At 75, my dad is starting his yoga practice. The facts are as follows; he is basically thin and fit, a tennis player, gardener and avid ballroom dancer. A psychiatrist, which makes him precise, direct and punctuated with shoulder tension. He has a history of asthma and abandonment issues (mother) and above all stays far away from negative emotions. He calls his current girlfriend love muffin, sexy bunny and lover -respectively horrifying and amusing my children. Over Christmas, my sister Johanna wryly stated that it was cute to find dad a yoga class, but we knew he would never go.

In the class we took him to, he found a professional friend he had lost contact with and thought the teacher was nice, sincere and cute. I placed him in the front row, which turned out to be a mistake, as he had no one to follow for the whole class. Though he found her intro talk about the goddess Kali to be “kind of dopey” I thought she was great and it that was good for him to think abstractly. One of her themes was that Kali represented “never not broken”, and dad conceded that some people must feel that way – my other sister cried. Before we left Fargo he had me download asanas so he could learn them, and he promised me he would continue with that class, as he could see it might benefit his ballroom dancing.

Dad is now a weekly yoga practioner. He has gone each Thursday as promised and is impressed that his Serbian ex-coworker, now the head of psychiatry at the VA, is such a good and dedicated yogi (3-4x a week!). Dad told me that he gave up studying the downloaded asanas, as he thinks yoga might be better learned through experience, and that it has helped with his strength (deltoids), that he thinks his ballroom dancing has benefited from his increased flexibility. But, he concluded, his absolute favorite pose of all, was savasana; corpse pose.

Proud of you dad!

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