Sunday, November 02, 2008


I’ve let this election season get to me. There is so much misinformation and mudslinging going on that I find myself getting wound as tight as piano wire. I’ve decided to take the advice of my spouse – “when the going gets stressful, the stressed do yoga.”

Jilda is a certified yoga teacher and her day job is teaching at a local drug and rehab facility. She teaches a free class on Monday nights at the Senior Citizens Center in Sumiton.

She invites people to come to yoga all the time. Every now and then, someone new will come and give it try but a lot of people back away from us as if we were lepers. For those who want to get some gentle exercise, regain flexibility and learn to relax, they come religiously.

“I don’t think I could twist in the shape of a pretzel,” said one lady half grinning but mostly serious. “Oh, we had to stop doing the pretzel pose when someone’s leg fell off,” Jilda explained helpfully. Some people say – “I don’t want to look stupid.” I never realized that gaining weight, and having your body get so stiff you can’t bend over and tie your shoes made you look smart. Who knew?

Some people who know nothing about yoga believe it’s just strange. They imagine that we are participating in some kind of weird rituals where chickens and small goats are sacrificed to some of the lesser gods. All I can say is this; we haven’t offered up beast or fowl since I’ve been going.

You’re wasting your time inviting most men to yoga. “There ain’t no way I’m gonna dress in one of them tutu’s and go prancing around the floor making a fool of myself.” First of all, just for the record, I rarely prance. I also want to say, “Once you get used to the tutus, they are not half bad. I know they’re not Army fatigues, but I’m telling you once you get used to the wind blowing up you skirt, they are kind of nice.” I’M KIDDING!!! Here’s a newsflash for you mister macho man – you can wear camouflage sweatpants if you want to and folks at yoga class won’t bat an eye.

You can call me a wus if you like, but I will tell you this; rolling around on the floor with fifteen sweaty women is not bad for a man’s reputation when you get my age.

Men might also be interested to learn that for centuries, warriors have used yoga before conflicts to still the mind and ready their bodies for battle. Yoga is also routinely used by the military to make better soldiers. Professional sports teams use it to reduce injuries and improve mental focus.

The best reason, by far, is that you feel relaxed when you walk out of a good yoga class. So my advice to you, if the election or the holiday season is getting you down, find a yoga class and learn to relax.

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