Saturday, March 17, 2007

Can a 256-pound, inelastic hairy man do Yoga?

At the end of 2006 Annie was still using an old VHS cassette for her at-home yoga workouts. For her 29th birthday I purchased a Rodney Yee yoga DVD called Power Yoga. The back cover told me the DVD would help sculpt a "leaner, stronger physique. Burning calories and boosting stamina." The guy in the picture had a long ponytail and was doing an inverted pose that I'm sure is computer generated. I purchased the DVD despite the fact that my grandmother had warned me to stay away from the new-age practice of yoga because it was diluting Catholicism.

Annie used the DVD once in a while, but more often it sat gathering dust. Intrigued by that inverted pose image, I thought I would give a beginner's tape a try. One day in January, as part of a private New Year's resolution I reluctantly took Armageddon out of the DVD player and popped in the "Power Up" yoga DVD. I nearly snapped my neck after my first sun salutation and was soaked in sweat after the 25-minute session was over. Truth be told I barelyl finished the first tape and only made it because the last 10 minutes are all done while laying on your back.

After the first session, I felt a bit more flexible, less intimidated and eager to try it again. While it was a small accomplishment, I decided that yoga would have to be the first defense against the general decay my body had accepted over the last 8 years.

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