In my younger years, I used to jog five miles a day, do 50 sit-ups each morning, and row 15 miles to work. I was a nationally recognized fitness expert and author of the best seller, Earlobes of Steel. But now that I am older, I know better. At best, all that exercise will add less than 30 years to my life.
Not long ago, I tried out a fitness class called sports yoga. I stuck with it for what seemed like forever, by which I mean nearly four sessions. There was just one small problem: yoga was really hard. Try as I may, I could never get my left foot to wrap around the back of my neck. I never got the knack for how to balance my body off the ground using just my thumbs.
I even wrote about my nightmarish yoga experience previously in a post called The World’s Least Flexible Man – the 100% true retelling of my very first yoga class. So I hung up my yoga mat. I’m simply not that young anymore. My body is no longer capable of contorting like a human pretzel. And before you know it, I’ll be celebrating my 80th birthday. (Okay, technically not for another 23 years, but in geologic terms, that’s a blink of an eye).
Like millions of middle-aged Americans, I thought I was too old for yoga – until now! Thanks to my new, exclusive, breakthrough yoga system called No-Impact Yoga, I no longer shudder at the sight of a yoga mat. Unlike traditional yoga, with No-Impact Yoga, there is none of that awkward, painful attempting to touch your left elbow to your right butt cheek stuff. (Okay, admit it. You just tried to touch your left elbow to your right butt cheek, didn’t you?) It’s revolutionary. And you’re guaranteed not to break a sweat – or your money back.
- Resting Cat: Curl into a ball with your back gently curved, while grasping a fluffy pillow. Avoid kneading the person next to you – unless they’re a cat lover.
- Seated Arm Incline: While seated on the floor, extend your legs comfortably in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms 6 to 10 inches behind your back. Hold this position for 30 – 60 breaths. If you experience any exertion or fatigue, return to the Resting Cat pose.
- Sideways-Facing Dog: Inspired by the traditional yoga Downward-Facing Dog pose (above), this slight modification uses the same classic V-shaped stance, but from the sideways position, with your body in full contact with the floor, in the right lateral recumbent position. Hold for five minutes. Flip over to the left lateral recumbent position. Maintain a vacuous stare at the ceiling.
- Fallen Warrior: Most Yogans are familiar with the classic Warrior I and Warrior 2 positions. This variation (seen at right) recreates the classic stance of a fallen warrior (1 or 2) after said warrior has been killed in battle. Assume the prone position and adjust your arms and legs to emulate the classic “chalk outline” pose. For the advanced version, pour some ketchup under you, oozing along the floor, so it looks like you were actually killed.
- Inverted Plank: One of the most challenging positions in traditional yoga is the plank position (think push-up). This modification inverts the traditional pose, as you assume a supine position with your arms pressed firmly upward towards the ceiling, directly above your shoulders. Maintain this pose until your arms get tired or you need to scratch your nose.
- Really Happy Baby Pose: For most yogaphiles, the well-known Happy Baby pose (below left) is awkward, requiring you to lie on your back with legs elevated, while grabbing your toes. In this less arduous modification, maintain the supine position at all times, knees gently bent, feet firmly planted on the floor, while sucking your thumb. For the advanced version, suck the breast of a classmate. (Caution: Not recommended unless the classmate is really into you.)
- Hibernating Bear: At first glance, this pose may appear similar to the Resting Cat warm-up pose. Maybe even at second glance. But this pose adds complexity by requiring simultaneous use of an eye pillow and comfy blanket. Maintain a sideways horizontal posture, knees slightly bent, for 20 minutes. For the advanced version, maintain this position while snoring.
- Corpse Pose: This pose (seen at right) is similar to the Hibernating Bear pose but in the prone position and held for a longer duration – approximately ten hours. This pose is best performed on a Sealy PosturePedic mattress. For the advanced version, attempt the corpse pose without the mattress – on a sidewalk – after consuming large quantities of alcohol.
The No-Impact Yoga System is not available in any store – or anywhere else. Send three easy payments of $29.95 or six even easier payments of $39.95. Call toll-free today: 1-800-LAZY-ASS
Operators are standing by – make that, lying by (very comfortably). Your order comes complete with a therapeutic, high-opacity eye pillow – unless we’re out of stock.
[Disclaimer: Some Assembly required. This offer not valid in states with the letter A or N in their name. Not recommended for use as an exercise or fitness program. Ads featuring President Obama claiming to use the No-Impact Yoga system make use of a celebrity impersonator named Marv. Do not use this program while operating heavy machinery. If you experience genital discomfort performing this program, you’re not doing it right. Consult your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms: an inexplicable desire to see a Seattle Mariners game, a temporary impairment of your religious belief system, or a fear of circles.]
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
PS: You can even read this blog while assuming almost any No-Impact Yoga pose. It’s so easy, even my wife can do it (read my blog, that is). If you enjoyed this week’s post, please share on Facebook, post a comment or it. Thanks.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2012