop down yet another peg.
Falling in Love
Sometimes I think about Diane Feinstein running for Congress for the umteenth time. Or Dame Judi Dench making film after film. We are not all given the same energies and capacities and I have to respect that—respect myself in that.
Recently I began studying T’ai Chi for the first time. I got very lucky with the teacher – she is someone who seems to be “channeling” the class. I come away feeling new. It's almost like falling in love.
I've been reflecting about the difference between how I feel after T’ai Chi and the way I feel after yoga class (I still go). I think that on the yoga mat I'm tempted to compete with my former self – to do my very best versions of warrior and triangle poses. But in T’ai Chi class, there's no former self to compete with – I'm a rank beginner. It's such a blessing.
© 2017 Mary Bond