accessibility · aging · fitness · yoga

Sam has become “that person” in the fitness class!

Years ago I remember watching a woman in a yoga class at the Y who seemed to be just doing her own thing.

The instructor would tell us what to do and sometimes free spirit lady followed along and at other times not. I was puzzled. Why even come to class if you’re not going to do the thing the instructor is doing? What’s that even about?

Zoom ahead twenty years and OMG I’ve become that woman in yoga class. I was at bike-yoga at the university. The instructor kept demonstrating postures I can’t manage. Some are ones I’m positively told not to do. Instead whenever the pose was one of the forbidden/impossible ones I did my own thing.

My knees were happy. I was having a good workout. But some of the university students looked at me in a funny way. I think they thought I didn’t hear or see what I was supposed to be doing. And then it dawned on. I was free spirit yoga lady.

I’m okay with that. I’m with Cate that knowing your body and what it needs and doing that is one of the joys of aging.

How about you? In group fitness classes do you ever do your own thing? How does it feel?


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “Sam has become “that person” in the fitness class!

  1. It took me a long time to become free spirit yoga lady and now I’m her all the time. I generally follow the instructions but I go off-script if, like you, it’s a movement that doesn’t work for my body or if it’s a movement I particularly dislike. My thought is if I’m not disrupting the class why does it matter. That said, I don’t position myself front and centre so I won’t distract others or the instructor.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish I felt more comfortable being that free spirit person in the gym. I just did a six week session to get me going again and trying to keep up just about ruined me. I know my body, I was a competitive athlete when I was young but I kept trying even when I knew it was hurting beyond what was good. I tried to get the exercises toned down but there are only so many times you can ask before you sound whiny. I really like being surrounded by young strong people but I don’t think it is good for me. Back to the y and doing my own thing!

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  3. I am that lady, at the back of the yoga or fitness class. I was amused a couple of months ago when the instructor tried to encourage me to do burpees. I ignored her, and then she said, “Try one”, I said no and kept doing my thing. I am also – No, you can’t convince me, I decide what is best for me – lady and – I don’t feel he need to explain why I am not doing something lady. This is all very freeing.

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    1. There’s a point at which doing your own thing becomes rude and disrespectful. When I sign up for a class, I let the instructor know about any limitations I have. That allows them to offer alternate exercises and if that’s not an option, they will know why I’m opting to stretch rather than participate in certain exercises.

      Why take a class if you’re going to ignore the instructor?

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  4. I’m the free spirit yoga lady now, too. I was actually in a qigong workshop where people were sitting in a flat-footed squat for a long time. I can’t do it for a long time, so after a short time I stood up. The teacher asked if I was okay, if anything was wrong. I said my knees won’t do that pose for long. So I stand up or do something else when it doesn’t work for my body. Go free spirit yoga ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I once fell asleep in child’s pose for like 15 minutes. I assume I just really needed the nap. This was actually years ago, I was a teenager, and apparently I was just a really exhausted teenager.

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