Stressed out. Sleepless nights. Undefinable cause for shoulder and back ache. I refused pain killers, but knew I needed help. A natural form of pain relief.

Physical therapy. Cold packs followed by hot packs didn’t work.

Walking eased the pain short term, but time yielded little return.

Zumba stopped being fun once summer days turned into long nights and I found myself sitting in front of the television set devouring a tub of popcorn instead of meeting friends for class.

So I found a Yoga class at the local Adult School.

Deep breathing. Stretching. Meditation.

Now that sounded promising.

I flipped through pages of the school catalog.

– Affordable price. Check.

– No need to purchase equipment. I already had a mat and strap from a former Yoga class. Check.

– Convenient hours and location. Check. Check!

– Online registration. Fast and easy. Check-er-roonie.

A year has passed. I’m taking PiYo (Pilates and Yoga) classes four days a week. Pilates, especially plank pose, has taught me to build a stronger core . . . working towards the enviable six pack. And Yoga is just what I expected – controlled breathing, strengthening muscles using proven techniques and meditation to quiet the mind.

Downward facing dog continues to elude me, and though I can only muster a basic tree pose, I’ve never felt better or been happier with any other exercise routine. And this comes from a former runner, aerobics enthusiast, and Jazzercise aficionado.

Flexibility: Sitting cross legged used to hurt, now it’s a breeze.

Posture: Pulling my shoulders back when I walk across a room, imagining the string on top of my head straightening my spine has become second nature.

Control: Holding a warrior two pose for minutes challenges the arm muscles. So I zone out and think about fun times with the grandson. Seems to do the trick.

Relaxation: The final cool down is ample reward for every boat, pigeon and chair pose.

No more back ache. No more sleepless nights. No more pain pills.

Haven’t given up the tub of popcorn. I just don’t feel guilty when I eat it ’cause I know I’ll work it off in the morning.



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