Finding myself back in the hamster wheel of full time work it was inevitable that my exercise regime would turn to rat shit. Fortunately though, after a few lazy weeks, my weary body has found the strength to dust off my lycra once again.
My face is still grey when I step off the train home. When I stick my key in the door all I want to do is pour a large glass of wine and slip into my jogging bottoms , not to jog you understand, but to lie down and watch TV. However that’s just a recipe for love handles and a drinking problem.
It hasn’t escaped my, admittedly judgmental, eyes that over 80% of the nearly one thousand people in my work are overweight, ranging from chubby to morbidly, how are you even still alive? Obese. We work in a contact centre sitting on our arses all day, the breaks are short, and moving about or thinking independently aren’t exactly actively encouraged.
Our work building ( 1970’s designed, a real horror) is not high and there are only three small flights of stairs. Yet the queues for the lift resemble the Apple Store, pre new iPhone release day, minus the BBC reporters. I don’t want to find myself among that queue.
Those people who drink green juice and go to yoga- that’s who I want to be among. Their cheeks flush with health and smugness, they have killer bodies, clear minds, and good karma. The benefits of yoga are well documented, yet in the past there was always something stopping me.
Hearing sniggering stories about, ‘yoga farts,’ seriously put me off. As a sufferer of IBS, I wanted to get my downward dog on, but what if my bowels screwed me over mid shoulder stand? I just couldn’t survive an episode like that.
Then a couple of weeks ago I grew some balls and went to yoga. Most of my fat fighting to date has involved running and spinning. I didn’t think you could feel good unless you’d seriously crunched your bones and given your joints a hefty battering to loud dance music. How wrong I was.
Unfortunately I can’t leave my IBS with my shoes at the door, which means in certain positions I find myself clenching my buttocks when I shouldn’t be. I really ought to chill out about that though as I’m protected by the de riguer incense and background chanting music should the worst ever happen.
Anyway, the fear is worth it for the amazing stretches – standing strong and wide and really feeling what your body is capable of, and how you should be holding it. We’re taught to take some of the class into our daily life, so I’m trying to keep my shoulders back and stand tall, not easy after 29 years of hunching. I’m breathing properly too, and it feels good! I’m not sure what I was doing before.
The last fifteen minutes of the class are spent lying down, our eyes covered with lavender masks while we meditate. Our instructor talks in a crazy soothing voice as she describes how we should feel our eyes rolling back in their sockets, the flesh falling away from our thigh bones, and other seemingly relaxing things like that.
During this exercise our minds should be clear and any thoughts simply chased away – this is the part that eludes me. An annoying thing my manager said to me days ago, what to have for tea, how easy it would be for someone to murder us all as we lie splayed with our eyes covered, the thoughts just keep on coming.
I’m sure that in time I’ll learn to clear my mind, stand up straight, and start juicing my broccoli like a good yogi. In the meantime it’s been so rewarding to fight the fear, try something new, and discover a love for it.
Namaste bitches x