How is my hot yoga going, you ask? Good question. It’s still hot (The room is 105 degrees with a humidifier going.) and filled with scantily clad people of all ages sweating and stretching.
I am the woman at the front of the room in a black yoga outfit that could serve as a mix-and-match for a nun’s habit. My blondish gray hair is pulled back in a harsh ponytail. My face is radish-colored, and I’m breathing so hard I look like Secretariat after the Derby.
But here is the good news: As I was leaving class the other night, the instructor asked for my name. That’s not the good news, because I’ve been going there for more than two months and she still doesn’t know me.
However, she wanted my name so she could tell me that she was really impressed with my yoga poses. I looked around to make sure the bikini-clad college student behind me heard her. I worked up an exhausted smile along with a wheeze that sounded like “Thank you.”
I felt strong. I was woman. I was invincible.
I’ve spent the last three years lamenting the stomach menopause brought to me as an unwelcome gift. Seriously. I woke up one morning and my stomach, like the Grinch’s heart, had grown five times its normal size.
I was sure it was an inevitable part of the menopausal experience, so I conceded and developed a love affair with elastic waistbands.
Then I started yoga, and low and behold that stomach began to flatten out. My waist started peeking out saying, “Is it okay to return?” My legs are firming up and are yearning to move more often. My swinging upper arms are swinging less and taking themselves a little more seriously.
If You Don’t Want to Exercise, Don’t!
I’m not here to lecture anybody on why they should exercise. If you had done that to me a year ago, I would have hunted you down, and there would have been no good will involved in that hunting. Do what you need to do.
For a while, I found my couch an incredible comfort as I relentlessly watched HGTV. I improved my conversational skills with phrases like, “Wow, this room has lots of natural lighting” and “This deck is great for entertaining.” I also learned the skill of eliminating a spouse on Snapped, and why I should avoid antiques on Haunted Collector. That was valuable stuff.
But for now, hot yoga is making me feel competitive again. I’m getting better at something, and my body is acknowledging the effort. Who knew?
If I stop doing this in a month, I don’t want any lectures. Our lives are our choice, and we don’t have to apologize for them.
By the way, I’m still watching HGTV. That’s why I want control of all future options — I love an open floor plan.
What fitness program has helped you tone your post-menopause problem areas?