Wow MOM that was amazing!
|September 27, 2013||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Jean Hoiland, Uncategorized||
If you have ever attended my 9:30am classes you have most likely met my mom. She is wonderful, though not always excited about the things we do in class. Her shoulders have been her biggest obstacle in regard to yoga. She holds all her tension in them…and she is not nor ever been very physically active…unless you count chasing 5 kids around holding a wooden spoon. She never caught us to meet out any punishment. At 5’1″ she usually resorted to the age old fall back of mom’s everywhere “you just wait until your father gets home”.
Anyway the 9:30am class has had the most attendance ever since opening the studio in 2006. I would like to take all of the credit for that accomplishment but I think my mom has played a huge roll in keeping people coming in. She is adorable, likeable and fun to have in class and other than me she is the one person who has attended consistently since May 1st, 2006.
The age range for this class, which has been promoted as gentle therapeutic, has been anywhere from 19 to 86 years of age. Many have had some physical ailments from whiplash to knee replacement, depression to anxiety, you name it. The classes are always different. Some days we lay around luxuriating in restorative yoga and on others there are grumblings about breaking a sweat and audible huffing and puffing with effort.
The main focus is always good form and mastering the basics. We work a lot on proper alignment and from time to time work with partners. Earlier this year I commented that everyone should at least attempt standing on their hands at some point in their practice no matter what age they are. This remark was met with some doubt and a little fear.
Since making that statement I have slowly challenged the 9:30 class to do a little more than they think they can. We have been working diligently on finding ease and comfort in downward facing dog, holding the pose longer and longer, partnering up once in a while with the straps in order to achieve a more relaxed pose. More recently progressing to taking one leg up the wall at a time to feel the added weight through the hands, arms and shoulders.
It can be a scary thing to turn ourselves upside down. Previously this class has worked with partners and chairs against the wall in a modified version of headstand (bearing the weight on the tops of the shoulders rather than the head and neck). A lot of fear had to be overcome for many not to mention developing trust in the person standing ready to help.
Going upside down so far has not been one of my mom’s favorite things. Just the idea fills her with anxiety and a bit of terror. My mom is 77, she began practicing yoga about 10 years ago. Every year she is stronger and feeling younger and more importantly her form and alignment are improving.
Today we worked on focusing on good balance and posture (requirements for standing on the hands). The class progressed to working on getting the feet up the wall and practicing modified versions of handstand. My mom simply and quietly worked her down dog and taking one leg up at a time. Honestly I really did not pay much attention to her today because I know she is not to keen on the idea of handstand. She did, however, achieve a huge milestone. Not once did I hear her say “I cant'”, her effort was focused and she seemed to have found greater ease in her practice.
At one point I looked over and was amazed at her beautiful form, strength and total ease in a challenging posture. Everyone was doing a wall assisted modified shoulder stand…and not to offend anyone else in the class (ages 30 and up) but my mom’s pose was the most beautiful to behold. I am still in awe by it.
To top it off, she said “I may yet get myself into a handstand before I am 80. I feel like I have finally learned how to relax.”
Those were the most beautiful words I have heard in a long time. We are never too old to learn new things. Muscles may atrophy without use but they respond to continued effort at any age. Mom you are truly amazing.