#HAWMC 25 Fitness Friday: “Breathe”

I’ve always been a walker, often lucky enough to live within walking distance of school, university, work, stores, restaurants.

While my mother was in the hospital for the last 8 weeks of her life, I got into good physical shape. My mother’s town is very hilly, so I walked at least once a day up and down hills on my way to the hospital.

Getting her house cleared out, fixed up, on the market and finally sold took a lot of lugging, pushing, pulling, carrying, toting, piling, packing, and the town was still hilly, so trips to the grocery stores had at least one incline.

But other factors meant that gradually these physical gains were lost, and I found myself, after yet again another round of unexplained weight gain, wondering how to get rid of it.

I can’t make sense of a local Y’s pricing schedule, nor afford the mental and monetary cost of a bathing suit, so I didn’t return to the pool. (I lived for two years in an apartment building with a rarely used pool in the basement so I could swim or do exercises in the water; in my early 20s, I went swimming at the Y on my way to work.)

I tried yoga at home, but instead of peace and calm, it brought pain. The result neck/nerve issues, osteoarthritis in my neck and upper spine, and extremely tight muscles. So, I thought yoga was out, but research showed that yoga is possible with the right instruction.

I lucked out. I got into a free yoga class that was full when it started, but there was space for me half way through. The instructor was fantastic and another transplanted Canadian.

She has started her own weekly class (at a very reasonable weekly rate) on a come and go basis. We choose what area of our bodies we would like to work on, the pace geared towards beginners, but those more accomplished can take it up to the next level.

Most members of the class have some physical health issues, so if a pose or position hurts, or is too difficult she modifies it or gives you a hand. Last week, I was the only one able to come, so I got an hour of personal attention!

Weight is still an issue (with binging coming back into my life not helping), but my posture has improved, and now when we lay on the floor, I don’t need a pillow under my neck most of the time.

My balance, which as a faller with osteoporosis is very important, showed great improvement until I was again on a particular drug that affects it. I do mini-sessions at home, focusing especially on regaining some of that lost physical balance. Yoga can help with my mental balance, too.

The post title, “breathe,” is what our instructor keeps asking us if we are doing or telling us to!

Namaste.

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