Tuesday, December 19, 2006

yoga, everyone?

"in addition to activities like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming that promote endurance, cardiovascular health and weight control, there is a dire need for exercises that improve posture and increase strength, flexibility and balance. these exercises can greatly reduce the risk of injuries from sports and endurance activities, the demands of daily life, falls and other accidents."

the famed ny times personal health writer jane brody -- whose super-stern health diktats from her regular column have pretty much set the anxiety-agenda for all america -- has today basically issued a clarion call for yoga. altho' she doesn't seem to know it. . .

brody's little checklist, astute yoga students will notice, are all hallmarks of a consistent yoga practice:

  • "are you not standing as straight and tall as you once did?
  • is walking up a flight of stairs a strain at times?
  • are you getting up from a chair more slowly than you used to?
  • is it getting harder to look to the left and right while backing up?
  • do you get stiff sitting through a long movie?
  • is standing on one leg to put on your shoe difficult or impossible?
  • do you trip or lose your balance more easily?
  • does walking or jogging a distance take longer than it used to?"

brody writes: "as a daily exerciser i consider myself a physically fit 65-year-old, and i did well on the quick quiz, but i flunked the tests for balance and flexibility. so i've added exercises to my weekly regime to improve these two domains of fitness."

i hope you mean vrksasana and paschimottanasana here, jane! yoga isn't jes' fer us young'uns, you know!

speaking of yoga, today of course is the big monkey bash at ayny, where i expect you all reading this probably already are. i think everyone knows about it.

but what it seems that few know about is the 6:00pm led classes! i stopped by eddie's last night to check out the vibe myself.

on mon. the class is taught by amy, who's been with eddie since 1998. a great relief, she's a yoga teacher who's not a dancer! not under 25!

a former runner, she understands the concept of injury and a little age. in fact, one of the only 2 students last night -- this is the awesome part, it's basically a semi-private class -- was liz, a slim, sparkling 60-year-old who despite a previous broken ankle(!) made her way through the sun salutations at a strong pace.

liz obviously is well ahead of our prime friend ms. jane brody, as she's already working on her balance and flexibility! the second student was a quiet 30-something european girl with perfect, silent jump-backs, but who had the habit of over-utilizing her flexible lower back in some poses, a habit which amy repeatedly corrected with soft adjustments.

clearly amy's open to a wide variety of students. amy all good!

this 6pm class is held in eddie's big pink-n-cream room, a nice long room with a good mix of both windows and radiator heat. however yesterday and the past few days being so unseasonably warm -- i've been running around in a cotton sweater -- the heat didn't seem to be on.

lemme also remark on that room's good wood floors; clean wood floors! no dust bunnies! (avid yoga students have all had the experience in less-than-stellar studios of lowering into chatarunga only to then inhale a face full of dust varmints. . .)

there's also adequate wall space for those still working on their inversions.

last evening the soft light, gentle tone (no music of course), and general color scheme rather gave me the feeling of hanging out with a soothing plate of petits fours glacés, altho' that might have something to do with the fact that i've been re-reading the cake bible recently.

(speaking of rose, we could go back into the no-knead bread thing with her, but i just won't now, that's a separate post. my quick comment is that she underplays the cons of this bread.)

but i digress: on the ebert yoga scale, amy's near-secret 6pm class gets a thumbs-up. bring your own mat, towel, and maybe a blankie (for savasana in the colder months, depending on how that heat works).

eddie's classes may cost a tad more than the ever-declining little-studio-around-the-corner, but amy's class seems like it might be worth it. check amy out for our bad selves; you very well might see me there in the near future. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:04 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 2 comments

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