Alexandra Buhr finding peace through yoga.

John White: It was a stretch to think I could easily yoga

I finally took the rather uncomfortable plunge for the first time this past Sunday.

After many years of family doctors, chiropractors and massage therapists harping on me to start yoga, I finally took the rather uncomfortable plunge for the first time this past Sunday.

Because of ill-advised yet chronic inactivity and delightfully painful scar tissue from myriad sports injuries, the plunging was quite awkward. Luckily, the actual experience of practicing yoga was incredibly fulfilling.

To say I’m late to the yoga game is an epic understatement. The practice can be traced back to fifth century BCE. To illustrate how clueless I was about the depth of the movement, I was quite surprised at the spiritual and emotional elements introduced in my first session. Somehow I thought it would be like many other group exercise classes I’ve tried — painfully grunting my way through complex, robotic movements well above my skill set and feeling like that out-of-place kid in Grade 2 all over again.

Our instructor, Alexandra Buhr from Crumbs Café, has been doing this for quite some time. Here’s how I can tell: I’ve been to group exercise classes before, and often if I’m a beginner, I’ve felt left behind. Alexandra was very empathetic with this noob, ensuring I had alternate poses I could work with to obtain similar results to the true poses and movements.

My main goals for this first attempt were humble: Don’t make a fool of yourself, don’t rip your pants, don’t relax to a point of accidental wind-passing, don’t pass out. I was able to hit around 90 per cent.

Thanks to a recently diagnosed inner-ear disorder, I almost passed out after bending over and standing a few times. The fluid in my middle ear was having a party on its own and my brain was not enjoying that and the cops were called. I had to sit on my mat for a few minutes while they worked things out.

I learned very quickly how damaging it was to sit slumped over a computer 16 hours per day for a dozen years after I tried to perform even basic posture moves and stretches in class.

Once my old-man body was warmed up, I was sensing an increased range of movement in previously rusted-over joints and scar-tissue-mangled muscles and ligaments.

Several times I felt chiropractic-like adjustments popping in my back and shoulders. The release of tension was intensely pleasurable. Because I was so stiff and clunky when I started, I was challenged to maintain proper breathing techniques. I was patient and just let my body get used to this new sensation of “movement.”

I review this internal discussion thusly:

Body: “So what is happening here?”

Brain: “We’re doing the exercise.”

Body: “Huh, I’ve heard of this through legend and rumour. So it’s real then?”

Brain: “Oh it’s very real. Did you know there shouldn’t be a hump in our shoulders?”

Body: “Wow, really? I’m going to disagree on that one and fight you hard to maintain it.”

Brain: “Also we should be able to do a basic squat without our quads trembling like we’re dead-lifting 800 pounds.”

Body: “In fairness, that’s mostly on you and your workaholism and commitment to naps.”

Brain: “Bottom line here, dude, is we’re going to have to work together on this and we’ll both be much healthier.”

In the end, Alexandra’s affirming messages and thoughts delivered with a genuine depth of empathy twice moved me to tears. There was a tangible spiritual lift that transcended the movements.

My physical and emotional reactions were a testament to the value of the session. I’ll be back.


On Twitter @johnkwhite


Email me at john.white@castlegarnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The reason why John has scar tissue in his IT band and hip: 20 years of this.

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmor Junction

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Most Read