Exercise Tip #2: Laugh with a Friend (while in a Pilates Yoga class)

Last week I shared I’ve dipped my toes into exercise again (by dancing in the kitchen!). Although that is in itself a big leap for me, I’ve done something even more astonishing:

I’ve joined an exercise class.

This is monumental, Folks.

The last time I attended a formal exercise class was -ahem- 20 years ago. At that time, my friend Andrea and I drove in the dead of night (6 am) in Winter to attend a step areobics class at the local Community Center. We “upped – down” to a perky teacher’s happy morning voice until I damaged my knee and we were sent to the gym for weight training instead. Oh, mercy! Lifting weights was even less exciting when I knew a nice warm bed was my other option…

Obviously, the trauma outweighed the benefits to such a degree that I’ve never set my pearly white runners into a class again.

I have, however, discovered that with my health condition (fibromyalgia), some forms of exercise just won’t do my body well. I nearly wept with joy when the doctor informed me that under no circumstances should I take up jogging. (Hallelujah!) He instead recommended walking and no impact exercise like pilates or yoga.

I found a delightful pilates video that I whip out at home and do {once every 3 years?…}.

Obviously, I have motivation issues in the exercise department.

So, along with my new healthy eating plan, I’ve been trying to step it up in the exercise department, too. A friend mentioned she was heading to a new pilates and yoga class one evening last week, and wondered if I’d like to join her.

I astonished even myself when I excitedly said, “yes!”. (What was I thinking?)

My first problem arose when I went to get dressed. After digging through every drawer and cupboard I have, I discovered not even one pair of “exercise” pants. I was sure I had a pair I used to paint in (ha), but alas, they must have disappeared with the big ol’ closet clean-out earlier this year.

So, I had to show up to a class full of yoga-pants clad ladies in my ever so out-of-place Calvin Klein navy blue shorts…(No one seemed to really care. Whew!)

My friend and I situated ourselves at the back of the class. The teachers were awesome and encouraging and helpful and explained things well.

But, oh my! After 20 minutes I was ready to roll up my cute little pink mat and call it a day.

Did I mention it was an hour long?

Although I am slightly familiar with pilates, yoga is a completely new ball of wax to me ~ all those poses! Everyone else seemed to be able to snap into “the Warrior” and “the Intense Pose” at the drop of a hat. I tried to cooly and calmly pretend I had a hot clue.

But then it was time for “the Eagle”.

It goes something like this: Pretend you are going to sit down on a chair, but alas, the chair is invisible. Sit on it anyway.

Then place your arms straight out in front of you like a zombie walking in its sleep.


Seriously? Are you kidding? Is it humanly possible?

As I tentatively lifted my foot and became pretzel-like (while my butt muscles blazed like a raging inferno), the teacher then demonstrated how the arms should go…

I’ve been practicing for days and can’t figure it out. Perhaps I have too much upper arm “muscle”? (ba ha ha!)

Lest you’ve become confused at my explanation, I found this picture online of a perfect “Eagle”:

pilates and yoga for over 40 at harbourbreezehome.com


Go ahead, get up from your chair and give it a whirl. (Then tell me how fun it is.;))

I was already feeling laughter welling up inside by the time we laid down on our tummies to work our way into a “plank”. I seriously just wanted to lay my head right down for a nap, but it didn’t seem to be one of the options.

As the teachers patiently explained how to do a proper plank and then proceeded to criss cross thier legs underneath your body at break neck speed, I did my best to do one…

Then I looked over at my friend and muttered,

“What in the world?”

and that was it…

We started to laugh.

Not just a little bit, either…

But, the kind where you just had to put your head down and give your belly a whole different kind of work-out.

We were quite quiet about it, I believe…

But, I certainly didn’t ever get the criss- cross-you-legs- under- your- body plank exercise.

Maybe I’ll do better tonight.  You guessed it.  It’s exercise class night.

I’m prepared this time.  I  bought myself some exercise pants – extra baggy, of course.;)

pilates and yoga for over 40 at harbourbreezehome.com

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  1. You look great with your new outfit! Hope you enjoy the class. The motivation is definitely my problem too!

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