by Laura Sillerman | bio

By now you’d think I would know better than to fall off of the exercise wagon. But fall I do — time after time. And not gently, either.

I stop exercising with all the force of a herd of hyenas coming to the edge of a precipice. Afterwards, I indulge myself in a period of vast and deep self-recrimination, often accompanied by the haunting music of crunching pretzels or the percussion of the refrigerator door opening and closing repeatedly.

Who knows why I managed to go online the other morning to check the schedule of classes at a nearby yoga studio? And who knows what possessed me to dust off my yoga bag and plop down my credit card for a series of 10 classes? (I know better than to commit to 20 and give myself a sense of having purchased a mountain I will be forced to climb in bitter cold with nothing more than my bare hands to pull me along.)

I wedged my mat between the younger bodies and perfect yoga coifs armed only with an ancient barrette and the vague memory of once having been centered.

And the magic happened in just one hour. I emerged from that class lighter than I’ve been in months. I fairly floated down the street– more Julie Andrews than the Rosie O’Donnell I’ve been for a season or two. I’m not talking body type, I’m talking attitude.

I was smiling.

Whether or not one subscribes to the spiritual benefits of yoga, it has been proven to increase flexibility, lubricate joints, ensure optimum blood supply throughout the body, promote detoxification and, of course, gradually tone muscles.

Any one of these benefits is good for a body north of puberty. Taken together, they can form a new awareness of our good fortune at being human and alive.

If you’ve been tempted to begin yoga, or have slipped away from the practice, maybe March is your month to turn into a cobra or a downward dog or a child again. Yoga may not be for everyone, but if you’re even a little interested, chances are it’s for you. Namaste.

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  • Carolyn Hahn March 6, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    (How funny that I am reading this at 6 PM, after work, knowing that no matter how tired I am, I’ll feel better if I go to the gym. And yes, ANY amount of yoga always feels better, even just a few poses, so….bye!)

  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger March 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Dear Laura,
    I loved yoga for years –but now I do Pilates. It works better for me — when I try to still my mind, it’s like asking a barrel full of snakes to join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But thanks to your gentle prod, I’m going to rededicate myself to moving more in March. It’s gotta help the winter blahs.