Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yoga Returns

It's been over a year now since Satan's Mistress, my yoga instructor Mary Ann, up and married and moved herself off to Birmingham, Alabama, thus ending my brief and colorful career as a perpetual yoga student.  For me, yoga turns out to be a lot like childbirth in that as time goes by, the memory of the pain fades.  This is how I rationalize my second foray into the twisted world of sun salutations and downward dogs.

It happened innocently enough.  I was cruising through a church rummage sale on Saturday when I spied and then bought a boxed set of VHS yoga tapes.  At the time it seemed like a  fabulous find -  two tapes for one dollar.  Sale items often cause a form of temporary amnesia in me and for a moment - just long enough to check out - I forgot how I feel about this particular form of exercise.
Instead,  I was swept up in the thrill of the trash-to-treasures moment, grateful that my VCR was still fully functioning.  (Otherwise what would I do if I ever wanted to watch all those Richard Simmons "Sweatin' to the Oldies" tapes?)

When the weekend was over and I was emotionally back on solid ground, I exercised the bad judgment of telling my walking partners about the tapes. Before I could squirm into a pair of leotards, I found myself in my basement with a friend, listening to all the warnings about visiting doctors before beginning new exercise programs.  Who are they trying to kid here?  If I did that, I'd need a standing appointment.

My new prince of evil is named Rodney and he has the finely chiseled muscles of a youth who spends way too much time lifting weights at the gym.  I'm not so sure I want to take exercise advice from someone who's that into himself.  

This tape was copyrighted in MCMXCVIII (don't ya just love Roman numerals?) No matter how much effort I put into fitness, I'm pretty sure that I'm never gonna look as good as I did in 1998.  I'm not gonna lie to you - that's just a bit irritating, especially when I consider that Rodney will remain forever young. No sagging glutes for him, no paunchy abs.  Not even a tinge of graying at the temples.  No, thirty-something Rodney will be my own Dorian Gray, watching me age while he, himself, serenely smiles.

There are several pluses to using this videotape program though.  Obviously if I'm in my basement, I won't be seen outside the house in my exercise outfit. That is a huge check mark on the positive side of the paper for both me and the community at large, trust me.  Also, if I look crazy attempting one pretzel pose or another, only one person will laugh out loud at me and I'm pretty sure that if I blow in her direction, I can make her fall over sideways.  The biggest benny by far though is that any time I want to - any time at all - I can turn off the television.

In an instant, Rodney will disappear and yoga class will be over.  Then there's always the potential that the tape will get eaten while it's rewinding…

I never thought I'd admit it but I miss you, Mary Ann Raughton Rickman.

My former yoga instructor is now a Roller Derby Queen!


Anonymous said...

Yoga will never be my thing.... Zumba looks interesting, have you tried it??

Connie Strnat said...

I laughed til I cried reading this, but the funniest thing by far is the fact that you still have a working VCR! LOL!! This post was pretty timely for me, though, because Martin just recently suggested we take a yoga class together. He's feeling old and stiff these days and thinks it would be just the thing to help with circulation, flexability, etc. I think I'll stick to swimming every day as the better option, since I'm quite certain that "downward dog" would result in upward ass, face on floor for me!

Rhona said...

This is hilarious, and Connie, I agree, the VCR still works, WHAA???
Chris, this column should go national -- women everywhere would relate, and your description of exercise in the middle ages is spot on!