Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Twisted Marmee had a Half Cow

This is me, Aunt Rhody, or Marmee if you prefer to call me by my grandparent name, doing an easy yoga pose. For the past three years I have gone to Body Flow classes by Les Mills, and to be a bit 'punny', it's quiet a stretch for me. These classes are mostly attended by 20something ladies, many of them lifetime athletes. There are also a few 30-40 year olds in great condition, a few in every age bracket who are far from well conditioned athletic form, and then there are the Mature Marvels like me. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes over half the class is filled with men, ranging from 20's to 60's. One of the instructors is male, the others are female. Three of the instructors are married, two have given birth to two children each. The guy who teaches is also a full time high school teacher--English, not PE. All of these people are incredibly strong and flexible. My body has played a violin for over 50 years and my torso is shaped around a violin. It's a little bit like the Asians who bind their daughters' feet when they are babies so they will grow small and shaped to fit those itty bitty shoes. Only it's my arms, shoulders and ribs.

In addition to my funky violin curved torso I've had left knee surgery twice and an additional injury to same mentioned knee. Last spring I had a diagnosis resulting in 4 weeks of physical therapy for my lower back and my neck.
It's a little twisted, but I can do the pose above with no problem. On a good day.
This is one of my favorites, usually done at the end of hip opening stretches, or after hamstring stretches. It's Happy Baby Pose. Really! If you close your eyes as the model is doing, no one can see you in this awkward position.

Side Angle Pose is one I can actually accomplish for some odd reason. Just replace the body and subsitute wild curly silver hair for the ponytail and you'll have me pictured perfectly.

This is definitely not me, but I can do this. It's Warrior One. Sometimes if my yoga mat is not exactly at a right angle to the planks in the floor, I get disoriented, however.

The photo above is how I do a plank most of the time. It's a "Girl Plank" I guess.
That's OK. I was a girl once.

This fotosearch model can do a REAL Plank. On a good day, so can I!

This is Crow Pose. This one has never happened for me, but a surprising number of people in my classes accomplish this easily and hold it with confidence. I'm happy if I can do a Hindi Squat to replace this.

At the risk of seeming arrogant, let me say that I look JUST LIKE THESE PHOTOS below when I do the following three poses. Except...I'm not thin and my hair hasn't been this color for the past 30 years, and I birthed four children. But other than that, I'm absolutely just the same in Forward Fold, Tree on One Leg, and Warrior Two.

This is one of the poses I do best. I look just like this in Staff Pose..except my hair isn't blonde and I'm not thin and I don't wear a sports bra and mini shorts when I go to class. So, except for the white hair and extra pounds and T shirt and baggy pants, I look exactly like this. Really!

The following poses, Side Plank and Bow, almost kill my little violin-playing wrists and grumpy lower back. My doctor actually forbids me to do Bow.

See, even these guys have to tag team to get it accomplished. And they are not in the "Mature" age group .

This is the pose that is defeating me. The lovely lady below is doing Cow Face. Notice her perfect knees, folded over one another to form a cow face? See the faint hint of a smile on her face? My face looks absolutely nothing at all like that when I attempt this pose.

This is called Half Cow. It produces light cream, 1/2% milk, and smooth, creamy thighs when perfectly executed. Mine are not anywhere near that. Neither is the expression on my face.

When a man does Cow Pose, do we stil call it Cow? Or is it Bull Pose? I look just like this! Except for the hairy legs, topless chest, perfectly crossed knees. And I DO clench my fists but I managed to keep my head on so I can grimace in pain.

Well, the motto of many of the instructors is to feel a bit longer and stronger at the end of class and I can testify that I do, even though I'm not a Crow, or a Lady Plank, or a whole Cow. I'm still a whole Marmee, Twisted and Half Cow.

1 comment:

RowdyGirls said...

This is the part where we all start making cattle puns, right? Like, "I herd you were bovine in yoga class." or "Moove over, darling, you're on my turf, er, mat."