Stacey Margaret Jones: He Said/She Said – The Yoga Edition


In December, my husband and I took Go Inside Yoga in Conway up on its offer to new clients: $10 for ten days of unlimited classes. I’ve been going weekly ever since, and he’s been practicing with me at home off and on since then. We’re even going to a yoga retreat together later in the year. 

For our six-month yoga anniversary, I thought I’d check in on our practices with a little guided discussion. Though we both have continued on our yoga and meditation journeys, we are on very different paths.

We are growing in our individual practices (we both have our own yoga mats!), but because we are different, our approaches and beliefs about yoga are not the same. For this “anniversary,” I forced my husband, 63, to sit down and talk to me about this phenomenon.

Stacey: So, why do you continue to practice yoga regularly?

Jay: Because I promised you I would do it with you this summer!  I feel like I need to try to de-stress, and meditation is one way to try to do that. Also, at my age, I need to work on things like flexibility and balance, so I don’t fall down and die as I get older. Yoga helps with exercises that improve those things.

Stacey: But you don’t like to go to class as much as I do. Why do you prefer to practice at home?

Jay: I don’t like being with other people. I mean, I don’t like to just do stuff that they’re telling me to do. I want to do things at my own pace, and I want to do the poses that seem to help me the most.

Stacey: You may have noticed that I am kind of aspirational with my practice. I see challenging poses, like crow, plow, wheel and lord of the dance, and I want to work to do them. You have more of the attitude I think I should cultivate, which is to calm down that ambition and work where you are, on what challenges you now. Do you agree with that? What poses do you like these days. 

Jay: Yeah, I have no aspirations at all as far as yoga goes, other than my own health. I like the warrior poses and the tree pose, mainly because I don’t have to get down on the ground, which is really hard. I believe we should have yoga mattresses, not yoga mats.

Stacey: And yet you agreed to go to a weekend-long yoga retreat with me this year. Why?

Jay: It would help to learn more, especially about meditation, I think, and that’s what I’m hoping to do. And, I’ll go anywhere with you.

Stacey: Clearly! I think one of our differences in our approaches, aside from the ambition aspect, is that it might be easier for me to accept or embrace the parameters of yoga, so it’s easier for me to be more enthusiastic about the benefits of it. You’re a scholar, so you have built your life around challenging assertions made to you. Do you think that plays into how you feel about yoga overall?

Jay: It makes it hard to disregard the conscious mind, or to believe in the benefit of transcending rational thought, which might be why it’s hard for me to meditate—and it might also be why I’m so stressed.

Stacey: But you are doing it, so you must buy into it at a certain level.

Jay: I try to be open to it on a conscious level, though instinctively I still seem to be rejecting it.

Stacey: I think another reason I love yoga is that it holds endless and lifelong opportunities for practice, and that it is something healthy you can do in some way all your life. Right now that’s what I plan. What is your forecast for your future in yoga?

Jay: I hope the “all-your-life” thing is correct, because I’m getting to be less able to do other things, or other more strenuous things.

Stacey: How do you feel after you practice each morning? After you flow through your poses and meditate? Have you seen any benefits of this? When I come out of yoga class, I feel “reset” and refreshed mentally and physically, even though it can be so strenuous.

Jay: I’m more relaxed when I start the day. I try to go to a meditative mindset when things cause me stress throughout the day. 

Stacey: How do you feel about coming with me to hot yoga some time?

Jay: … [His response was unprintable. Let’s just say he declined.]

He Said She Said Yoga Art post

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