Strike a pose – yoga style! | PostIndependent.com
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Strike a pose – yoga style!

“My mom wants me to put my ankles behind my ears,” I informed husband-head after I hung up the phone with my mother.”What?” husband-head said, looking aghast. “I do, too … but why would Mo want you to do that?”For some reason, husband-head has always referred to my mom as “Mo.””Because she’s trying to get me to take up yoga,” I explained simply. “She thinks it would be good for me.””Yoga?” husband-head echoed. “Aren’t those the people that eat a lot of yogurt?”He laughed at the thought of me doing this ancient Indian form of posture and poses, but then, so did the rest of my friends.”I’d like to go just to watch you do it,” one girlfriend said with a giggle. “I don’t know – when I think ‘Zen,’ I just don’t think ‘Heidi Rice.'”Neither do I, actually.But Mo was coming for a short visit from South Carolina and I was racking my brains trying to think of what to do with my 70-year-old mother. Clearly, hiking and horseback riding were out of the question, but Mo is big into yoga, so I thought she might enjoy going to a class while she was here.I was right.It was a Friday evening when Mo and I walked downtown to the studio where the class was being held. Having never done yoga in my life, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.The room was dark and there was some kind of weird, New Age music playing softly in the background. Everyone grabbed a little mat and put it strategically on the floor.”I haven’t done this since kindergarten,” I whispered to Mo. “Are they going to hand out raisins, too?”Mo, who apparently takes her yoga pretty seriously, just scowled at me and shoved what looked like two horse blankets in my arms.”They have to be folded just right,” she instructed. “You use them to put underneath your sit bones.”Sit bones? In my world, we call it your butt. …But what scared me the most were the black nylon “straps.””Are you SURE we’re in the right class?” I hissed to Mo. “This looks like Bondage 101. …”My mother motioned for me to be quiet while the teacher began the class.She – the teacher, definitely not my mother – spoke in a soft, soothing voice and guided us through a number of what they call “poses” during the session. None of which, mind you, included putting your ankles behind your ears. …The straps, I discovered, were to hold your legs in place during a certain pose, although it was a vaguely familiar feeling when the teacher came around to put them around my legs.”Does this make you uncomfortable?” she asked in a quiet voice. “If so, you don’t have to use them.”I thought about relaying a story about an old boyfriend who didn’t give a HOOT whether or not the straps made me uncomfortable, but decided maybe it wasn’t the appropriate time or place. …Then she had us do breathing exercises.I’m not quite sure what breathing from your belly button is supposed to mean – although I do remember somebody telling me a story once about a similar experience they had after eating a bunch of psilocybin mushrooms – but I just inhaled deeply and went with the program. Between the gentle music, the dark room and the teacher’s soft voice – or maybe it was the glass of wine I had before we went – I promptly went to sleep.”You are supposed to say ‘OM’ at the end of the class, not snore!” my mother reproached when the class was over. “But don’t you feel good?”Truthfully, another glass of wine and a cigarette sounded really good. …Husband-head was watering the lawn when we got back and had a poop-eating grin on his face.”So, how did yoga go, Heidi Lama?” he questioned. “Were you able to get your ankles behind your ears?”In your dreams, mister.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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