Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mom on yoga

Not my mother's yoga book but nonetheless Hittleman's 
books were influential to many!
It dawns on me as Mother's Day approaches that I owe a lot of my appreciation of, and dedication to regular yoga practice to my Mom. She was a stalwart believer in basic physical fitness and had a daily routine with little yoga in it, albeit she didn't call it yoga (she didn't call it 'working out' either).  Most of what she did was Jack LaLanne-inspired exercise routine performed daily sometime between making four kids breakfast, school bus stops and lunch. This was the day of three channels on the TV and a similar number of radio stations. There wasn't any video not to mention the Internet. Looking back, you'd think we were on a different planet, pre-Google, when you learned either at the source, via word-of-mouth, at school, from books or what little TV programming there was. Along with LaLanne, mom followed instructions in a small paperback exercise book featuring photos of a woman in a white unitard and white tights. Again, it wasn't a yoga book, but there were pictures of the woman in in shoulder stand and halasana with accompanying directions.
Between LaLanne on TV and the paperback, my mom followed suit in the living room, albeit in loose jeans and a cotton shirt.
I didn't really get it. I was a kid. Once in a while I'd try something she was doing, but I considered LaLanne a little too strange in his jumpsuits and big cheer, and the woman in the unitard in the book a little too uncool to follow at that time. So like most things about parents, my appreciation for my mom's discipline comes late in life.
I've heard that a propensity for yoga is attributable to interest, or practice, in one's previous lifetimes, so it intrigues me that my mom, despite her European descent and pious Catholicism, quite naturally gravitated toward exercise and yoga. It grieved me she didn't develop a yoga practice when she had opportunity later in her life, but I'm nonetheless grateful for the role model she provided for taking time each day for a practice of self care.

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