Ninja Savasana

Gam always told me that one day I’d realize the value of being flexible.

She’s always been a bit of a bean pole. A human rubber band. Which was excellent for her karate at the dojo, her Tai Chi classes at Riddle, and the occasional games of Twister at a certain eight-year-old’s birthday party.

(As well as a few other things I honestly wished she wouldn’t have told me about, but I digress.)


Once I attended a yoga class with her at Riddle–taught by a young gal about my age who was beyond wonderful with the ladies. Super patient, amazingly enthusiastic, ridiculously encouraging.

Yoga looks a little different with a senior crowd. Downward Facing Dogs are performed upright with a lot less bark for their bite, and the most impressive Savasanas are secured from the comfort of a folding chair–although “comfort” might not be the word chosen by the ladies in Gam’s class. 

What a sweet teacher. She approached each move with grace and patience, rewarding completion of the simplest poses with a “good job, ladies” and “wow, we’re sweatin’ butter now!”

Gam, however, was never satisfied with a simple stretch. She had to push it. Why was I surprised?

What were painstaking movements of right-arm-stretched-slighty-to-left-side became effortless full body contortions for Gam–partly for the challenge, but mostly for the show-off.

She’d throw her entire right side all the way to the left side–well past her ear, far past her waist, and all the way down to the floor. With a “WHEE!” and a giggle.

You could hear winces, gasps, and even eye rolls from those with a lot less dexterity. And a lot less patience for her theatrics.

“Your grandma’s quite the rubber band,” the instructor remarked. “She’s makes me smile.”

“She makes me sick,” a classmate mumbled.

I didn’t know whether to apologize or laugh, but I did the latter.

After all, it’s good to be flexible.