You Can Call Him, Stretch


Yesterday I was able to convince my hiking friend, fellow retiree and general mischief maker, Art to go to yoga with me.  My invitation was a little selfish in part because we have a long backpacking trip coming up and I want to make sure that he is loosey-goosey and up for the task.  He is a little older than me, but in good shape and overall in good health. We go back a long time and as such have come to understand each other pretty well, even when we aren’t looking at each other.

So as I drove us to class I ran down some of the terminology that my favorite teacher like to use and explained that he should go at his own pace and “make good choices” for himself.  I said, “No one is going to pay attention to what your doing because they are too busy having their own practice.” I explained that the second class would be more restorative, so not to worry about getting tired.

When we arrived, I quickly signed in and grabbed the spots under the air conditioner, Lazarus, so named because just when you think its dead it comes back to cool us down even if just a few degrees.  It was about 85 degrees outside and since the studio faces west, I knew it would be hot in there.  As he filled out the first timer form and talked to the teacher about his needs, I waited to get props so he could learn the process.

Class started and off we went.  Everything went as expected, with some poses easier to complete than others.  Art asked, “we cant talk?”  I said no, since it will disrupt the class. He seemed to be relaxed and happy, although I did notice he was moving along with all the options instead of keeping to the first level poses.  Good for him I thought, good for him.

Class ended and we transitioned to the next class. As some people left, others entered. Our teacher said, “If you’re staying for the next class, we are going off the wall.” Art looked at me and I assured him all we needed to do was to move our mats.  I rearranged and decided to go legs up while the class settled in.  I suggested he do the same, since its a great pose.

Everyone knows that getting into that position is not very pretty. Most of us look like sea lions trying to “skooch” our butts close enough to the wall to  actually get our legs in a somewhat 90 degree angle to our torso.  I came off the wall to show him once again, how to do it.

I instructed him the best I could and after deciding that his grunting was going to make me laugh, I quickly assumed my position, draped and eye pillow across my face, turned my head away from him and held my breath. He insinuated that it was easier for me to get into position because well, my butt was bigger so i didn’t have to skooch that far.  Rude. Eventually he settled in.

“Can you feel this?” he whispered, tapping a metal pipe running the length of the room along the base board.  He tapped it again. I felt the tapping on my butt cheeks that were indeed against the wall. I said yes and burst into laughter.  He really didn’t know why I was laughing so hard but, I made him start laughing.

He didn’t know that when he tapped on the pipe the first thing I thought of was how the inmates (wards we called them then) would tap on pipes or talk through the toilets to communicate from cell to cell.  I immediately went back to that time and thought, wow, he’s sending messages to my butt cheeks.  I was dying.

Eventually the teacher came over and light heartedly asked if she would have to move one of us.  Later he confessed that he was sure he would have to go to the Bikram side of the room so he stifled his laughter.

As class progressed we found ourselves in a soft forward fold.  I dangled my head and moved it side to side. Out of the corner of my eye, illuminated by the soft glow of the porch light through the back door window I saw the biggest black beetle.  I blinked to make sure it wasn’t a shadow.  Thankfully, our teacher had made her way to my side of the room, so I whispered urgently, “look!”

She turned to grab the bug and it turbo boosted toward my mat.  In two leaps I was in the middle of the room, safe to observe her grab it and toss it out the door.  Whew. Everyone else was still dangling their heads.  I tip-toed back onto my mat.

Class ended with our usual delicious treat and chai.  The teacher asked Art how he felt and he said, great!  Off we went.

As we drove I asked him how he felt.  “Oh, me?  Great!”  I go to the gym and run. I don’t feel bad at all,” he declared with a smile.

This morning, I rolled out of bed only to be reminded that the core work is having an impact on me and that perhaps my psoas muscles don’t need to be stretched that much all the time. I was prompted to say, I’m psoas hell!   Ha, I crack myself up.

While getting breakfast I received a text from Art.


Yeah.  Can’t wait for the next class.

Siempre hacia adelante.




About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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