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Day 203: Photo Blog #22

Friday, July 22, 2011

Today's assignment: "A picture of an exercise you can't do, but would like to try (and then try it if you want to)."

When I was in my 20s I did yoga every day for a couple of years. I worked my way up to about an hour daily, and I was fairly decent - I got stronger, more flexible, and could do some poses that were relatively 'twisty.' I stood on my head for several minutes each session.

After while, I got involved in a serious relationship, then I got married, had a couple kids, worked full-time, etc. And as more stuff ate up my time, the yoga became less and less until it finally fell by the wayside altogether.

In January (that is, January 2011) I thought it would be good to take it up again, since among other things it would (perhaps) help me de-stress. Now, I don't think I'm especially stressed, but that hypertension isn't getting any better, so my thinking was - and still is - just in case stress plays a role, why not eliminate it as much as possible?

I have a couple of wonderful CDs by a yoga instructor named Barbara Benagh - she's great. Unlike some I've seen, her routines run in 'real time,' so I don't have to monkey around with pausing the tape and trying something and getting rattled (what, me worry?) as I attempt to follow the directions, get into positions, remember to breathe breathe breathe - well, you get the idea.

So a few days after starting this new regiment, I threw my back out. It's better, hasn't been right since, but that's not the story I'm here to tell you. Really.

I've talked about learning to swim (I will! I will!) and if I thought any part of my left knee or right foot would cooperate I wouldn't mind power-walking. I really think strength-training is important. I need to build up some endurance before it's too late (!).

But the exercise I'd like to do is in the yoga category:

That woman looks to be about my age. This next is a variation on that pose, but the woman is (a lot?) younger:

The wording of the assignment amused me. If I could get into the position, then it wouldn't be something I can't do, would it? At this point, admittedly, I wouldn't even know how to go about trying to do this pose. If I could injure my back just by bending sideways to touch my knee, think what I could damage trying to do this tricky son-of-a-gun. But I don't want to simply 'try' it; I want to achieve it.

Last week when I went to the physical therapist (ongoing every four weeks to try to strengthen my back) she recommended this one:

I daresay I don't look like that when I do it. Hah. But it's a step in the right direction, ain't?

At this point, maybe I should lower my expectations. You know I love the quote 'A person's reach should exceed their grasp, or what's a heaven for?' (Apologies to Robert Browning.) If I do something easier, am I 'settling'? Am I missing out on a challenge? How can I progress to that pose if I don't work my way up to it, doing things progressively harder until I reach that stage?

Personally, I think I should start here:

...because if I could touch my toes or the floor without bending my knees, I'd be ahead of the game. Thinks me.

Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
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