Monday, January 21, 2013

Year 4: Yoga for the Easily Tripped

The darkest part of winter is upon us and we scramble for light and good feelings, aching for spring.  Well spring training for baseball starts, at this writing, in three weeks.  Once you hit that day, when pitchers and catchers report, you know you can hold on until spring.

Until then, we sit on a mat in a huge empty room and move what muscles that still work, minus three fingers that have gone on strike, stand, sit, and call it yoga.  Ive done it before.  In fact right this time four years, a beginner yoga class.  And looking back on it, I can see that it too flashed some warning signs.  Things that were easily being done by just about everything had me falling over.  I could not retain my balance, not all the time, just sometimes, but I was concerned.

And now I’m just the MS guy in the corner (“do the best you can”).  I do.

There are three people in the class, plus the instructor. And she’s got the MS guy in the corner, the lady who’s never taken a class of anything before, and Jackie.  The instructor saw that she needed to slow way down for the first two, and move at a normal pace with the last one (i.e. Jackie). 

So I was ready:

See? Ready to go.  Alas, my instructor saw this:

So we tried various things and we got to the eventual look that we were hoping for:

Just remove the hair, add about 30 pounds, a pair of glasses and a mustache, and you could not tell us apart, except for the sweating and the shaking of the muscles (mine, not his).  After about 45 minutes of trying to stand up....

No, no not quite, but we tried.  After about 45 minutes, we got the cue to do "savasana", also known as

"collapsing."  My favorite part.  The instructor took us through it in a peaceful, quiet, way, relaxing muscles and trying to talk just loud enough for us not to doze off, which I surprisingly did not do, perhaps because every muscle in my body was screaming!  But we ended and "namaste'd" all around.

One down, six more weeks to go, unless they cancel the class out for being too small.  I hope not. There's not much else going on in the winter and its good to have the things to look forward, an absolute most for "people like me".  We can plan for the class, then a lunch and errands, etc.  A chance to get out of the house.  When you've got neuro and mental diseases that can not be cured, but only monitored, you need the structure in your day.  No support group this week, either.

These diseases in their basic form attack the brain functions, but not the mind.  And it is the mind that will control our ability to live better. Yoga and exercise, and even a light commitment to both (and feel free to define what exercise is, but I don't recommend walking to the pantry for another bag of Cheetos as a possible definition). Keep moving, keep thinking, keep raging.


Thanks for reading. More soon.

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