yoga for (old lady) runners
Saturday, May 05, 2012
as some of you know, i started yoga for seniors in February, at the suggestion of a friend who said that maybe i'd fall less (and be generally less of a klutz and slice my fingers less often) if i learned to be more mindful and that yoga could be good for that. the class i go to is free (for which i feel somewhat guilty although i would not have started probably if it weren't) for those 60 and older, and the class is easier.
the biggest problem so far that yoga teachers seem to be very soft-spoken ... and feel - understandably - that it is inappropriate to talk loud in yoga. so i have to wear my hearing aids, which is a little irritating in terms of moving and feedback, etc, and i still miss a lot. so i have to turn and open my eyes and look a lot. which also detracts from the experience.
i am also not very good at yoga, and i don't like not being good at things. running's different, partly because i mainly run alone and partly because i am at the point where it is intrinsically rewarding (endorphins and self-esteem and better body and gorgeous runs). besides being quite poor at relaxation (except after a glass or 2 of wine), i am pretty uncoordinated and totally unable to coordinate my breathing with instructions or poses or actions.
i think i was exaggerating when i said i felt like my ankle was breaking. although the pain was ... oh, 7/10, i'd say, for sitting back on my heels, with the top of my feet flat against the ground. apparently that is a stretch that is good for you and it is getting better and less painful.
last night i went to a (paying) class of yoga for runners, with a different teacher. i was by far the oldest person there, but could do all but one of the poses (where you are on your knees and lean back over your heels, with your elbows on the ground behind your feet ... i couldn't even imagine doing that without falling over) and did ok (except for not hearing a word of the instructions during the relaxation at the end. which was distinctly unrelaxing). but i felt good on the (short) walk home.
so what i think is i have to work harder at it a little. specifically, i need to do some homework. i have ordered a book/cd of meditations (in French), where the first several meditations apparently focus on focusing on your breathing, which i obviously need to learn to do. and i need to practice that. and i need to do some research, to get a better sense of which stretches really might be dangerous. Listening to your body is a great theory but finding the line between pain and discomfort and the one between being sensible and being wimpy is difficult for me. i'm pretty sure i have confidence in my teacher. but it's my body. if after doing some of this, i don't feel by July that i'm making progress, i think i will consider paying for one private lesson to see if that helps. i have been hoping to do 2 classes a week in the fall (the free senior and one paying). but i think i will also need to reconsider whether i think yoga is helpful to me, especially given the hearing issues. though at some point maybe i'll understand enough not to need to hear so well.
thanks to anyone who made it this far. more ideas and suggestions would be helpful. and for anyone doing Pilates ... do they find it necessary to talk as quietly?? maybe that would be a better choice for me?