Spirituality, Yoga, & Conscious Living

What a Nice Girl Like Me Was Doing In A Yoga Class For Seniors

What a Nice Girl Like Me Was Doing In A Yoga Class For Seniors

 

I just came back from a yoga class for seniors. It was not a “gentle” yoga class for anybody who did regular yoga and wanted a less strenuous class, but a real, honest to god, yoga class for seniors, with every asana done in a chair.

It was wonderful.

And I’m not talking about the yoga— I’m talking about the seniors themselves.

SEE ALSO: 21 Sarcastic Zen Sayings You Need In Your Life


CVO- Copper- lg

Close-knit Community

You know how when you go to yoga everybody is kind of there in their own space. I mean, it’s like everybody has a little invisible wall around them that says, “I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me.” In fact, the teachers actually tell you, “Keep your mind on our own practice.” “Don’t pay attention to your neighbor.”

Well, my yoga class for seniors was about as far away from that approach as you can get.

“You’re new here aren’t you honey?”

“Here, let me get you a chair.”

“You’ll need a ball.”

“No. I’ll get the ball for her.”

“Just follow me if you get confused.”

It was like being adopted by a cluster of clucking hens.

“I have one student in that class that is 100 years old,” the instructor, who was also a senior, told me in my “Get Acquainted Meeting” with her following the class.

“Get acquainted meeting.” How quaint. How old fashioned. How kind.

The thing about it is that I, of course, have always shunned such classes for seniors. After all, despite the fact that I myself am 75-years-old, I told myself that I wasn’t a senior—and if I was, I wasn’t one of “those” seniors. I was different.

In a way, it was true. I was more or less different. I came to the class as a loner. On the other hand, however, the class struck me as a community of friendly, warm, welcoming people who went out of their way to make me feel comfortable as a newcomer. They didn’t seem to mind being seen as individuals who were part of something larger than themselves or thinking of themselves as “the class.”

“Oh, we’ve been coming to this class for years,” one of the women called out from her chair.  “We’re all friends here.”

As I said.

It was wonderful.


Surrounded by Heroes

During the five minute savasana I could feel that the warmth had melted my loner status.

In my mind’s eye I looked around the room. Behind me was a Japanese man. Had his family been among those who were sent to the relocation camps during World War II?

To my left was an immigrant from Hungary. Had he escaped the Nazis?

To my right was a woman who came in pushing her oxygen tank in a cart; to my left a woman bent over from the waist as if she’d had a broken back. The people in the room could have been my neighbors, raising their children in the crazy 60’s. Some of them could have even been raising me way back in the 40’s and 50’s. In reality, I wasn’t surrounded by “seniors” I thought to myself. I was surrounded by heroes. I was surrounded by people whose collective wisdom, insight, history and experiences could probably fuel the entire city. Contrary to the feeling I’d had when I signed up for the class—the feeling of wanting to distance myself and to not identify myself as a “senior,” I had an entirely different feeling.

I had the feeling I wanted to be one of them.

“Fold your hands in front of your chest and take a deep breath,” the instructor was saying. 

The people around me weren’t people I should shun or people that I should distance myself from. The people around me were from my generation. They were “my people.”

“Here, I’ll put your chair away for you,” the Japanese man was saying.

“Thank you,” I said.

“It’s all right,” he joked back.  “But don’t expect me to do it every time. When you come back you’ll be one of us.” We laughed.

I felt a little surge of pride.

I felt like a senior.


Tibetan Om Singing Bowl
The following two tabs change content below.
Carmelene Siani

Carmelene Siani

Carmelene Melanie Siani is a 75-year-old freelance writer who has been published at Elephant Journal, Better after 50, Huffington Post, The Reader, and Broad Magazine among others. Her stories are personal narratives on grief, family, food, and late-life love. Her aim is to help others see the ways that life is constantly opening to reveal its own lessons. She lives by the dictum of Muriel Rukeyser that “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Visit her on her Facebook Page and follow her on Twitter.

14 Responses to “What a Nice Girl Like Me Was Doing In A Yoga Class For Seniors”

  1. Lelio Vieira Carneiro

    Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from
    an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or
    suggestions? Thank you

    Reply
  2. Cleo

    Hi there, I want to subscribe for this website to obtain latest
    updates, thus where can i do it please assist.

    Reply
  3. Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior

    This design is spectacular! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved
    to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

    Too cool!

    Reply
  4. Adam

    Hello there, You have done a fantastic job.
    I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.

    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

    Reply
  5. James Frazer Mann

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

    Reply
  6. Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how
    can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast
    offered bright clear idea

    Reply
  7. James Frazer Mann

    Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed
    account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing for your augment and even I success you get admission to persistently fast.

    Reply
  8. cara tradisional agar cepat hamil

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield
    this increase.

    Reply
  9. Elissa

    Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i
    was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

    Reply
  10. James Frazer-Mann

    Right now it sounds like WordPress is the top blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

    Reply

What are you working on?

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS