Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Downward Facing Dog Down Under

Michele: Today I went to a second yoga class in Mission Beach. It has been 8 years since I last practiced yoga and back then I went to classes for less than a year. I was surprised how the poses and movements here are so similar to the ones I did in Amherst 8 years ago. Ok, well since yoga has been around for a long time and originated in India, I really should not have been surprised by this. Downward facing dog is just as uncomfortable as I remember. Yeah, yeah, I know... it will get better as I get used to it.

Gavin has taken up running on the beach, which is fantastic. Running doesn't work for me, I get bored. I need exercise that clears my mind by making me think a lot,
I gotta confess, yoga is really not my thing. I would much rather be dancing and moving around or biking. But since dance classes are scarce here and I haven't a bike yet, yoga will suffice. Yoga seems to be very popular here, the kids even have yoga at school. And besides, yoga is good for me.

One thing that really drives me nuts about yoga is the shutting your eyes and relaxing part. Deafies can't shut their eyes and relax. I wear my hearing aids to class but I still can't understand anything the instructor says unless I'm lip reading. So I'm constantly sneaking peeks to see if the other people are in a new position. My Amherst yoga teacher eventually accepted that I would 'relax' with my eyes wide open with occasional darting looks around the classroom to make sure I was doing the right thing. These teachers will have to get used to this too.. along with my strange accent ... and tendancy to grimace during downward facing dog.


  1. wow... i say the SAME thing abt yoga.. i never really liked it either because i dont like hanging my head sideways or upside down and also because you are supposed to close your eyes and imagine whatever the instructor tells u to imagine.. what about taking DANCING classes??!!!

  2. The only time we close our eyes in the yoga classes I take are at the beginning for a short meditation and at the end for Savasana--the glorious resting pose. For other poses, I say, keep your eyes wide open.

    I haven't found a yoga class here yet. In France, it's summer vacation and the kids are home with us until school starts in September. That will be my chance to get started with a class. Until then it's yoga at home for me.

  3. Michele,

    Yoga is perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself. It has allowed me to avoid back surgery, overcome CFIDS, and heal quickly from a broken collar bone, and a borken rib and two vertebrae, the results of two accidents, all within the past 4 years. I do hope you srtay with it.

    Downward dog is a real pain in the butt for me, largely because I cannot breathe properly in the pose (a result of fslling out of an apple tree last October). It does help to engage your legs so that you are pushing back on your heels. Yoga should not be pain; if it is you need to modify your position, change teacher, or both.

    Good luck with yoga! You may want to consider something like Zumba as an addition to Yoga. If you like to dance, Zumba is a blast! From what I have been reading, you do not need luck in your scientific work. Someday, I would like to talk with you about what you are doing.


    Bill Rizer