Posted by: kathryngraves | January 26, 2016

A Beginner Again

Freezing Drizzle. I peeked out between the slats of the blinds to see daylight reflecting off a sheen on the road in front of our house. Checking the outside temperature on my phone, it read twenty-eight degrees with a feel-like temp of twenty three. Yikes! The front door banged as my husband entered with the ice scraper in his hand.

“I’ll just have to wait for the defroster to work. That ice is too hard,” he said.

My shoulders sagged. I wanted to go to my second yoga class so badly. But I didn’t want to have a wreck or break my hip on the porch, either. I decided to call the YMCA to see if the class was canceled. It was not.

“That’s a good sign,” I said.

I could tell Bo thought I was crazy to even consider driving four miles to the Y. But the road is straight (this is Kansas, after all) and school wasn’t cancelled either, so I decided to go.

After an unplanned dance on my sidewalk, I made it to the car, defrosted the windshield, and backed out of my drive. The road wasn’t too bad and I was so glad. After only one class two days before, I was hooked on yoga.

The Reason. I’d been reading about yoga’s benefits to the body, such as building muscle, losing fat, and flushing the lymph system of toxins. I know how important all those things are in the battle to stay fit and avoid chronic disease of any kind, not just cancer, and I had been walking, which I also enjoy. But I thought I needed something fresh, so I settled on yoga.

Class One. The first class I attended was labeled Beginning Yoga. Good thing. I didn’t know any of the names of the poses or how to do them correctly. But the teacher was easy to follow and she checked my form. I wasn’t intimidated at all because the students included two men in their seventies, one in his sixties, a lady in her seventies and two other women who I’m sure were not younger than me. After the class, I felt energized and taller. You laugh, but my it was because my posture improved. I was conscious of all my muscles in a new sort of way, and it made me sit and walk taller.

Class Two. The next day, I was mildly sore all over. I realized I’d used muscles I didn’t even know I had! This made me anxious to get back to a class and work out the stiffness. That’s why I was so eager to go out in the ice. But this class was Intermediate Yoga. It was the only option for another morning class. I didn’t have too much trouble keeping up, even though the pace was markedly faster. So I think I’ve settled on a routine that can work for the long haul. There are certain benefits to both slower and faster classes.

How About You? My point in writing about this is that you can do it too. As long as you can get down and sit on the floor, you’re good to go. I know some people cannot do that and if you’ve had knee replacement, your doctor won’t let you. But the rest of us can.

There is real beauty in a fit, healthy body. I want to be able to do whatever God wants of me, and not be held back by a body that won’t cooperate. I do know that God uses everyone, fit or otherwise, in some capacity. So if you’re not fit, please don’t read this as a reason to feel useless or unworthy. Remember, I walked the cancer road and God used me then, too. But He has allowed me to regain my health and I want to hold onto it. I also want to inspire others to hold onto or regain theirs. If I, without one athletic bone in my body, can do this, anybody can.

Go! Grab your sneakers and get moving, my friends. The happy-hormones, endorphins, will keep you going.



  1. Yoga is definitely on my list. I’m taking a zumba class for plus-sized people, beginning tomorrow for several weeks. Today might really be the last day of my old life.

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