Friday, October 02, 2009

Iiiiiitttttttt's Yogi Bearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Before this week all I knew about Yoga was that that was the name of a lovable troublesome bear in Jellystone park. No? That was Yogi Bear. How about a powerful little green character from Star Wars? No, that was Yoda. Well, that is some indication of just how how much I knew about Yoga although I did know that it was a system of stretching and exercise and getting to know your body. I think I'll be all right with it if we stop right there and don't get into any new age foo-foo. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the latest Parkinson's Association of Northern Carlifornia (PANC) newsletter there was the usual ads and calendar items for programs of interest for Persfons With Parkinsons (PwP). One of the ads was for a class in "Chair Yoga". I was interested because (1) it was held at a date and time when I used to do Meals on Wheels and that time slot was now empty; and (2) it was right here in Carmichael. Then when we last saw my neurologist, he suggested going to an exercise group. Then he pointed to the same ad and recommended I check into it.

So it was that at 9:00 on the big day I called the instructor and then the facility listed in the ad. The instructor was out so I left a message on her phonemail. The woman covering the facility office explained the program and the costs - $20 for 4 weeks. She also took my credit card number and charagaed me the $20. She also told me where the class was going to meet.

At 10:00 on the dot I walked into the classroom finding 3 of my classmates ahead of me. The teacher was also there and welcomed me based on the phone message I had left for her. In the next 5 minutes another 4 or 5 joined us. Since I didn't have a mat yet (who knew?) the instructor loaned me one. It would have been a wasted hour without the mat.

We started slowly with bends and stretches that were all possible if we were experienced. Since we weren't, or at least I wasn't, the instructor went even slower than normal. And all them made allowances for us, the new class. When the instructor started chanting that the spiritual line was passing from the head to the body and back again and that we needed to let the spirit pass through us, I let all the woo-hoo pass through me, all right. I guess I'm a pick and choose yoga student.

The hour did seem to fly by. I enjoyed it enough that I'll at least come four times 'cause that's what I've paid for.


  1. Ahh, yoga - some swear by it, some swear at it.

  2. You get the same thing with Tai Chi. You get the religious and the secular versions. If they get you moving though, I say go for it.

  3. Just curious, if this is chair yoga, what do you use the mat for? Is it something like my "chair aerobics" class where 2/3 is done while sitting, but 1/3 is done standing up holding onto the back of a chair? (I don't do those--change them to sit-down versions!) If the class is once a week, do you follow up at home on other days?

  4. You guessed right, Marilyn. It appeared to be about 75% chair yoga with the remaining 25% either standing while touching or holding onto the chair, standing against the wall, or lying on the floor.

    I'm so thick-headed that it didn't occur to me that, like piano lessons, we were expected to practice in between the weekly lessons. Now I've got to pay more attention or even take notes next time so I can remember what to do the rest of the week.