25 October 2005


Last night was my return to yoga class after being sick for so long. The class I attend has been called "American" yoga in a negative way from someone who has practiced other places. I find it to be exactly what I need, maybe because I'm a stereotypical American, or maybe just because I enjoy a more cardiovascular workout.

The instructor encourages flow (the smooth connection of one movement to the next) and we hold each pose long enough for her to make suggestions and corrections, but not so long that you're exhausted from a single pose. By the end of class, I'm generally dripping with sweat (and this is not hot yoga), every muscle both tired and stretched, but I feel energized and just plain better than when I started.

I felt reasonably well all day and I was very disappointed to miss class last week, so I thought I would give it a try. My muscles were both weak and tight, but at least responding to my direction. Until the coughing started again. It started during a standing pose, which was tolerable because I could cough and balance at the same time. The difficult one was trying to cough and breathe during standing split. I'm sure you can google it and find a better description, but for what it's worth standing split involves balancing on one straight leg while pointing your other straight leg towards the ceiling with hands on the calf and chest on the thigh of the down leg. So, more or less, upside-down and balancing on one leg.

Not a good time to cough in close quarters where teetering over generally involves knocking over one or more of your classmates. Thankfully, most of the people near me are used to my clumsiness at this point and are getting pretty good at dodging out of the way and last night they had the advance notice of the hacking and coughing so I didn't injure any innocent bystanders.

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