I didn’t think that yoga could be all that difficult. In all the pictures, serene looking people wearing spandex display a variety of poses, without breaking a bead. It certainly couldn’t be as hard as running or the gym could it?

On February 2, I attended Penny Gelber’s beginner yoga class at the Yoga Garden. Penny is a fit middle age woman. She made everything look effortless. Turns out Penny has been doing yoga for over 30 years. It shows.

I felt fairly smug at first. After all, I have been running all January and working out here and there. I was in pretty good shape for an almost 50 year old. Or so I thought.

The Yoga Garden is a calming environment. I can’t recall another time in recent memory that I’ve enjoyed such peaceful music and a quiet, soothing environment during daytime hours. Only times I can remember feeling so peaceful was when I was drifting off to sleep.

We began by stretching. I have discovered there is lots of stretching in yoga. It is peaceful, and slow but don’t be fooled, it is not easy. What looks easy is really, really, really difficult. I could feel my thighs cry out for mercy as I squatted with my back to the wall and hands held high overhead. And when we stretched our legs against the wall, my muscles couldn’t help but say: “Lady, what are you doing to us?”

One of the most difficult parts of yoga is trying to still your mind. My mind is always racing ahead, thinking about what I have to do next. Penny wants us to be in the moment. We are supposed to concentrate on our in breaths and our out breaths. That works for about 30 seconds and then I drift again but Penny’s calming voice brings us back again.

I enjoyed my first yoga class with Penny. It is good for my soul as well as my body and I look forward to next week.




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