Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Never in my wildest dreams will I be limber enough…

In January, after all the Christmas cookies were eaten, everyone usually hits the gym. I didn’t do that this year. I did the cookies, yes, but not the gym. The plan was to wait a few months to begin a self improvement routine. When everyone else had quit, I could say that I was still committed.

The other reason for the wait was Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  The disorder was connected to lack of sunlight, snow, and the evening news. To encourage happy little endorphins to fire, I ate a lot of Valentine’s Day chocolate. This led to further depression because I undid January’s exercise.

A March or April start pretty much ensured that the only calories left to consume in the house were in the form of honey/lemon/Echinacea lozenges. In light of past failure, I wanted a routine that offered more than a lonely five miles to nowhere and sore muscles.

My friends, Mar and Deb, suggested yoga. I gathered the gist of yoga was posing, not running or lifting weights. My brain had matured beyond concussion related activities and sports where your goal was to beat the crap out of an opponent.

Yoga looked relaxing and meditative. On the internet, the people photographed practicing yoga were fit and posed on the beach with a lovely sunset backdrop. I wanted yoga.

Mar and Deb also roped another friend, Cindy, into yoga classes. Cindy was apprehensive. I was excited until we stood in the parking lot with our borrowed yoga mats tucked under our arms.

I didn’t expect class on the beach (okay, I had hoped,) but a senior center? My endorphins would’ve been happier with sand in my pants.

Yoga uses many animal inspired poses like dolphin, fish, and eagle. There are also locust, scorpion, and cobra. I imagined myself as a locust. I didn’t want those creatures invading my beach. Mar and Deb assured me that their teacher stuck to simple poses.

We laid our mats on a concrete floor. Yoga made it impossible to see what the instructor was instructing. My face smashed against my borrowed mat. This led me to meditate. Was there a face side and a feet side to my mat, and did I have it right?

Without the ability to see over my happy baby feet, I looked at Deb to see if I held the pose correctly. Deb was fond of the baby poses. Deb’s petite. She looked cute. I looked like a Pterodactyl landing on the stem of a daisy. Mar was still in corpse pose or possibly napping.

Cindy was in a knot. The yogi (made me think of bear) attempted to untie her. Correction, a female yoga instructor was a yogini. Depending on the pronunciation, I meditated on a martini or a supernatural being who granted three wishes.

After untying Cindy, the yogini brought out straps. Relaxing thoughts ceased to exist at that point.

Instead of supine hamstring stretches, I believed an umbrella drink might trigger happier feelings. Something rum-ish in a coconut shell might do wonders for SAD. Sand- sand would help too. Yoga with a pina colada in the sand with the sound of ocean waves, that was relaxation. The low chanting music wasn’t quite getting that atmosphere across.

We were in a senior center. The Battle Hymn of the Republic, plinked out on a piano with gusto, over took the chanting monks. I was no longer on the beach, but tied up in an old folks home in Tibet.

I didn’t think yoga would give me rocking, hard abs or the cover of a swimsuit issue. Yoga did give me laughter and a shot of endorphins without the calories.

Cindy planned to spend the next month at the chiropractor. I planned to incorporate yoga and friends into a routine I can stick with. I also planned to munch cucumbers and radishes instead of chips. Wait, or was I supposed to put one of the vegetables on my eyes while I meditate? No sweat – in a society obsessed with visual images, I’d focus on a better mind. The world needs more happy babies and fewer corpses.

Published in Funny Times-April 2018

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