Do you do yoga? In the last week, I have read two articles about new forms of yoga. The first is doing yoga on a stand -up paddle board. The second is doing yoga with goats.
Really. I’m not kidding. No pun intended.
This could make for a new age version of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham:
Could you yoga on a boat?
Would you yoga with a goat?
Could you yoga in a box?
Would you yoga with a fox?
I can yoga here and there,
I can yoga anywhere!
Goats romping through yoga classes sounds like the stuff of Dr. Seuss. It is a real thing, and apparently, according to an associated press article, growing in popularity. I like goats, and even wrote an article once about a mysterious goat that showed up on our farm. I don’t love exercise, so maybe I should try goat yoga. Romping with goats might be fun, and their antics might take my mind off the exercise. But then, isn’t yoga supposed to be a mindful practice?
I find mindfulness and serenity in the water, so maybe I should try yoga while on a stand-up-paddle board. The Yoga Journal promises that if you can stand on one foot, you can do yoga on the water. I am under no illusion that I am actually coordinated enough to do yoga poses and move around gently on my paddle board without dumping head first into the lake. However, I can swim like a fish, so when I fall off the board while trying to do the poses at least I will get a work out in the water.
I know I seem a bit cynical, but I’ve tried yoga a few times in the past, and it hasn’t worked out so well.
The first time I tried yoga, I found myself in a class full of college aged young women. There they all were in their brightly colored LuLuLemon clothes and there I was in my black sweat pants, T-shirt, and tennis shoes. Yeah, I actually wore tennis shoes to yoga. How was I supposed to know?
I felt like an old lady who somehow managed to walk into the wrong building. Rather than feeling relaxed and stretched, I felt awkward and frustrated. I was trying to compete with women half my age who were wearing clothes that they don’t even make in my size. It was not a recipe for confidence building.
My daughter, who loves yoga, tried to get me interested. She brought some of her DVDs, and we plopped our yoga mats in the family room. This was somewhat better because there was no clothing judgement and I could move at my own pace. However, I found it difficult to watch the instructor and do the movements at the same time. While I was perfecting my downward dog, she had moved on to the next pose, which I missed because I couldn’t see her. I was constantly two steps behind.
Hot yoga is very popular here in Madison, but I haven’t tried it. I sweat enough while exercising in regular temperatures. I also have rosacea and extremely warm weather makes my cheeks turn as puffy as a blowfish. A red -faced blowfish. When a blowfish turns red, it means it is gasping for air and dying. Hot yoga might help to relax my muscles and remove toxins, but I don’t want to be a gasping, dying red-faced blowfish.
I want to like yoga. I need to stretch, since sitting too long is one of my occupational hazards. I want to feel lean and lithe. I know that there are benefits of enhancing the body-mind connection.
What is a green smoothie drinking, chai loving, yoga wannabe to do?
Margaret Manning, the editor of the popular website 60 and Me asked if I would be interested in writing a piece on yoga. Oh, I thought, if you only knew me, I would be the last person you would ask. The thought that I could knowledgeably write an article about any form of exercise is ridiculous. I’ve written about my gymtimidation. There are plenty of health and wellness bloggers who are far more competent than I to write about yoga.
But then, I thought maybe I would just try her yoga videos. There would be no Lycra clad 20 somethings. I wouldn’t write about it, but I could give yoga one more try. Maybe I could keep up. Or not, but at least no one would know. It would just be between me and my floor mat.
So that is how I found myself trying yoga once again. Cat, the instructor has a calm, friendly demeanor. She moves slowly, and her voice is very pleasant. She seems like someone I could be friends with. I can’t exercise with someone I don’t like. I have never been one for exercise first thing in the morning, but I think I could do one of these routines early in the day.
I’m going to continue with morning yoga for a few weeks. I like the stretching, and it might help my morning stiffness. There are no goats or paddle boards, just calm breathing. Despite all of the calmness, I felt energized. I don’t plan on giving up my swimming any time soon, but a change of routine would be good. This is an exercise I could do at home and on my own schedule. That appeals to me.
Who knows, maybe I will finally become a yoga aficionado.
If you love already yoga or want to try some easy, gentle yoga flows, you can check out Margaret’s yoga courses here.