After the fall: Yoga

Lying on a hospital bed several weeks ago, following my horseback accident, the first thing I thought was, “Well, this really sucks!”

Then Stew and I agreed this debacle might well be a omen, among other things, pointing the way back to some sort of exercise regimen to help me mend whatever damage was done to my back. Stew has long-standing back problems too.

So we returned to our thrice-weekly yoga routine that we’d abandoned four or five years ago.

Not me. 

Though sometimes scoffed by more testosteronal guys as a somewhat effete, yuppie indulgence, along with Evian mineral water and sushi, yoga is a powerful tool, in effect a form of physical therapy to help mend damage to the body.

In fact, Stew got a sheet of suggested exercises from his physical therapist, most of which are right out the yoga handbook.

Yoga has been around for 5,000 years and is a low stress but very effective exercise to increase strength, balance and most of all, a sort of WD-40 to help loosen up old and increasingly crankier joints.

In the absence of fancy gyms that long ago, I guess devotees practiced it atop the nearest mountain but that’s not a requirement. 

Your first yoga session, particularly here in Geezerville, Mexico, might look to you like a support group for the chronically uncoordinated. Nothing as graceful as an Esther Williams water ballet, or as stunning as an old, bald-headed yogi, his body locked in a pretzel-like pose.

Nope, not me either. 

Alejandro, 53, and his partner Jorge, who seems to just keep track of attendance and collection of the approximately $7 dollars per session, have been leading yoga classes here for about 15 years.

Since we first met him, about ten years ago, Alejandro has gained some weight—pretty much like his pupils—but remains a master teacher who can ratchet the routines up or down, according to the ability of the participants, and yet demonstrate with ease poses that seem impossible.

Several years ago we attended a “hot yoga” class here in San Miguel and fled after 15 minutes. Not only were we surrounded by heaters that kept the temperature 90 degrees or thereabouts, but we were light years behind whatever the instructor was demonstrating.

Room with a view.

Also to be avoided, though, mercifully, not offered in San Miguel yet, is “nude yoga.” Never been, but I can’t imagine it to be anything but a horror show unless the participants are buff 20-somethings. Even then, I’d be so embarrassed I’d probably roll myself in my yoga mat and never come out until everyone left.

Alejandro recently moved his class to a large, sunny and gorgeous party room in a downtown hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of San Miguel’s Centro and two of its churches, including the iconic Parroquia. 

An added attraction of the new venue is its location, right above the hotel restaurant. Our class meets at 9:30, and the inebriating smell of fried eggs and bacon wafting from below effectively mask the pffts and other mishaps inevitable in any yoga class, which I’m too embarrassed to discuss here. Check here for details, if you dare.

Otherwise, namasté!

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