Head Home Previous Next Last

Any Given Sunday

Nida Spalding loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. She believes that curiosity and persistence are key to happiness and success.

On Sunday, I am supposed to rest.

"Get up," I tell myself, after praying the rosary. I want so much to stay in bed. I check my phone for the temperature outside. It's 45 degrees. I part the drapes in my bedroom and peer out. No more rain. The leaves from the two Chinese Pistache trees in our backyard are piled about an inch thick covering the grass.

"I'm going to yoga," I say to my husband who is still in bed.

"Say hi to Yoda," he says.

When I say, "I'm going to the gym," he says, "Say hi to Jim."

I quickly change into my exercise clothes: black leggings, exercise bra, a T-shirt, a sweatshirt, sometimes a windbreaker or thick jacket. I grab a drink, a handful of pecans, and a banana or fruit that's in season. I get in the car in no time. As I turn left from my street, I see the big expansive sky and my mood lifts. The warmth of the morning sunlight invigorates me. The empty street calms my mind. After a rain, the puffy clouds look like I could play in them.

Within 15 minutes, I arrive at the gym. Yoga starts at 9 a.m. I approach the counter, punch an old telephone number on the keypad then press the tip of my forefinger onto the glass surface. A little button turns light green. I see the read-out "Enjoy workout." I stride into the classroom.

Gloria, my yoga instructor, is an Asian lady who smiles with her eyes, talks low, is prone to making jokes and giving high-fives. She plays music by artist Kintaro. The relaxation music is Om Namah Shivaya.

Before starting the yoga practice, Gloria asks, "Do we have new friends?" She runs crouching between the yogis sitting or standing on yoga mats and gives newcomers a high-five. "Welcome. Welcome, my name is Gloria. Be patient with yourself. Listen to your body. Try yoga at least 10 times."



Then her voice goes low.

"Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your nose." I concentrate. I hear a hissing breath. We go through the poses. Sometimes there are variations to the routine. Always, we start with stretching and deep breathing and finish with relaxation. In yoga, concentration is key to completing or approximating the poses.

We do Sun Salutes, Downward Facing Dog, Warrior I, II and III, Bridge Pose, Pigeon Pose, and Boat Pose, for an hour.

I've been told that yoga is a form of religion. To me, it's simply exercise that strengthens, helps develop balance and flexibility, and is a form of relaxation and meditation. Going to yoga is self-care.

Gloria reminds us, "Remember to breathe." During difficult poses, she advises, "No pressure. No competition. No judgment."

I'm often tempted to skip the relaxation pose (Shavasana or corpse pose). I squint at the clock on the wall up front. I can't make out the time. I put my glasses back on. I remove them because I wear a mask and glasses become blurry from my breath.

As I lay on my back, I put my socks back on and lay the sweatshirt on my upper body. I try to relax and not think of the tasks ahead.

The class ends with Gloria saying, "Thank you for coming here on a Sunday morning and doing something good for your mind, your body, and your spirit, Namaste."

The class replies, "Namaste" and we clap our hands.

Channeling the Jamaican sprinter, I bolt home to have brunch ready by 11 a.m.

~ Nida Spalding






Last page
Next page
Previous page
Home page