And I thought I was OK

Every time I get out of my yoga class feeling sore, sweaty and exhausted, I marvel that I used to think I was in good enough shape to keep myself healthy. I used to make it to the gym a couple of times a week, certainly enough to meet the minimum recommended requirements for exercise. Well, after the past six months in which I’ve stepped up my yoga practice to 2-4 times a week and also intensified my home practice, I know that I have barely reversed the physical decline that comes from aging, riding a desk and smoking too many cigarettes for 20 years. I can see little improvements in flexibility and strength in some areas, but I then I realize that I can barely balance myself in one-legged standing positions, not even to dream about doing Warrior III and the like. The core strength is just not there.