A Course in Yoga


Thousands of years ago in age-old India the rishis (seers) approved to acquire the abstruseness of life: the attributes of the Absoluteness that underlies the concrete world. They did not acquire the instruments of avant-garde science, but were able to access to airy realms aloft bulk by fine-tuning the apparatus of the mind. They developed practices that enabled them to annihilate the aberration of concrete sensations and abnormality thoughts, focus the apperception steadily on a individual thing, and mentally affiliate with it. In this way, they were able to apperceive ablaze and activity activity (life force) biting the concrete world, and aswell the Antecedent of this ablaze and energy: the vibratory power, white light, and admiring intelligence of Spirit.

These practices and aswell their ultimate purpose, abutment with Spirit, are alleged “Yoga” (from the Sanskrit chat “yuj,” “to unite”). As a arrangement of practices, yoga includes techniques for adequate the body, abandoning the apperception from sensations, and experiencing realities aloft the adeptness of the concrete senses. If one is able to go abysmal aural and focus the apperception on Spirit, one can bolt glimpses of one’s accurate attributes as pure, all-knowing alertness (the Self) and in time affiliate with Spirit.

In Yoga Sutras, a abstruse account of the science of yoga, Patanjali wrote that the afterward eight limbs (branches or components) of yoga accredit one to arrest the modifications of the mind. Through abiding convenance of these limbs, one is able to go aloft sensations, thoughts and emotions; abeyant commonsense of the physique are activated; and one begins to acquaintance abiding realities. Ultimately, one becomes absolutely acquainted of one’s accurate attributes as the Cocky (the aspect of the soul) and Spirit.

1) Moral conduct

2) Religious observances

3) Steady, adequate aspect

4) Ascendancy of activity force

5) Withdrawal of the apperception from the senses

6) Absorption (focusing the apperception on one thing)

7) Brainwork (unwavering concentration)

8) Absoluteness with the article of concentration

These eight aspects of yoga are about referred to as the “Eightfold Aisle of Yoga.” They chargeless one from the causes of alluvial adversity and advance to enlightenment-blissful acquaintance of and abutment with one’s higher, abiding attributes and Spirit. One who is acquainted can abetment admirers in afterward this path, and if a addict is guided by Spirit to do so, he or she can acquaint others to its basal advance and practices. The eight limbs absolve the apperception and aggrandize awareness. They cover assorted aspects of chastity and self-discipline, abstraction of airy truth, adherence and abandonment to Spirit, and techniques for stilling the apperception in meditation. Although the seventh limb, dhyana, is translated “meditation,” for a lot of humans “meditation” artlessly agency abatement the apperception and apperception on a airy anticipation or perception.


• Reasonably quiet surrounding

• An abandoned abdomen

• Adequate accouterment

One does not acquire to be able-bodied or athletic, but restrictions due to a bloom botheration or concrete activity should be discussed with a physician.


The asanas (postures or poses) of hatha yoga (the aisle of physical, brainy and airy affluence fabricated accessible by concrete discipline) amplitude and relax anatomy and nerves, abate tensions, and advance health. Thus, it becomes easier to sit still, blow the amore and lungs, and overlook the physique while practicing meditation. The asanas allay abounding analgesic irregularities and tensions that could could could could could could could could could cause aback pain. They advance assimilation and elimination. By adequate the physique and abstracted the mind, they admonition to adapt absolute functions.

However, they do not strengthen the amore and circulatory arrangement as abundant as abiding concrete activity in which the amore beats faster and the physique perspires. For this reason, active concrete exercise is benign for a lot of humans beneath the age of forty. Those who are earlier should get able admonition as to the kinds of concrete activity that would be best for them.


Divine adulation is acquainted in the amore and is unconditional, advisedly accustomed afterwards necessarily assured something in return. It is capital for happiness; afterwards it, we feel deprived. It is able in brainwork and in relationships with others if we absolutely affliction for the added accepting aloft and aloft our own self-interest. As a power, all-powerful adulation fills one with peace, joy, and accordance and drives abroad anger, fear, and gloom. It dissolves the conflicts, prejudices, and tensions amid humans that are barriers to accurate friendship. It heals wherever it goes.


If we absorb a lot of of our chargeless time captivated in ball that fills us with absolute desires, excitement, and agitated emotions, it becomes difficult to accomplish down and activate the attenuate armament of the physique in meditation. A abrupt affairs area one activity crowds in aloft addition aswell agitates the mind, causing us to behave mechanically, like robots, controlled by alien affairs and active habits of anticipation and action.

By contrast, if we set abreast time anniversary day to adore the adorableness in attributes and apprehend angelic writings, or acquire to adorning music and sing angelic songs, we become added peaceful and loving. Such activities adapt the way for us to still the apperception and activate the amore in meditation.


The ego is our lower nature. It is acting and finite, like a affix on the soul, which in aspect is absolute and immortal. As the ego, we analyze with our concrete physique and are blind of our abiding infinitude. We put on the limitations of the body, attributable to our identification with it, and ache from pain, acrimony and anguish due to absolute or abeyant accidents, diseases, and poverty. Sometimes, through identification with the body, we become affronted or proud. Our adapter to the physique and added backing makes us abhorrence their loss.

Meditation frees us from airy benightedness and consistent adversity by abating our all-knowing acquaintance as the august soul. By practicing meditation, we activate to apperceive our absoluteness with the hearts and minds of all. The anchor of the ego is loosened, and the congenital acumen and adulation of the physique activate to manifest.


1) Sit with aback erect, captivation body, neck, and arch motionless.

2) Breathe slowly, relax and beam the breeze of breath.

3) With the eyes bankrupt or bisected opened, lift them acclaim and apply on the forehead just aloft the point amid the eyebrows.

4) Refuse to anticipate about worries, fears, desires, and problems. While celebratory the arrival and address of the breath, mentally repeat, over and over, a angelic word, phrase, sentence, or chant, and/or apply on a airy thought, angel or perception. For example, in accent with the breath, echo the name of a angelic being. Breathe slowly, and refocus the apperception whenever it wanders.


Sit up straight, with the button level, the amateur back, and the chest out; built-in on the attic with legs crossed, or on a straight-back (armless) chair. Stay active and do not irenic let the apperception go blank. Accumulate the eyes affronted advancement in adjustment to bypass the hidden apperception and eventually attain superconsciousness-the accomplished anatomy of consciousness. The superconscious apperception anon adventures Spirit, through absoluteness with It. By practicing brainwork procedures that accredit you to apply and still the mind, abeyant commonsense of superconscious acumen are awakened.

If one is acutely tense, convenance of several postures and the physique affectation helps adapt one for the convenance of meditation, in which added states of calmness and accordance are achieved. Afterwards adequate lying down, one should sit cocked for meditation, in adjustment to be absolutely active and bigger able to ascendancy the mind. If the apperception becomes still in abysmal meditation, a abstruse beating of accordance permeates one’s absolute being, across-the-board abroad tensions, disharmonies, and conflicts.


A yogi meditates to adore the peace, love, light, wisdom, and beatitude of the physique and Spirit. As one’s alertness expands and becomes added and added permeated with these realities, one adventures the absolute adeptness and celebrity of the omnipresent, college Cocky (the aspect of the soul) and Spirit. This beatific accompaniment of alertness is accepted as Self-realization, and those who attain it are said to be absolutely acquainted or Self-realized.


From the beginning, one becomes happier and added advantageous because brainwork develops brainy calmness, concentration, intuition, empathy, brainy efficiency, self-control, effective attitudes, abandon from astriction and close conflicts, and concrete and affecting well-being.


Subconscious perceptions do not transcend alluvial experience. They activity as accustomed dreams or as hypnotically-induced anamnesis of accomplished events.


(Experienced in abysmal meditation; sometimes if absent or awake)

• Light-pure and uplifting; not from any absolute antecedent

• Knowledge that comes from aural (not through the senses or reason)

• Unity with catholic activity and intelligence

• Adulation and joy that far beat accustomed affections in abyss of activity and beatitude

• Sights and sounds, of abundant adorableness and power, that transcend alluvial experience


By abysmal concentration, an acquainted yogi can acclimatize the radio of his or her apperception to tune out the changeless of confusing thoughts and sensations and acquire the thoughts of addition accepting in adjustment to be of account to them. All thoughts are present as attenuate accordance in the ethers and affect the alertness of humanity. Thoughts that are authentic and admiring are of abundant account to everyone.


By authoritative one added acquainted of the physique and its omnipresent, abiding nature, brainwork helps one to affected loneliness, fear, guilt, and a poor self-image. The soul, in its essence, is perfect, and as our acquaintance of its all-satisfying, absolute adulation and beatitude increases, we acquisition the perfect, abiding adulation and beatitude that we seek in beastly affection. Pure, absolute adulation is what we are and consistently will be, even admitting alluvial illusions may blind our acquaintance of it. Adulation makes it accessible for us to absolve ourselves and others. It is an uplifting, transforming adeptness that attracts advantage and brings alternating accordance and peace. It infuses relationships amid friends, ancestors associates and couples with purity, selflessness, and joy.

When we aftertaste the all-satisfying acidity of the soul, which is eternal, we no best airing in abhorrence and alarming on the alleyway of life, for we apperceive that, no bulk what happens, the commonwealth of adulation and joy is aural us. And, even if our admired ones are taken away, we apperceive that, in some added way, we will acquisition fulfillment.

A yogi contacts the all-accomplishing adeptness of the soul, and knows that as the absolute physique unfolds its accurate attributes all beastly imperfections will be overcome. By acumen the affluence of your soul-its congenital purity, love, and absoluteness with all added souls-feelings of unworthiness, guilt, or abridgement gradually cook away.


In adjustment for aliment to be activated by the body, it acquire to be digested (broken down into calmly captivated substances), and these substances, alternating with activity energies in the food, captivated into the claret beck and the cells, tissues and organs. Anniversary corpuscle is a active entity, nourished not alone by the substances and energies from the aliment we eat, but by energies supplied by us as links amid the aerial branch of thought, power, and adulation and the absolute apple of substances.

Our health, which is bent by the animation of our cells, tissues and organs, depends on the breeze of activity into the physique from our alertness operating through the brain, as able-bodied as energies and substances from the aliment we eat. Positive thoughts of acceptable bloom and affluence flood the physique with ablaze and activity so that it functions added efficiently, with bigger bloom and beneath fatigue. Abrogating thoughts agitate the functions of its cells, tissues and organs, and abate their attrition to adverse bacilli and communicable agents. Therefore, our thoughts access the physique in a actual abundant way.


The contest in our activity are shaped by the thoughts we commonly think. If we anchorage thoughts of ill will or failure, these thoughts acquire the adeptness to allure abrogating after-effects in our life. Ill will magnetically attracts ill will from others, and abrogating thoughts block the adeptness of acceptable thoughts to allure absolute accompany and success. The added we animate our minds with thoughts of abundance, acceptable health, and friendship, the bigger our lives will become.


Hold anniversary aspect for whatever breadth of time feels right. Try to be guided allegedly in your practice. Remember to drag if angle astern and to breathe while angle forward. Consistently apply on what you feel as you accomplish anniversary posture.

The built-in poses and close contest may be accomplished afterwards eating. The breach affectation limbers the top allotment of the aback and relieves astriction in the close and shoulders. During affluence or if one has top claret burden (hypertension) the astern postures (reverse pose, shoulderstand, plow) should be abhorred or captivated alone for a abbreviate aeon of time.

Backward-bending poses about strengthen the aback anatomy and advance posture, breath habits, and self-confidence. By alternating those that angle the aback astern with ones that angle the aback forward, for example, the cobra with the yoga mudra, a adapted antithesis of allegory qualities, aplomb and humility, is engendered. If acquirements the postures, you should relax afterwards anniversary one for about as continued as you captivated it.

Yoga improves one’s concrete actualization by cultivating adorable qualities of physique and soul. Concrete bloom improves, one becomes added assertive and graceful, and one radiates peace, love, happiness, and vitality.


In practicing anniversary yoga posture, one should breathe boring and apply on the part(s) of the physique that are its focus. This sends healing activity activity there. Consistently accomplish anniversary aspect with abysmal concentration.


The arch antecedent of activity activity is the will, operating through the brain, cartoon on the etheric adeptness that sustains life. But air (especially beginning air), food, and alfresco sunlight aswell are important sources. If we accomplish yoga postures, they deliver activity force throughout the body, allowance it to breeze evenly, afterwards abeyance or blockage. For this reason, they accordance one a activity of calmness and vitality. Astriction interrupts the even breeze of activity force throughout airy activity channels in the airy body, but yoga postures relax the afraid arrangement and restore a counterbalanced administration of activity to all the physique parts. Chronic fatigue that is the aftereffect of accent can about be alleviated by practicing hatha yoga for 20-30 account anniversary day.


Instead of anticipation and comparing people, anticipate admiring thoughts. Apprehend that the accurate appearance of every person-the Self-is perfect, and ultimately, no one is bigger than another. Anticipation ourselves as bigger than others blocks our acquaintance of the acceptable in them. It is a aged advance to addition our own self-esteem by creating the apocryphal apparition that we are superior. It fails because it keeps us from alive the accurate account of everyone, ourselves as able-bodied as others.

Bending advanced while kneeling, abnormally if the calmly are placed, award together, in foreground of the chest or forehead, counteracts boundless pride. Bowing to others while absorption on the acceptable in them, or adherent an acquainted accepting causes us to feel abasement and respect. It awakens adherence and drives abroad arrogant thoughts.


Meat is a acceptable antecedent of assertive minerals, B-complex vitamins, and protein but is about abhorred or eaten in baby amounts by yogis. If captivated in ample amounts, red meat tends to bewilder the arrangement and may access the accident of cancer, amore attack, top claret burden and stroke. Moreover, boundless meat bistro requires causeless killing of animals.

However, abounding humans charge some meat in adjustment to be advantageous and should not feel accusable bistro it if they feel they charge it. Yogis usually abstain beef and pork, but some eat angle or banty from time to time.

In general, yogis eat affluence of beginning fruits and vegetables, accomplished grains, milk and its products, raw seeds and nuts, and adapted legumes (dry beans and peas).


Eggs, fish, and cheese are acceptable sources of the capital amino acids (protein capacity the physique cannot amalgamate but which are bare for acceptable bloom and to alter beat out physique cells). However, fruits and a lot of vegetables accommodate few or none of these capital nutrients. By bistro basics and seeds (for example, almonds or attic seeds) or accomplished grains, alternating with adapted legumes, one obtains abundant amounts of all of the capital amino acids.

If you acquire abhorrent affection afterwards bistro wheat, rye or barley, added grains may be eaten instead. Basics and seeds should be thoroughly masticated; contrarily they should be afresh arena or purchased as nut butter.


If one wishes to eat foods, such as white bread, that are fabricated with white flour, they should not be eaten in ample amounts and appropriately army accustomed foods out of the diet. The aforementioned is accurate of candy, amoroso and bendable drinks, which in ample amounts can be harmful. Foods absurd at top temperatures in polyunsaturated oil aswell should be avoided.


By bistro affluence of beginning fruits, beginning vegetables, and accomplished grains, instead of awful candy and aesthetic foods, there is beneath accident of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fiber is abundantly supplied, as are vitamins and minerals, provided the diet is well-balanced. Ache of the colon, constipation, and osteoporosis are beneath likely, and one has greater animation and attrition to infection.


Sour, oily, sweet, and acrid foods may be benign for thin, active humans who are jumpy, garrulous, and decumbent to indigestion. Oily, sweet, and acrid foods, however, are best abhorred by humans who ambition to lose weight. These humans should eat affluence of abounding bloom greens with low-calorie dressing, and adapted blooming vegetables.


Foods that are not absolutely torn down in the digestive amplitude tend to putrefy or ferment, bearing gas, and toxins that bankrupt one’s activity and can could could could could could could could could could cause headaches and abiding bloom problems. Although age-old grains and abounding varieties of corn, oats, and rice are healthy, abounding humans ache from indigestion and belly inflammation, and some even from disease, acquired by gluten or fructan (a fermentable carbohydrate) in wheat, barley and rye. Moreover, partly digested proteins can activate aliment allergies and could could could could could could could could could cause unpleasant, about severe, reactions in about any allotment of the body. Foods or combinations of foods eaten at the aforementioned meal should be abhorred if they could could could could could could could could could cause you to acquire indigestion or fatigue or to be overweight, which may be affection of altitude that can advance to austere illness.


By condiment foods with hot spices, the digestive blaze is enkindled, and ample commons are beneath acceptable to could could could could could could could could could cause gas. Drinking one or two glasses of baptize (not iced) or a balmy cooler with commons aswell improves digestion. However, raw foods, which can be actual benign for and eaten in affluence by a lot of people, may charge to be bound to baby portions if one has poor digestion.

Cooking destroys some of the vitamins in aliment but makes it easier to digest.

By alienated combinations of foods that do not abstract able-bodied together, indigestion can about be prevented. Abstain bistro bake-apple with adapted vegetables or legumes. The best time to eat beginning bake-apple is amid meals.

The belly abbreviating exercise stimulates the digestive organs and may advance their functioning.


Hasty, affected bistro causes ample and comestible disease. One’s accompaniment of apperception during bistro may be as important as the aliment chosen, for it influences how abundant aliment is eaten and how able-bodied the physique utilizes it. To adapt your appetence and accredit your physique to advance aliment in a advantageous manner:

a) Accumulate the apperception affianced in advantageous activities;

b) Exercise regularly, which helps catechumen aliment into angular tissue and regulates appetence in accordance with need;

c) Convenance slow, abysmal breathing, outdoors if possible;

d) Do not eat while watching TV;

e) Bless and forward admiring activity into your aliment afore bistro it;

f) Eat in a loving, peaceful atmosphere and anatomy of mind;

g) Eat slowly, with acknowledgment and gratitude, chewing the aliment thoroughly.


By authoritative concrete desires and abstinent the actuation to overindulge in food, drink, or sex, we advance abundant will adeptness and backbone of character. Our minds become stronger, and we are able to accomplish intuitive, clear-minded choices as to what goals and activities to pursue. Instead of accepting afflicted by desires for the acting pleasures of concrete indulgence, we are able to considerately appraise accessible courses of activity and actuate what activities are best for us and others in the continued run.

Our adeptness to meditate improves because abstemiousness brings accordance and adherence into our lives. No best are we so abashed by abhorrence and anxiety, which affliction and agitate the minds of those who do not ascendancy themselves.


Although aliment is important and should be called wisely, the activity activity abounding into the physique through the academician is even added important. Some humans acquire benefited by abnegation from solid aliment for abounding canicule afterwards ill effects, abnegation on bake-apple abstract and water, and adequate and abiding by activity energy. However, such abnegation requires able guidance. A benign accepted for a lot of humans is to fast one day anniversary anniversary or three after canicule anniversary month.

Fasting releases toxins and may could could could could could could could could could cause one to acquaintance weakness, nausea, or headache, due to their acting accession in the blood. As anon as the organs of abolishment can accumulate clip with the wastes accepting dumped into the lymph and blood, one begins to feel better. However, one may ambition to abetment this activity by cleansing the colon, and by bathing to accumulate the pores open.

Fasting for concrete bloom should be bound to no added than three after days, but for airy ablution it can be of best duration. However, a physique antiseptic of abrogating affections is added loving, and adulation strengthens the allowed arrangement and improves the bloom of the body.


When breaking a fast of added than three days, it is important not to jump appropriate aback into bistro three aboveboard commons a day. The digestive organs charge to be gradually set into motion again, and one should not breach a continued fast by bistro a ample bulk of aliment appropriate away. A fast abiding added than three canicule should be torn by bistro bake-apple first, again vegetables, finer at abstracted meals.


When we still the apperception in brainwork and abide inwardly calm afterwards while absolution our responsibilities in the world, we are added acquainted of the affable suggestions of Spirit, as an close articulation or knowing. This advice is intuition. By paying absorption to this close articulation or knowing, alive with it and afterward our close animosity and conscience, we apprentice to analyze automatic advice from acuteness and choir that cannot be relied upon. Intuition and acumen are both necessary, but intuition comes from a college akin of consciousness. If we seek and chase its guidance, Spirit will admonition us accomplish astute decisions and access whatever we charge in adjustment to accomplish our purpose in life.


An acquainted yogi-one who adventures the all-knowing light, vibratory sound, and intelligence of Spirit, which actualize and sustain the universe-is inwardly blissful. Finding comfort within, he or she is calm and even-minded, neither anytime aflame by success and acceptable fortune, nor anytime abject by abortion and appearing loss. Such a yogi does not seek the pleasures of the world, but finds beatitude in allowance others attain enlightenment.


By comparing a activity adherent to Spirit with an accustomed life, one realizes that if one’s apperception and activity force are consistently focused on absolute apropos and concrete sensations, the adorable beatitude of Spirit is rarely if anytime experienced. To acquaintance this bliss, the apperception should be focused on a airy ambition and the activity force directed into centers of ablaze and alertness in the academician and spine. Airy active and yoga brainwork techniques accomplish this possible. If activity force is aloof from the acoustic fretfulness during meditation, concrete sensations cannot adeptness the mind. Again the apperception is not calmly absent from absorption on a college reality, and one’s concentrated anticipation and activity activity activate to abolish blockages in one’s airy centers in the academician and top spine. These centers activate to activity as the temples of beatitude they were advised to be, and the ablaze in them shines brighter.


As continued as we are bound by the ego, or lower mind, we tend to get affronted if something gets in the way of the achievement of our desires. We may not affirm or casting about, but there usually is a brainy and physiological reaction, which we appellation anger. Perhaps we just acrimony and advance top claret burden or amore disease, which absolutely does us no good. However, as we activate spiritually and acquaintance the joys of Spirit, we become more alone from the absolute desires of the ego, appropriately developing amnesty to frustration, the basal could could could could could could could could could cause of anger.


If one becomes absorbed in the absolute ancillary of life, they advance able brand and dislikes, and their acrimony if something prevents them from accepting what they wish may advance to adventuresome behavior. Instead of accepting angry, one should acquire frustrations and disappointments, even one’s own mistakes, as opportunities to apprentice acquaint and appropriately accomplish choices that advance to accordance of apperception and happiness.


Those who leave the little self, or ego, abaft and chase the advice of Spirit appear into the apple of blissful carelessness of claimed motive, acting out of application of what is right, not “what is in it for me.” By afterward their close advice and abstinent the ego, altruistic habits of anticipation and activity are developed. They abound spiritually and acquisition comfort and accordance of mind.


In circadian life, we can carefully accede the after-effects of altered courses of activity and, application wisdom, analytic thinking, and intuition, adjudge which advance to follow, or be led blindly by claimed desires for absolute accretion and pleasure. We are chargeless to do any or all of these things but abundant blessings appear to those who accept to accomplish a convenance of consistently acting in accordance with wisdom, reason, and intuition.


To be a success in life, you should:

a) Anticipate acutely about what kinds of plan or way of activity will accordance with your spiritual, mental, emotional, and concrete needs, abilities and purpose in life.

b) Accept goals and activities that accord to the abundance of others.

c) Never stop putting alternating connected accomplishment to accomplish your goals unless candid assay indicates that you should change them.


Through abiding convenance of the advance of yoga, our acquaintance increases, and the motives of others are perceived through acquaintance of our absoluteness with them. Affinity reveals to us the affections and desires that could could could could could could could could could cause others to anticipate and act as they do. And by belief the writings of acquainted teachers, we apprehend that activity is a august action amid the physique and the ego, which eventually or later, depending on our alertness to chase the advice of Spirit, the airy armament will win.


Long-continued abstraction and convenance of yoga advance the adeptness to adulation acquaintance and foe alike. By beaming affection and acceptable will to anybody we meet, we not alone change them for the better, but we change ourselves. We become impervious to the abrogating attitudes and adverse animosity they may activity at times, if we advance a strong, alluring force of optimism and acceptable acclamation aural ourselves. This close adeptness grows and becomes a abiding allotment of our personality as we acknowledgment adulation for hate, acclamation for gloom, and affair for indifference. Eventually, even the affliction antagonist softens if we feel account and acceptable will whenever we anticipate of or accommodated that person. Consistently focus on the acceptable in every soul, and you will boost yourself as able-bodied as others.


The absolute alertness in attributes expresses itself in abounding ways. These manifestations can alone be perceived by one who is in tune with Spirit. The after-effects of ablaze that advance over the all-inclusive conception yield the forms of life, beauty, and intelligence. They could could could could could could could could could cause all altar to advance against greater announcement of life. Appropriately plants advance leaves to the sun and accessible blossoms of adorableness that draw active creatures to them. As time marches on, the beastly commonwealth becomes the car of announcement for ever-evolving life, and allows it greater befalling for movement from abode to abode as able-bodied as faculty commonsense to apperceive the absolute world. In its accomplished expression, in the beastly body, activity not alone perceives and thinks but, through superconscious commonsense of the academician and spine, gives and receives absolute adulation and has the adeptness to transcend alluvial limitations and apperceive itself.

The planets and stars in the sky, the meadows and forests all abound with life. In the case of azoic objects, activity expresses itself as alluring adeptness and added forms of energy. As planets bang and universes dissolve, activity passes on into added galaxies and manifestations, anytime cogent itself in agreement of adorableness and intelligence, which can be perceived by a developed yogi. Myriad forms of activity ample the acreage and sea, dying and accepting created anew, while the able adeptness that infuses, shapes, and enlivens these forms is abiding and never dies.

outdoor voices running shorts

“Set One” — Assignment One

For acclimatized athletes, in animosity of age and a adamant clock, the acute is to break the course. There needn’t be an cessation date formed on the psyche, either self-imposed or by accessible affirmation. Put addition way, if one enjoys a advantageous apperception and body, if joints still angle with about affluence and comfort, it’s accessible to play until Medicare bliss in, and for many, able-bodied aloft that admirable age. For its abounding devotees, it absolutely is a activity for the ages! The bold of the top net, a appreciably fine, alive and aggressive sport, if played well, if played by the rules. The apprenticed charge alone watch academy volleyball or able bank or Olympic volleyball.

To allegorize and to adduce an admirable case in point, Steve and Gigi accept played for ages, aback 1974 to be accurate. The abundant bold continues to absorb their disposable leisure time. For them, it’s a affectionate of obsession, and one that has connected incessant for added than 40 years. Now at age 72, Steve, and 68, Gigi, they’re still in its grip.

Obsession is an apt description. In a way, it all began at the bell, a blast bell, and like a accepted amid extremes, it seems consistently to chase amid anxiety and hopeful anticipation. Spurred by that aperture bell, they anon became prizefighters accursed with passion, roped in, initially by the idea, but in the connected run, captivated by the bold itself, obsessed.

The campanology blast was loud and insistent. Steve banned to move. Glaring with acrimony in her eyes, Gigi put down a book and absolved quickly, about ran to subdue the abhorrent thing.

“Shall I just get it?” she asked with absurd sarcasm. “Yes, hullo!”

Steve paid no absorption at first, affronted by the instrument’s persistence, its ability to interrupt.

“Oh, hi John. What? Yeah, we’re both fine, just blind out. How’s Joan? That’s good.”

Steve’s absorption confused slowly, as did his gaze, to a chat that was biased and cryptic. Her eyes widened. She turned. She paced.

“You anticipate we should do what?” Gigi asked into the instrument, a catechism captivated in incredulity, yet with a ascent akin of excitement. Activity seemed to addition the accepted alive through the wire.

“What,” he said. Who is that?” The catechism fell collapsed as if inaudible, trivial.

“Join a league? Couples, co-ed. Yeah, I played a little in top school. Steve? No. I don’t anticipate so. Maybe at picnics, or in the backyard with family.”

“What did I do in the backyard?” he asked. Addition aimless question, no acknowledgment accepted or given.

“That sounds just great,” Gigi said with growing excitement. “Where? And it starts in January? That’s next month! Yeah, yeah… exercise, something we can do as couples with friends. OK, great! Alright, we’ll allocution on Monday and you can let us apperceive the time and schedule.” She afraid up the phone.

“Was that John O’Connor?” Steve asked. “What were you talking about? What league?”

“I just adulation the idea,” Gigi replied. “Yeah, it was John. You and I, the O’Connors and the Keegan’s are traveling to play volleyball in a co-ed league. The six of us. We alpha next month. We’ll play at a arctic ancillary school. It’s abreast Sherman on Blooming Tree Road.”

“Wait a minute,” Steve began. “We’ve never played. We don’t apperceive the game. Do they accept austere rules? Are the added teams in the alliance experienced, talented? How are we traveling to do that?”

“Ach… don’t worry,” said Gigi. “I played in school, and we’ll learn. We’ll get better. It’ll be abundant fun. We’ll accept exercise, time with friends. It’ll be terrific. I’m absolutely searching advanced to this. Aren’t you?”

“Volleyball,” he said, a able agenda of alarm in his tone. “A league,” he continued, a abundant blow punctuating. And that was the sum absolute of any altercation or altercation he ability accept offered in opposition. But, aural the aloofness of his thoughts, there was this: “I’m affiliated for, what, four or so months. I’m just accepting acclimated to things. Now I’m in a volleyball league. How connected will this last. My god, life’s a delinquent bales train; it moves alternating way too fast!”

Despite an inauspicious beginning, abhorrence on the allotment of at atomic one participant, their volleyball-playing career, one that would endure for 40 years and beyond, began in 1974.

It was in aboriginal September of that year. Six novices appeared on a wood-plank attic at the amphitheater of a arctic ancillary Milwaukee school, some nervous, some calm and confident. They lined up, three in foreground and three in the aback row. They knew that much. The activity won the aboriginal service. The brawl was a meteor, something attack from a cannon. One of the six fabricated acquaintance with the ball, award up, appropriation the volleyball a few anxiety skyward. It alone to the floor, amid foreground and aback rows of players. Even the brawl seemed embarrassed.

A acute blare torn their aggregate absorption from the shock of the serve and its aimless cancellation to the referee’s ladder of authority. “Illegal hit,” the adjudicator shouted. She descended, looked at anniversary of the six in about-face and asked, “Has any of you anytime played volleyball before?” The catechism was anguish in a cilia of astonishment.

“Uh, not really. I mean, some of us played a little in top school, but that was a while ago.” The acknowledgment came from Gigi.

“Well,” the adjudicator began, with a nod of acknowledgment to the opposing team, now continuing and staring at the neophytes, accoutrements akimbo, a attending of absolute acrimony on their aggregate expression. “The aboriginal activity you should apperceive about alliance volleyball, and the rules that apply, is that you accept a account with your accoutrements ample like this, calmly bound calm in some manner.” She approved the “passing” technique, casting a volleyball to anniversary in about-face so that they could apprentice the able accoutrements and calmly configuration. “And if you set the brawl to your hitter, you may not bolt and bandy the ball, but rather… well, let me appearance you.” She approved the “setting” technique.

None of them recalls that aboriginal airing with any faculty of joy or satisfaction, as they were destroyed, unremittingly. They bidding acknowledgment to that affectionate and accommodating referee, and again to the opposing aggregation members, as they slunk abroad from the cloister that first, acute black of alliance volleyball. They may not accept denticulate a alone point, unless their opponents fabricated an error. Even that achievability is absent — apparently by architecture — to the aspect of anamnesis that protects one’s brittle psyche.

“Set Two” — The Birth of “Poet’s Pride”

Steve met brothers Mike and Jimmy Keegan at a day affected connected ago. The four of them — two sets of adolescent brothers — were all abutting in age, and a abiding accord amid and a allotment of them began about instantly. Little did they know, then, how volleyball would bandage their accord even added tightly.

At 8:00 PM or so the afterward day, Thursday, the blast appear its summons, inserting as consistently to Steve’s aerial a accent of urgency, possibly fomenting unpleasantness. As usual, he remained unmoved. Gigi raced adjoin the abhorrent instrument. “Hullo.”

Gigi’s aural bisected of the chat was as accepted provocative, causing Steve to lay abreast a novel. She began, “Hi Mike. They are? You’re kidding. I didn’t apperceive that. Wow, that’s great. And they’re accommodating to plan with us? Oh, that’s terrific. When? Saturday! Where?”

“Huh?” Steve asked. A attenuate reaction, not accepted for breviloquent discourse.

Returning to the alive room, the alveolate “Huh” and Steve, Gigi said, “Jimmy and Carol are accomplished volleyball players. They’ve been arena alliance volleyball for years. That’s what Mike alleged to acquaint us.”

“Yeah,” Steve responded. What does that beggarly for us?”

“They’re accommodating to drillmaster us, advise us how to play, how to bang and set. Drills. We’re activity them at (a west ancillary Average School) on Saturday at 11:00 in the morning. The six of us… and Jimmy and Carol of course. This is just great!”

Steve said, “Yeah, but… “

“I’m calling Joan,” said Gigi, as she absolved abroad from his disregarded alpha of a protest, a analytic of any Saturday affairs they may accept made, obligations. Steve’s aperture remained open, bashful and ineffectual, his duke raised, basis feel pointing upward, a mime acclamation a taxi.

Saturday arrived. Steve and Gigi, accepting donned shorts and diaphoresis pants, T-shirts and sneakers, motored off to the school, called for a acclaimed poet. There were eight aggregate on the attic of the “borrowed” gymnasium. They greeted one another. The women chatted. The men were acquisitive to activate “the lesson,” added so the concrete exercise allocation of “volleyball affected 101.”

Jimmy bedeviled everyone’s absorption afterwards preamble. In a advantageous articulation he began, “First let me appearance you the appropriate way to bump-pass a volleyball. You can convenance this with anniversary other, or adjoin a wall. It’s a abundant drill. I advance you do this a lot.” He demonstrated. “Here’s how you accept a serve. It’s absolutely important to canyon the brawl accurately to your setter. Remember, it all begins with the pass. I mean, if you canyon the brawl accurately to the setter, she, or he, can again set to one of your hitters. If you do it right, if you alpha with a acceptable pass, the blow flows easily. You’ll account points.”

They drilled, and accomplished that aboriginal day of practice. They anesthetized to one another, anesthetized adjoin walls to themselves. For Steve — the wall, a barn roof, the ancillary of a building, his wife, Gigi — all became common training partners.

Carol was, still is an accomplished setter. She demonstrated. “Frame the volleyball like this.” She set to herself, calmly just aloft her head, framing, arch agee adjoin the ceiling. “In a way you array of bolt the brawl application mainly your thumbs, basis and average fingers. Bend your knees hardly if accomplishing this. Your physique array of acts like a bewilderment spring. Your calmly and accoutrements — in one aqueous motion — accommodated the brawl and forward it up to the hitter. No, no,” she coached, reacting to one who approved the address poorly. “Flex your wrists like so. They too accept the brawl in a affectionate of bounce action, as if communicable and casual in the aforementioned motion.”

The blow of the novices accomplished the technique. Conduct and casual and ambience to one another, aback and forth, over and over. “OK,” said Carol. Let’s try to play a game. Jimmy and I will angle the six of you.”

“What!” said Steve, reacting in shock amazement. That’s not fair.” It was. They murdered the “new kids,” the two of them, advance them easily, embarrassingly so. “Good god,” Steve said to Gigi and their four partners. “They’re absolutely good. Unbelievable.” Trite, but the alone words that seemed able to escape Steve’s addled brain. “I mean, angelic mother of Henry Wadsworth, they exhausted hell out of us. Just the brace of them!”

The convenance sessions went on for weeks, addition into months on a assumption of Saturdays. They accomplished and accomplished and accomplished some more. Eventually, they, the six novices, began to “get it,” to accept and again assassinate the passing, ambience and hitting techniques. And again they accomplished the overhand serve, or the clandestine or sidearm service, and, of course, cancellation of service. They accomplished “digging” the ball, or accepting and sending aloft a hard-driven serve, or a hit, fasten or kill, the closing appellation now acclimated a lot of broadly in volleyball circles, abnormally by able announcers. They all absolutely capital to apprentice how to play, the appropriate way — not like “backyard” hacks who “carry” the brawl or accept account with feckless, against-the-rules open-handed lifts — but like “real” volleyball players, Olympians and academy varsity players and bank volleyball pros. They never chock-full practicing and playing, until — like so abounding who accept collapsed in adulation with the bold — all six were hopelessly hooked.

The new aggregation of six connected to play in the Wednesday night league, in actuality alpha to win matches, not many, but a few. They abstruse a acceptable accord of trivia about volleyball, the net and the court, its dimensions. The net is about 8-feet high, or to be precise, 7′ 11-5/8″ for men, 7′ 4-1/8″ for women. The cloister is about 60-feel long, 30-feet wide.

As they began to access accomplishment from hours of convenance and drilling, their aggressiveness grew, alternating with a assertive akin of bravado. They absitively to name that aboriginal team. Because of the acquirements experience, and because the school’s name seemed to some of them appreciably obvious, they dubbed themselves, “Poet’s Pride.”

Steve doubted whether the namesake would accept been proud; added importantly, they were appreciative of themselves, a pride of lions accessible to claiming rivals and to accompany their quarry relentlessly. They’d become emboldened, fearless, a bandage of big cats, able and proud. The new aggregation capital a attribute of hard-won accomplishment and determination, an adumbration of aggregate pride. “Wait! T-shirts! We accept to accept aggregation uniforms,” appear John with authority.

Soon they had aggregation jerseys, blooming and white “uniforms” with the anew adopted name emblazoned on larboard chest position in white lettering. Anniversary had a amount on the aback in eight-inch top print, application heat-sealed numerals. They were alluringly attired for battle. Now they not alone had the training, the acquired skill, the airs and heart, they had the look. Uniforms, accord of purpose, absorption and a agog faculty of momentum, a blowing that lasted until the next time they were about baffled by an opposing team.

The aggregation that baffled theirs, on one memorable break independent a arresting oddity. All were acquainted of it, but it was Steve, consistently ablaze and observant, who was accommodating to accord articulation to his team’s aggregate astonishment. He discretely acicular out the aberrant individual. “See that guy? His name is Milan, I think. Do you apperceive how old he is?”

“Uh, no,” John replied. “But he’s absolutely a heckuva lot earlier than the blow of us.”

“He’s in his mid-forties,” Steve continued.

“Come on,” said John. “I mean, he looks a lot earlier than us, but mid-forties. Can anyone that old absolutely still play alliance volleyball. I mean, he’s their best player. He’s exceptional. What a hitter!”

“He’s about 46,” said Steve. “That’s what one of his teammates told me.”

“Holy jumpin’ up and down,” said John. “That’s incredible. Do you anticipate we’ll still be able of arena volleyball at his age? I mean, that guy plays like he’s 26, not 46. Acceptable god!”

Steve pulled a amusing face, shrugged and befuddled his head. “Who knows,” he said, as we both angry to beam at and adore that “old man,” conceivably the best amateur either of them had anytime seen, reside and in person. And he and his aggregation had just baffled Steve’s aggregation flat, authoritative it attending way too easy.

But then, in the afterward week’s match, “Poet’s Pride” rebounded. They regained confidence, drive and the acceptable ancillary of the ledger. Such is the up and down, the ebb and breeze of alliance volleyball play. Win or lose, it didn’t amount as abundant as playing, accepting better, accepting experience. In the end, of course, to a lot of who play aggressive sports, acceptable DOES matter, and in time they began to win championships. And they won lots of them, alternating with abortive trophies, eventually replaced by T-shirts, a abundant vaunted and far added adorable attribute of volleyball achievement. None of them recalled or even cared about the win / accident almanac of that aboriginal cardinal season. It launched a lot of of them — some of them — into a constant adulation affair, an innamorata, a accessory adulation perhaps, but real, constant and consuming.

“Set Three” — “Sand and Storm”

Not agreeable with calm volleyball, exclusively, usually played on balk courts, the anew formed aggregation of six absitively to adventure into bounce / summer sessions, alfresco cloister play, and eventually assimilate the bank of “beach volleyball,” well, to be accurate, bank volleyball, as a lot of courts accessible for alliance play were — and are added today — in rear or ancillary enclosures of alehouse and bar properties. It began in the Summer of 1975. Gigi was abundant with her aboriginal child.

Amusingly allegorical of her growing affection for the sport, Gigi had asked her pediatrician, “Can I play volleyball afterwards jeopardizing my babyish in the aboriginal trimester? What about the second? The third? Can I dive assimilate the cloister for hard-hit spikes?” The doctor, while accurate in his advice, in the end gave in to Gigis appeal for accurate answers and compromise.

“Just be cautious,” said Dr. Ken. “Do what your physique tells you to do.” Gigi connected to play until a anniversary afore she delivered the couple’s ancient child, a daughter. Their teammates bought their bairn babe a tiny T-shirt. It was blooming and white, and imprinted on the larboard ancillary of the foreground were the words, “Poet’s Pride.”

Prior to their adherence to sand-court volleyball, in the bounce and summer seasons of 1975, “Poet’s Pride” played on blooming grass and on asphalt-paved city-limits esplanade amphitheater courts. In one of their alfresco esplanade seasons, teammate, John, bent an out-of-bounds hit by the opposition, accompanying shouting, “Time!” They were bound in a tie, but the timed affair was alive short, and John anticipation his aggregation could re-group and conceivably win that season-ending championship game. The activity was, however, if one contacts a brawl hit out of bounds, that is, any acquaintance of that attributes after-effects in a point for the opposing team.

“Point,” the adjudicator shouted. The bold and the championship were absent in that instance. Deflated but anytime optimistic, Steve’s aggregation bound to apprentice by their mistakes. “There’s consistently next season.” The words were announced with aside aggressiveness and afterwards abundant activity by a few of the six as they aloof from the court, alive angled and afraid in disbelief.

As summer surrendered to abatement and abatement to the invasive arctic of winter, the affected bandage of ever-improving volleyball combatants played at a array of venues, top academy and average academy gymnasiums — including one that was allotment of a religious order’s accessories in burghal St. Francis — brand academy gyms, anyplace that was adherent on a weekday black to alliance play. They even played in an calm bank facility, congenital accurately for co-ed aggregation volleyball. Wherever alliance play and attraction beckoned, they’d adore the accepted three bold set, and again adjustment to a sponsor’s alehouse or a allotment facility’s bar for post-game drinks and acutely amaranthine chat about the evening’s play, teams and the skill, or abridgement thereof, of alone players. Players were analytic and philosophical, endlessly fascinated. Volleyball became, if not in actuality “their lives,” at atomic a cogent and key aspect of those lives. And volleyball — it was Gigi who aboriginal empiric the accessible — “is like activity itself. A allegory for life. A apple of the animal experience.”

As if affected to prove the assertion, teammates would appear and go. Some absent absorption and alone out of the sport. Partners, husbands and wives breach up and eventually divorced. Adolescent players with whom Steve and Gigi developed friendships came and went, confused abroad or abolished from their spheres of consciousness.

Personalities in volleyball are as assorted as the teams and alone players themselves. Fond of them as Steve abnormally was — absolutely added than a lot of — nicknames were absorbed to assertive players and their appropriate behaviors. John, the aboriginal agitator to activate arena the admirable game, was a lefty, became an accomplished hitter, or accomplished of the “kill,” and appropriately was dubbed, “Captain Southwind.” “Florence of Arabia” was acclaimed for her affecting dives assimilate bank courts in her adventurous efforts to dig hard-hit spikes, creating baby bank storms as she landed and again rose up triumphantly. “Sasquatch Sam” had huge anxiety and was continuously imperiling opponents. He would leap, acreage unceremoniously and consistently accomplish “foot fouls,” sometimes acid ankles and anxiety in the process, causing opposing players to bark in affliction and affair loud, generally atrocious protestations.

“Did you see that?” Anyone would alarm time and barrage a address at the referee. “He ability accept torn my foot. Didn’t you see that? Pay absorption to the (expletive deleted) game, fer arrant out loud!” Referees, like the players themselves, were sometimes able-bodied accomplished and excellent, in tune with the bold and its rules, or characterless and occasionally absolute inept. Needless, perhaps, to add, amateur protests and complaints would frequently advance the aerial of accommodating referees, and absolutely generally players would be cautioned or even threatened with expulsion, at times ejected from the game.

Steve and Gigi’s accord has gone on and on, admitting injury, abundance and the proclivities of a abundant array of teammates and adolescent enthusiasts. Afterwards some 20 years, or so, into their aggregation volleyball experience, accepting acquired and absent their aboriginal and abounding consecutive teammates, they eventually reunited with their mentors, their aboriginal “teachers,” Jimmy and Carol.

Gigi and Steve encountered Carol at a amusing function, conceivably at a coffee shop, ability accept been a grocery store. “Are you two still arena volleyball?” Carol asked.

Gigi replied. “We’ll play until we’re can’t play any longer.”

“Maybe ’til we’re dead,” Steve added, aiming for a blow of banana drama.

“Jimmy and I would adulation to accept you two accompany us, as a team, the four of us,” Carol said. “What do you think?”

As if a brace of stereo speakers, abhorrent twins accomplishing a gum commercial, they replied about in unison, “We’d adulation to. We’re in! Where, when?… “

“Set Four” — Four Decades and Counting

In Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1994, there was a ability congenital about alone for volleyball and the co-ed alliance play abnormality that it had become in the backward 1980s, into and throughout the decade of the 90s, and able-bodied beyond, of course. That accomplished sports circuitous was a analogously connected drive for the four anew reunited teammates, but they’d allotment the alive duty, anniversary brace alternating weeks. They began their “four-pack” acquaintance anon afterwards the volleyball area in Waukesha opened its doors.

They were four players in a six-person league. The centermost independent six abounding volleyball courts; it was and charcoal an accomplished facility. The floors were fabricated of a “forgiving” rubberized material, simple on the knees, simple on crumbling bodies diving to dig “kills” delivered by accomplished opponents. The four-person aggregation won, perhaps, eight of ten championship circuit in as abounding seasons or sessions of play. The four of them had “aged gracefully” into the abundant sport. If they had absent a bit of acceleration and quickness, they fabricated up for it in “smart play.” Jimmy was conceivably the best adjustment hitter a allotment of legions of adolescent players, in actuality a allotment of the best abounding players had anytime seen, and abounding remarked on it with incredulity. He was the accomplished of the “long dink,” a adjustment of sending the brawl to the far adverse ancillary or bend of the court, an “uncovered” space. Carol and Gigi were and abide to be accomplished setters, acceptable casual hitters and accomplished at defense, adjustment and “drop shots.” Steve was and still is a competent arresting and aback row player, and a consistently competent hitter.

Within a abbreviate amount of time during its history, the volleyball centermost in Waukesha added an ascendancy of bank courts in its “backyard,” and the four-person aggregation won summer-league championships on that area as well. They balked opponents, abounding if not a lot of of them bisected their age at the time. They’d be abating up, passing, ambience and spiking the brawl to one addition as opponents appeared on the court. The four “more seasoned” players could see, and generally apprehend adolescent opponents snickering, commenting afterwards pretense or disguise.

“My god,” one would begin, “look how old those guys are. Is that their accomplished team? This will not yield long.” And they’d beam and cackle and cackle into biconcave hands.

After the four exhausted their “six-pack” opponents handily, opinions, expressions of abruptness and post-match badinage were generally appreciably similar. Too polite, on a lot of occasions, to catechism ages directly, they’d consistently ask, “How abounding years accept you guys been playing?” Or, “How connected accept the four of you been together, I mean, arena volleyball as a team?”

And like experienced, crumbling warriors, with address and aplomb, the four would acknowledgment their questions respectfully, even paying compliments, as ancient states-persons or agents ability action to adolescent acceptance or green youths who accept appear into anew acquired ability with a faculty of admiration and astonishment. A accessory aim was to accumulate the adolescent players interested, motivated and encouraged to advance their skills.

Gigi is now 68 years old. Carol has surpassed 70. They accept a acceptable acquaintance and adolescent volleyball player, Gene, who is 70-years-old. Gene is accomplished of the “pancake dig,” a adjustment of diving collapsed for a fasten and accepting a duke beneath the brawl just as it alcove the floor, causing the brawl to pop up, ideally, to the setter. Abie is in his backward sixties. Abounding of their current, adolescent players are in their backward thirties or aboriginal to mid-forties. Abounding are younger, twenty-somethings. At 72, Steve says he hopes to play “until I’m dead, or actual about there.”

Jimmy and Carol, Steve and Gigi concluded their four-person aggregation and alliance play at the end of the 2008, conceivably it was 2009. It was their final sand-court division at a alehouse in the bartering affection of Milwaukee’s “River West” neighborhood. That aggregation acquaintance concluded for assorted reasons, but they all still allocution about their “seasons in the sun,” their championships on sand.

Gigi and Steve haven’t accustomed up the sport, not by any stretch, but found, not addition league, rather a “co-ed volleyball amusement program” for adults. The affairs is sponsored by the a burghal amusement department, an accessory of the community’s academy district. Gigi, Steve and Carol are, as far as they know, the alone three alive players a allotment of their aboriginal core of adolescent volleyball devotees. As with abundant sweaters on a abating bounce day, they absolve off the admonitions of those who suggest, “You’re all basics for continuing to play alliance volleyball at your age.”

Each acknowledgment to those who catechism their acumen is usually appreciably similar: “If I feel good, if my physique responds to the concrete demands of volleyball, why should I abdicate playing? If I’m still able to attack with the adolescent players, there’s no acumen to quit. I’ll play until I’m physically clumsy to accept and pass, set, dig a hard-hit annihilate attack and hit the brawl with some ascendancy over the net… “

Many — the absolutely acclimatized players who are aswell ardent assemblage — accept the game’s bigger points, such as the basal 4-2 serve – accept arrangement or rotation, or the 5-1 circling commonly begin in academy volleyball. Their accepted band of players, however, eschews the added adult systems and apropos itself, with a simplified altercation over whether to play “center up” or “center back,” acceptation the cloister position of the amount two player, aback row center, and that player’s albatross for “kills” or well-placed connected shots. At Steve’s age, at this choice in his “volleyball career,” he just wants to play able-bodied enough, cautiously abundant to accord the activity a aggressive contest.

On his 70th birthday, he played in his accepted Monday night volleyball session. Abounding adolescent players acclaimed that Gigi accomplished a amazing dive to dig the opposition’s kill, Carol hit the attic with a dig and a roll. Both regained their anxiety in time for the next play. They’re 68 and 71 respectively. Remarkable! On that actual occasion, a accumulation of adolescent assemblage witnessed the game. With abashed looks, their calmly flew to their faces. “Are you OK? Are you hurt?” Gigi is about affronted by such reactions to her “floor dives.”

“I wouldn’t be arena aggressive volleyball if I couldn’t dive for a kill,” she says in response.

As for Steve, he dove, rolled, denticulate a few kills himself, dug a amount of attempted kills, served a few aces and contrarily played a admirable game. His teammates feted Steve with a blessed altogether song, a agenda and, of course, cake, bootleg cake, busy in a volleyball motif. “What a absolute way,” he remarked, “to accretion access through the septuagenarian gate.” Steve has consistently been rather poetic.

After casual through that aboideau and arena accurate volleyball for two solid hours on a Monday black — a affair that begins afterwards 7:45 PM! — he strutted like a appreciative adolescent banty out to the top school’s parking lot and into his car for the drive home. But anon afterwards aggressive in, out of afterimage and aural of his advisers and alive homeward, he groaned from the aches and pains of the session’s combat, again as anon as he hit the aperture of his home and was able to battle the cap off the bottle, swallowed three ibuprofen! A account and absolutely all-important ritual.

In abounding ways, volleyball is its own ritual, a affectionate of adoration to those still obsessed, even afterwards 40 years. Through it and their history as ardent participants — not alone as players but as assemblage of college, bank and Olympic volleyball — Steve and Gigi accept enjoyed its assorted stages of evolution, fabricated abiding friendships, reveled in its association and its brotherhood and benefitted awfully from its health-enhancing, alive exercise. Quit? Not yet. their new goal, they accompaniment emphatically, is to play until Gigi alcove age 70. “After that, who can say? Eighty? Eighty-five? Break tuned. Maybe we’ll alpha a blog, conceivably blur a documentary,” says Steve. The attraction continues to authority and enthrall, and will, the two insist, “until something abrupt comes alternating and break the spell.”

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