So. I am not an athlete. To clarify this I will tell you about me and Marcia Dankesreiter.
I am 11 living in Tennessee. When you move as often as I have you learn several tactics to make friends. One of the easiest is “join things,” so I joined a basketball team. I was 4’5” tall…maybe. Marcia (who renamed herself Marcie when she became a “popular girl” and dropped me like…well, how I kept dropping the basketball) was like 6’3 in sixth grade. I am exaggerating: she was really 5’11” though (at least!) – she was tall.
She was lithe, fluid and a natural athlete. I am not an athlete, but I am and always have been a person who makes the best of things, so I enjoyed myself. I told jokes, I thought of creative ways to get my shorts to fit better with elastic. (I think I added to the team with my sunny outlook.)
Then one day a miracle happened. I got the ball. I managed to bounce it to the basket awkwardly and then – with sweat slipping off me – I took my shot…annnnnd I missed. Good thing too, because it was the other team’s basket. At the end of that adventure, Ms. Dankesreiter went on to basketball fame and uber seventh grade popularity: I went back to reading.
The fact that I am a serious practitioner of yoga is a surprise to me and that means that those of you who think you can’t do yoga because 1) “I am not flexible” and 2) yoga is an easy peezy work out or 3) “I am not the yoga type,” I say consider Lotus Fire Yoga, located at 650 Ten Road in the old Lafayette Mill building in North Kingstown.
The space is rustic, hip with soft lighting (something I always want when exercising). The owner of the studio is Joanie Flavin. (Don’t be intimidated by the fact that she is more beautiful and popular than Marcia Dankesreiter.) She is a down-to-earth, hard-working woman who mixes the excavation in the body with the exploration of the heart.
Okay so point #1: “I am not flexible.”
Well, fine. Do yoga. I PROMISE you will become more flexible and if you are a runner/gym lover, this workout will have an ease of being that will allow you to go farther.
#2 “Yoga is an easy peezy workout”
Take Joanie’s class or Renee’s (Renee Deslauriers) at Lotus Fire Yoga and then you come look me in the eye and tell me you thought that the “workout was too easy.” I will know that you won’t be able to do it!
#3: I am not the “yoga type”
Remember this is me speaking – a non-athlete who practices yoga a ton. So, if you have no exercise in your life, remember that is the place I came from! And, there is no “type.” Yogis and yoginis are hippies, athletes, writers, charmers, moms, skateboarders, bus drivers, farmers, workers on the T, etc. There is yoga for everyone.
Some basic benefits of yoga are:
- Yoga offers postures that loosen the different joints of our body, as well as the joints in our body that we never pay attention to – like unpopular girls at a junior high dance…
- Yoga also increases the flexibility of joints, ligaments and tendons. This is most helpful as we age so we do not have to walk around all creaky.
- It additionally massages all organs of the body.
- Yoga provides a total detoxification of your body. This assists in the flushing away of toxins – the way I flushed away four different hair colors in my quest for popularity in seventh grade.
- Yoga is additionally an outstanding method to tone the muscles. It is almost summer…
I teach at Lotus Fire on Tuesday nights. It is a slow flow focusing on the needs of beginners in yoga. There are many fine teachers there (Sarah Daigle has a beautiful early morning class for all level) so feel free to check out the website at www.lotusfireyoga.com or contact Joanie with questions email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reason I keep talking about seventh grade is that learning a new form of exercise (like yoga) can feel a lot like how it felt to be in junior high. I practice yoga because it is a practice. There is no win: there is just a deepening in letting my body become open to new poses. I love yoga because as I focus on the poses (asana) I hone my mind to be in the now. I am not busy thinking.
Trust me – I have a rapid, mind as hectic as a seventh grade cafeteria. In yoga I find a sanctuary of still mindedness and calm. The process of practicing yoga changes all the time.
Some days I am as graceful as Marcia as she swarmed down the courts, holding the ball and the moment in her elegantly long hands. Some days I am the same awkward, tinted glasses, frizzy-haired, blue-eye-shadowed girl I was in junior high. I show up and I breathe and move the best I can. The thing is it doesn’t matter, because the practice is completely mine and I just have to show up and take a shot. If it is in the wrong basket…well, at least I learned something and gave everyone a laugh in the process. I say, “Let’s do serious yoga for silly people.”
You are so invited!