When I started yoga over a year ago, Grace invited my husband, Stanley, to join her class. Stanley politely declined as he preferred his favorite sport - playing and “watching“ golf. So why did he agree to do yoga a year later? And did he convert?
Lost Interest In Yoga
Last November, I went on a 2-week trip and took a break from yoga. After the trip, I abandoned my yoga routine and I favored the couch instead. I attended Grace's classes but failed to practice the rest of the week. I badly needed a workout partner to motivate me to get back on my feet.
The Sales Pitch
To pitch for Stanley’s support, I lured him with the promise of better golf. I told him yoga improved my stability and flexibility. Coincidently, I have “an eagle“ and “birdies” from the recent trip to support my proposition. After a few days of nagging and coercing, he finally agreed to practice together.
Quitting After 10 Minutes
We started with Grace's videos but he quit after 10 minutes. He felt dizzy in downward dog and he experienced pain in every pose. He found the yoga language difficult to understand and we had to keep pausing the videos. Changing tactic, I showed him stretches without using the videos and avoided poses that might cause dizziness. Steadily, by the third week, he was able to endure 30 minutes of stretches.
Taking It Up A Notch
I wanted to increase our practice to one hour but I didn’t want my amateurish instructions to cause injuries on him. I switched back to Grace's one-hour videos but Stanley found the pace too fast and the poses too difficult. I ignored his complaints and reassured him that better golf was in sight. The dizziness gradually disappeared and he hung on the hour long workout till his favorite pose - savasana.
Every morning, I had to drag and nag him onto the mat. He constantly checked the clock asking why time went by so slowly. He picked Monday and Friday as his "no yoga days". Then, after his day-off, he complained he was not progressing. We had a repertoire of 6 videos that we repeated over and over again as he found it hard to follow instructions on new sequences and poses.
While I got back into my daily practice, I had to go along with Stanley‘s sarcasm. He named our workout “The Hour of Horror” and described the barre poses as “the girly moves”. When I told him he’s free to quit, he compared his grumbles to that of “a wife who constantly complained about her husband, yet stayed married”. He found enjoyment in the final twist because it’s the end of torture!
Within the first few weeks, Stanley realized he’s not in ship-shaped. He couldn’t balance or straighten his legs and had no strength holding up his arms. Once he acknowledged his problems, there’s less resistance. To keep him engaged, we alternated between yoga and barre because he preferred weight exercise. He even attempted various poses including “pigeon” and ”lizard”. He’s encouraged when our daughter gave him a thumbs-up for his standing forward bend. Now, I just nudge, not drag, him to the mat.
A Test Run
In March, we went on a golf trip in sunny Florida. I was full of hope and anticipation. Subjectively, I detected better flexibility in Stanley’s hip turn even though there was not much improvements in his scores. He said he’s not disappointed at all because he felt a better sense of movement in his swing. He consoled me that it’s unrealistic to expect drastic improvements after only 3 months of practice.
While this story didn’t end like a super hero movie, I was proud that he took the first step to stay active especially during the dark winter days in Toronto. He said he would continue to practice yoga with me and hope to drive farther and straighter in the near future.
Better golf in the near future
Working hard on the course