Well, you already know I dance ’round the bedroom on my own singing into my hairbrush, what can I say, it’s part of my exercise regime. I figure if I dance about for just three or four minutes everyday it must burn off a few calories (mustn’t it?) and justify eating that extra biscuit with my mid-morning cuppa. My song of choice (thanks to Chris Evans at Radio 2) this morning was the one I share below. Join in with all that arm pumping and pretty soon you’ll have biceps like…well, ok, like me. Anyway, for your health and enjoyment today I give you Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. And by the way, yes, I do love rock and roll!!
Sooooo, since Christmas, in addition to my weekly 90 minute class, I have religiously been doing at least half an hour’s yoga practice every day. My husband leaves home at about 7:20 in the morning and by half past, I’ve started. Usually I use one of the standard classes in the Yoga Studio app on my ipad – either intermediate or if I’m feeling ambitious, advanced level. Its a good, though sometimes challenging, way to start the day.
With all that stretching and bending you would think that by now I would be ready, flexibility wise, to join Cirque Du Soliel, but sadly not. Ok, I’m probably much more bendy than some others of my age, but my left knee still lets me know quite clearly when it’s over flexed in Fire Log or Head of the Cow, my badly feet make Warrior a lot more challenging than it should be (have I mentioned I’ve got Plantar Fasciitis – it’s a right pain!), and my tummy, though somewhat diminished through over a year’s worth of 5:2 diet, still gets in the way in Ear Pressure Pose (lie down, lift into shoulder stand, drop into plough with your feet behind your head, and then bend your knees and push them against your ears – it’s not pretty, at least not when I do it) and I admit my composure isn’t all it should be when I attempt it – I’m not sure you’re supposed to giggle so much!
I guess an hour every day might produce more results, but nonetheless I have felt a massive improvement one way or the other. Yes, I am a lot more flexible, and my balances have improved in leaps and bounds (can one balance in a leap or a bound…no didn’t think so, but you get the gist). The real mega improvement though, has been strength wise. I can hold the plank position for, well, what seems like ages, but is probably no more than a minute or so – much better than the 10 seconds I used to manage though. Even better, I’ve been practicing hard and can now, to my delight, get into Crane and hold it for a bit. Ok, still only seconds rather than minutes, but I’m impressed with myself anyway. Carry on this way, and I may end up like Madonna who’s arms were once described as ‘like dog chews’!!
I’ve probably said it before, but yoga is the one exercise regime that feels like its doing me good rather than killing me off. I feel like I can achieve anything, and because it is progressive can find some improvement with practically every session. When I finish I can feel every muscle and sinew, so I know I’ve still got ’em and have not turned to putty just yet. And without wishing to sound all new age, and arty farty, it’s good for the soul too, a bit of inwardlooking meditation or mindfulness really does give your mind a rest from problems and hum-drummery (no, I don’t think that’s a real word either, but hey, I like it).
Oh, and the other thing, all those Downward Dogs and Pigeons with Forward Folds are really good at stretching me ol’ feet, and the faciitis is slowly getting better. Win win I’d say.
Well I’m off to practice my favourite pose – Savasana (corpse pose) for a bit. After all, it is the bit at the end that we all like best, don’t we?
I walk, I practice yoga, I do housework, I garden (a bit, in fine weather) I occassionally have a go on the wii too, but apart from that I don’t do exercise. We do have a cross-trainer sitting dustily amongst the books and papers in our study, and every now and then I’ll have a spurt of enthusiasm and go on it every evening for a week or two. If I haven’t started feeling the benefit, or losing a pound or two after that, and I never have, I give up and months will go by before its pedals are turned again.
I have this theory see, that once you reach a certain age, too much exercise stops doing you good and starts killing you off. It certainly feels that way. After ten minutes on gym equipment, of any sort, I am puffing and sweating, and frankly, just need a lie down. My heart is a muscle that works hard enough keeping me alive, anything over and above that is just wearing it out quicker! That’s why I appreciate yoga so much. It makes me feel stronger rather than weaker. My brain isn’t addled by my lungs failing to suck in enough air like it is for five minutes after a gym workout. I feel good. I feel invincible. I believe I am a warrior!
Trouble is yoga alone isn’t keeping me in shape. I might feel like a warrior, but I certainly don’t look like one. I’m guessing I should cut down on calories, deny myself wine and sweet things, and then I might revert back to my young slim self. It is a cruel fact, that in my youth I hated being thin. Hated my scrawny limbs, and my shapeless torso. I still cringe when I remember being fitted for a bridesmaids dress, which to start with I was so excited about, until my aunt, who was the dressmaker, said she didn’t need to measure me all over because I was just straight up and down. And I was. Twiggy was a chubster compared to me!
The truth is, I believe we all look better with a bit of chubbiness, certainly as we get older (I give you Victoria Beckham vs Nigella!) It fleshes out the wrinkles, and makes us look robust and healthy. Many oldies get bent and boney, their faces sunken. Well I’m blowed if I’m going to let that happen to me.
No, its alright, I’m not going to get obese, and I’ll do enough to keep healthy, but just maybe I’ll be satisfied to stay a little bit bigger than I’d really like to be, so that should I ever be graced with grandchildren I’ll be a proper, cuddly grandma.