Chair Yoga

I didn’t get a picture of the chair yoga class yesterday – as the newbie in the class it  didn’t feel right asking the 40 or so attendees to pose for a picture – maybe next time. So my feature picture today is from my journal.

(As an aside: this was done in the early summer when I was reading “You can Learn to Draw in 30 days”.  This sketch  dated 08/08/17 depicts me doing laps around my Calgary condo living room as part of my self-directed rehab home practise where I would first park my wheelchair, pick up my pole and walk – starting   from a stone statute of a black pug that we call “Lou” at one end and then down to my desk at the other end of my condo where I had two desk calendars – one of my Nephew Oliver and another of my friend Gerry’s cats, featuring “Cookie” – the beautiful be-jewelled feline.”  I’d start at Lou and walk the 40 feet to the desk and say “Hey Olly, Hey Cookie, that’s one”, as I strolled by and “hey Lou that’s two as I walked past her on my return trip back towards Cookie and Olly.  I did that 13 times on August 8th for a total of 540 feet.  This is how I learned endurance in walking again, albeit with a pole adding more laps/lengths each day if I felt like it.  As soon as I got comfortable I left the pole behind and did my laps without it.  That was seven months ago and my walking and endurance continues to improve, and as you know I don’t use the wheelchair much at all anymore)

If you would like to see a chair yoga session in action I highly recommend chair yoga with Adrienne  for seniors on Youtube  Just google and enjoy.

I arrived early for our 11:30 class so I could purchase a membership for just $15 and helped a couple of other early arrivals get the room set up.  It’s easy just rows of three or four chairs an arm’s length apart.  The chairs are sturdy and armless.  At home select your chair for strength – its purpose is to stand behind it and hold onto its back for standing and balance poses and to sit on it comfortably for seated poses and stretches.

The yogi’s come in all shapes, sizes and ages but all today are a fine -looking and limber group of women who clearly have been looking after themselves with more than just yoga.  I am mostly ignored and I decide to wait until it’s over and I decide to come back before trying to make any new friends.  (they seem to all know each other and is often the case in well-established cliques are likely not accepting applications for new friends – that’s OK I’m not sure I am either.)  I overheard that there is often a man at the class but he had an appointment at the dentist yesterday and couldn’t make it.  I look forward to next week when I will surely meet the mystery man with good dental hygiene.

The room is large and L-shaped with pale green walls and walnut hardwood floor.Kim the instructor has a calm, soothing voice and is clearly much-loved by her regulars in the group.  I pick one of two chairs in the front row – not because I’m nervous – Kim has already taken me through a class so I know what to expect.  We start seated and breeze through a small set of seated poses and stretches – with Kim calmly encouraging yet cautioning.  (This is not one size fits all – It’s about you and only you in your own little yoga cocoon doing what you are capable of, modifying where you need to, reaching those sublime stretches and holding those poses a little longer than you did last time.)

It’s 12:30 and over in the wink of an eye.  I’m coming back next week for sure.  The ladies at the Senior Centre and sell home-made soup and other lunch items.  Next week I’ll stay for lunch but for now I have miles to go before I sleep.  It’s over to Evolution the local Gym to meet up with Sarah for my one hour workout.  That’s 20 minutes of cardio on the bike (personal goal for March achieved early) and then 40 minutes of squats and bridges and crunches and a few machines for leg and arm strength if we have time.

And then home where I assemble a soup for lunch from leftovers like pork roast,  tomato sauce, chicken broth, white beans, mushrooms  and GF spiral pasta noodles.  Yum.  I’ continued to read my new hardcover book since there’s no TV in our house until evening (another slippery slope you want to avoid – daytime TV leads to snacks and other bon-bons – which are to be largely avoided unless it your birthday or a high holiday – losing weight, onced gained is just too fecking hard)

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