Tag Archives: Yoga

Relax Your Tongue

When I was in high school, my mom quit smoking.  Although I have never smoked a cigarette, I have witnessed the quitting process through friends and family many times.  I know that it isn’t easy.

I recall it being particularly tough for my mother, who worked hard to cut down on her own but finally resorted to therapy and hypnosis to quit completely.  This was before nicotine patches, you know.

Apparently, someone along the way gave her a relaxation tape to use every day to counteract the stress of quitting.   She would retire to her bedroom, pop a tape in, and – well – RELAX.

Except often my father and I would hear giggles from the bedroom.  Sometimes giggles turned into outright laughter.  Sometimes, she would emerge from her ‘relaxation’ with tears in her eyes from laughing so hard.


The soft, harmonious, gentle voice on the tape kept telling her to relax her tongue.

Perhaps it’s not that funny to you, but in my family this phrase is now part of the family history – and can instantly make any one of us smile.

Now its 2011 and I’m trying to relax myself.  I’m not trying to quit smoking, but to improve my flexibility and build strength for backpacking and hiking and, well, middle age.  Because I can’t seem to do this stretching thing on my own, I pop in my yoga DVD and Rondey Yee walks me through a simple 20-minute yoga stretching routine.

“Release from the corners of your eyes,” he says.  “Feel the earth through your toes,” he says. “You feel as calm as a mountain spring,” he says.

Um.   WHAT?

That’s right, my mother’s voice giggles in the back of my mind.

He said “relax your tongue.”




Filed under Fitness

Just Apply Pressure

Apparently there is nothing like admitting failure to my friends and family in a public forum to motivate me!

Here’s my stretching report since my last post:

Friday            15 Minute Stretch Workout

Saturday      15 Minute Stretch Workout

Sunday          1 Hour Pressure Point Massage

Monday       20 minute AM Yoga plus Post-Squash Stretching

Tuesday       20 minute AM Yoga plus 1 Hour Pilates Class

I am now officially five for eight!

And yes, before you give me a hard time, I am counting the massage as a stretching session because believe me, my muscles were stretched.  And prodded.  If you’ve never had a pressure point massage, then you need to understand that this is not entirely a relaxing, pampering experience.  That being said, my shoulders and neck do feel much better, thank you very much.

Still, this resolution continues to evade me – that is I am not enjoying it as much nor am I finding it as easy to implement.  I’ve decided that part of this is because it is going to take a lot longer to feel the benefits.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure 15 minutes a day will be enough to make much of a difference at all.  It’s true that I feel awesome after my one hour Pilates class every Tuesday evening.  But an hour or two later that feeling goes away.  And after five straight days of stretching I do not feel even the tiniest bit more flexible.

In fact, I might be less flexible.

What’s even more annoying is that a friend did the 20 minute AM Yoga workout with me today and, in spite of the fact that he has never done yoga and he does not stretch ever, he is about 1000 times more flexible than me.  And no, he is not an eight year old.


I want instant gratification!  Do you hear me body?  I want to feel limber and I want it now!

What?  You say it doesn’t work that way?  Especially now that I’m, um, in my FORTIES?

Well, fuck you.

And your little dog too.




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Filed under Fitness, Resolutions