Sunday, November 20, 2011


Clearly yoga didn't always make me blissfully happy!

This blog is dedicated to my favorite yogis; my dad who found yoga later in life after he was diagnosed with cancer and became quite giddy with it, Jonna, who taught me the importance of the proper form, and Phyfe, who started it all.   

I love yoga. I used to practice yoga regularly, attempting (mostly in vain) to unlock my body from hours of running and cycling. For me yoga was a physical endeavor, an attempt to open hips and hamstrings, unlock my back and neck. I wanted to work as hard as possible and I was always a bit resistant to the woo woo aspects of yoga (chanting and whatnot), but what with all the mandatory breathing practice and ohming, I'm guessing a got a bit of woo woo and stress relief as well.       

My not so necessarily brilliant yoga career started in 1996 or thereabouts. A group of us went to India for my stepbrother's wedding and his future wife's family had a yogi come give us daily lessons. I don't remember the poor guy's name, but I do remember he induced endless laughter (which I'm sure he found very confounding). He would put us in corpse pose at the end of class and tell us to 'imagine a dead body', which did little to encourage relaxation, as it was all we could do not to burst into hysterics. A bit of an inauspicious beginning, but it started me off, and for years after that trip I did yoga multiple times per week. But when I started crossfit, that all seemed to drop off as I ran out of time and energy for any other physical endeavors.

But really, with crossfit I need yoga more than ever. But maybe I need the quieter, calmer, gentler, more restorative yoga (closer to the woo woo side of the spectrum) to counteract the crossfit. This week I read the blog of a crossfiter who is starting on a yoga adventure. And it inspired me. So I channeled my inner Jonna and pulled out my Iyengar book and stop watch. I channeled my inner Phyfe and tried to remember where my 'locks' - root etc - were ('apply the locks' competes with 'imagine a dead body' as my favorite yoga quote of all time). I dug around the edge of my brain and found I could still kick the ujjayi breathing. I tried to ignore the two pairs of eyes (Otto and Daisy) who were staring at me with great expectation and surprise. And I was on my way.

And it rocked!  OMG, yoga makes you feel so good. I did some twisting and some hip opening and some back bending and when I was done, my back and hamstrings were singing with happiness! I am hoping this is just the beginning and my inner yogi will continue to shine.

BTW, Google roberta and yoga and this is what  you get! (A pose I did not do today.)

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