Tips for Aging Yoginis

When my mom was in her 40s, she joined a gym. “Why bother?” I remember thinking. My idea then of aging women was that they shouldn’t try so hard. Worrying about fluffy arms or fitting into skinny jeans? I planned to be above all that. Then the inevitable occurred.

I got older, and realized that my mom was right. Plus, I care more about myself now than I did then. With the wisdom (and yes, fluffy arms) of age comes the knowledge that it’s not about the skinny jeans but about aging gracefully with my health intact. Not that I’ve ever been the graceful type. Still, I’m trying, and yoga helps.

There is some danger of embarrassing yourself associated with the practice, however, like the time I flowed into down dog while the adorable t-shirt that disguised my meno-pot rode up, exposing the naked truth.

I’ve also had the triangle pose experience of white granny undies peeking from the tummy band of my black yoga pants. I am more hippy than hip, but I broke down and got some hipster panties just for yoga days. My final clothing disaster involves another cute t-shirt, active fit this time, with a darling scooped neck. Suffice to say that any top ending lower than the collar bone is likely to reveal a sports bra, or lack thereof, during forward fold.

At my yoga studio, we practice with low lights and are often reminded to close our eyes, to make our practice an inward one, to cease our speculation about the fluid human pretzel the sweet young thing next to us is effortlessly forming. But sometimes, especially in balancing poses like tree and airplane, I have to have my eyes wide open or I instantly topple. And I can’t help but look in front of me at the yogini half my size and age, posing without falling over, even as I do so as gracefully as possible.

Original 50-Something Moms Blog post. Cynthia Harrison has been keeping “A Writer’s Diary” since 2002.

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