Upward Bow-Pose, Anyone?

December 11, 2018


All of a certain age know this feeling:  I’m still young and relatively nimble of mind and body.  So what’s with all the generations piling up behind me?? They tap their toes impatiently at the inexplicable delay:  The good news is I’m invisible!


I lead a very small yoga group at the gym.  And yes, we’re of a certain age.  The advantage of our age is that the young employees do not question our twice a week hour-long commandeering of the big workout room, where I climb upon a chair and reach high above my head across an ominously towering rack of weights to put a yoga DVD into a video rig set on a tiny shelf in the rafters, so to speak.  You have to want it.


I was not always the leader.  Until last year a friend even older than the rest of us was the keeper of the DVDs and the decider of what we would practice.  I used to whine when he would say, “Today, we’re going to do Yoga Burn.”  This particular DVD is just what it sounds like: Fifty minutes of not-fun. Before he died he left me this heinous DVD, along with a host of other easier ones.


So yesterday I had to laugh at myself. (We should pray daily for that experience.) My group had all checked in by text, with regrets.  I pondered which DVD would suit a solo session.  And lo, Yoga Burn insinuated itself to the top of the pile.  I have to believe it was the work of our former leader, looking down with a wicked grin from Heaven. I heaved a sigh, climbed the chair, inserted the Burn, and bowed my neck to the experience.  I practiced in solitary splendor, anchoring a huge dark space, freely embracing what I used to avoid.  Each time I was tempted to cut corners, especially as the hour wore on, I remembered the precision of him who used to lead us.  And I made it my own.  A couple of muscle-men working on the main floor just outside the glass door peeked in a couple of times, wondering I suppose at the diligence of a former young lady in silver earrings.  May they be fortified by my example.


Here’s a young lady who when released from her crib this morning headed straight to her books. This is promising.  A period of reflection, then watch out world!  Interesting developmental note: as she later approached a place she shouldn’t, I mildly used a certain word, for the first time, just to see what would happen.  Can you guess the word? Two letters:  “No.”  She turned to me, surprised, and burst into the most delighted smile.  I guess because it was a new word?  Oh, what I have I wrought?  Of course she would have thought of it herself, in another five months.




Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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