I just bumped into a yoga student I taught in February. He’d attended my classes while his teacher was studying with the Iyengars in India. “Ned,” a professor emeritus of chemistry, was brand new to yoga. Following directions seemed alien to him at first, and I had to be extra firm. He found basic stretches very intense, and he wasn’t shy about breaking the studio silence with some audible huffing and puffing.
But he didn’t mind being corrected and was very motivated to work on his tight shoulders and hamstrings. I appreciated his commitment: he arrived for class early and he asked smart questions. And despite his old-school macho-ness, he could laugh at himself.
Now, over three months later, he told me that he’s still attending class. “And it’s actually gotten easier!” He seemed incredulous.
“Is it still helping you recover from hockey?” I asked. He’d mentioned picking up hockey after decades of hiatus. “Well, I’ve had no injuries!” he said. I had a hunch that he was hooked on Iyengar yoga.
After we parted ways, I contemplated our chance meeting. Had three months passed? Three months! The length of summer vacation. It seemed like forever in elementary school. Back then, kids could transform themselves between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Now the months pass in the blink of an eye.
Since February, Ned, a lifetime academic in his late 60s, had changed. It made me wonder how much progress I’ve made in the same three months.
Image: Simpsons Channel