Turn-Ons: What better way to start my 45th birthday than a Gentle Flow Yoga class at Retreat. Operative word? Gentle.
Turn-Offs: The mirrors. LOL
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It was my birthday. "So THIS is what forty-five looks like" I thought with an air of disbelief and acceptance. I had just entered the mirrored yoga studio at Retreat with its stark white walls contrasting the all black outfit I'd hoped would camouflage the weight I've amassed on this dancer's body after almost three years of retirement and eight months of island living. But as I moved through the Gentle Flow Yoga class, the more and more I fell in love with my middle-aged body and her womanly curves; even as my boobs threatened to spill out of my v-neck with every downward facing dog. Or when the silhouette of my Warrior 2 pose exposed the pooch of my belly as it defied my high rise, spandex leggings.
I'd say that minus the arthritis in my left big toe and the occasional pinch I felt in my right shoulder from a torn labrum sustained during my performing career, I felt damn good in my body. I was still awed by its controlled strength, its ability to adjust and find proper alignment, its smooth transitions and grace; and even its ability to surrender to the absolute discomfort of pigeon pose and still BREATHE. I love that years of dance and movement have taught me to be present in my body and aware of my space. As I watched myself move along the mirrored walls, I still saw my dancer's body; not in size and shape but in the way its confident presence filled up the studio. Because no matter what type of movement class I'm in, movement is familiar to me. It's comfortable. It's when I feel most at home in my body and at peace with myself.
Okay, but here's the WHOLE TRUTH. As much as I felt at home in my body, I didn't quite recognize her. I used to have an athletic dancer's body. For decades I never had to suck and tuck or camouflage any wobbly bits. And in my heart and mind I'll always be that dancer. But this new reflection told me otherwise. My life is no longer filled with dance classes, rehearsals and performances balanced with gym workouts, PT and Pilates. My life is far more sedentary by comparison and, at the same time, I've got these middle-aged hormones raging against my every effort to stay in shape. So while I absolutely LURVE the way my body carries me through life, I'm still struggling to love and embrace the way she looks at forty-five.
Unit 215, The Ports of Call Plaza, Grace Bay Road
Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos