Chasing the Lotus Dream

Lately I’ve been “feeling my years” as they say. Growing up, when you’d look at me standing, you could see that my legs curved back at the knee. I don’t believe I’ve ever stood straight. My double jointed-ness served me in some respects.  I could fairly easily put my feet to my head which, um, came in handy in certain situations. Ahem. I was very bendy and limber for a girl who’s always carried extra weight. But Tuesday night I was struck with the harsh reality that I am not as young (or flexible) as I once was.

How did I come to this realization?

Yoga class.

For years my knees have made this horrible noise when I bend them. A friend once described it as shards of glass crunching together. That’s fairly accurate. Some mornings I limp when I get out of bed because I feel. . . creaky. I’m not quite 36 and yet I feel wobbly and elderly. My flexibility has withered up. Sitting in class, I could not successfully sit in the basic lotus position. Me! A girl who for years always had a leg bent under her or sat cross-legged in a seat. My right leg could not bend enough as to allow it to rest in anything but a sort of erect position.

What. the. hell?

It’s quite humbling to feel your body’s limitations. Back in my twenties, I trained and walked a half-marathon. I taught self-defense which required me to bend, kick, squat,  fall & get up repeatedly. I practiced yoga. My knees were not such a bother. But that was then and this is now. Now I have to find a way to continue to get exercise without causing more damage to my knees.

Damn aging.

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31 thoughts on “Chasing the Lotus Dream

  1. Man I could have written this today. My body, particularly one knee, is killing me. I feel old and incapable. It sucks. I do not like having a body that doesn’t match my mind.
    Sorry to use your comment section for my own vent.

  2. I totally get this. All the time I think I can do something because in my head I am about 18 years old. My body refuses because in real life I am 33 years old. Getting older is not so much fun!

  3. I’m 29 going on 30 this year and I can definitely feel the limitations. Not cool at all. I’m guessing just start with something slowly and with practice, whatever it is you do (i.e. yoga) you will get back to being flexible.

  4. I am right there with you… My brain feels way younger than my bones. In my early years I could do it all – not so much anymore but DAMNIT I still try!!! Just takes a lot longer to recover 🙂 Actually what does help too is Pilates…

  5. It’s spooky how much we have in common…my knees have always crunched, and I’ve always been incredibly flexible for a big girl…my hubby is so lucky. 🙂 I am going to be 36 this year, and it’s really the first year that the limitations of this body have been felt…my hip is starting to bother me…what the hell? Am I 70?!!?? I’m all for self-acceptance, but I know that this year, I’m going to try and be kinder to this shell I inhabit currently…:) Be kind to yourself! You deserve it! Mwah!

  6. I just started going to a chiropracter and I swear, I feel like the Tin Man whose just gotten an oil change. I’m amazed at how much easier it is for me to move and how less stiff I feel (even when getting up). It’s going to help me with quite a few of my “frustrations” that never even dawned on me that could be tied to my back, including possibly weight loss. I was thinking of blogging about it on my own site, but didn’t know if it might be TMI to talk about retaining gas 🙂

  7. Wait ’til you’re 46, sister. It sucks plus 10.

    But here’s a thought. I was having a lot of problems with my knees at your age. In fact, I once kneeled down to take a photo of my daughter’s kindergarten Christmas pageant and couldn’t get up. Through physical therapy I discovered my hamstrings were impacting my knees. I now religiously stretch my hamstrings every day and I haven’t had a knee problem since.

  8. Oy! Yoga is tough stuff! I have been teaching dance for years and I was under the impression that I would rule the school when it came to yoga.
    Not.so.much.
    Dude, it’s gonna be a rough for a bit, but I’m told it’ll get easier.
    I’m still waiting. . .

  9. My knees, ankles, and elbows can pop on command. And Katie’s back, when I try to rub out soreness, crackles like popcorn. It’s creepy.

    We’re all feeling the age. Sorry it’s hurting you so much. But that, um, bendiness? NICE!

  10. I have exactly the same knees! I call them “pepper grinders”. Apparently we’ll need some kind of surgery at some point where they stick a hose in there and suck all the bone chips out or something…ew!

  11. Good on you for returning to yoga. I’m too scared that I’ll throw my body out of whack by trying…either that or I’ll be embarrassed by my inability to do the simplest thing. I do plan to try it at least once before declaring it offlimits.

    I’ve noticed as I get older that my back gives out so easily! I’m always complaining about back pain like an old lady…

  12. I totally get this too. I bet if you keep doing the yoga though you regain back a lot of your flexibility. You would be surprised! I went through a Pilates phase which just about killed me the first few times but then I noticed that I was becoming more flexible and able to do some of the harder moves because of it. We’re still spring chickens Sizzle we got a long way to go before we get old….we just have to figure out how to tell our bodies that. LOL

  13. if it makes you feel any better, matt’s body creaks all the time, and i mean all the time, haha. and he’s only 24, and i swear he has the body of an 80 year old, haha.

  14. I totally, totally get you on this. Snap crackle pop! Most of my life I’ve had extraneous junk in my trunk, but I’ve always been able to bend flat in half. Reach my toes. All that stuff. Now, from sitting on my tuchus in an office chair all day, I’m lucky when I can stand up without sound effects.

  15. I hear ya. My body…is a creakin too. It sucks. But unlike you, I was never a pretzel unfortunately. I do like yoga even though I’m not too bendy it still makes me feel good.

  16. Well, you know, there’s always the pool when the joints no longer want to cooperate for, say, Pilates or something. Don’t be worried, though – aqua aerobics can be quite fun!

  17. I bet that flexibility will come right back with a few more classes! Even so, with my continual practice, there is no question that I’m not as limber as I used to be. I’m determined to change that though!

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