The things I do for Juneathon: Yoga
It’s the thirteenth year of Juneathon and each ‘athon I usually set myself a challenge within a challenge. This Juneathon I set myself the challenge of trying a new gym class each week. Today’s class was yoga.
I’ve toyed with the idea of trying yoga for a while now because:
a) I’m getting creaky in my old age and I read yoga is good for flexibility;
b) for months now I’ve been under the impression sleep is something that happens to other people and I read yoga is good for sleep; and
c) everyone on the telly who says they do yoga is thin (although I am aware that most people on the telly are thin because it appears fatties aren’t allowed on the telly unless it’s a programme about fatties).
When I moved to Folkestone a couple of years ago, I joined a gym about a mile away. I didn’t go very often because:
a) it was a mile away which in itself wasn’t a problem but it was a mile away uphill so cycling there wouldn’t have been any quicker or easier; and
b) I couldn’t be arsed (mostly due to a)
so I cancelled my membership.
Then a few months ago a Puregym opened with an opening offer of £10.99 a month for the first year. The cheap price tempted me but it was a bit over a mile away and most of that mile was uphill. But then I googled to see if there were any alternative routes there and, lo! google told me there was a flat way there. I gave it a test run on my bike and woop, I got there in under ten minutes. Result.
I do feel a bit of a knob when I get to the gym and see the hills behind it and my brain starts telling me I should be getting my exercise walking up the hills, not pissing about on machines in a gym, especially on a sunny day. I enjoy both though and, to prove it, here’s a pic I took last Sunday of the gym from the top of the hill.
As with most gyms, classes are included in the membership and, although most of the classes are free at Puregym, the yoga class costs an extra £2, presumably because they have to get specialist instructors in and not use the staff who are already there.
I have to admit, I felt some trepidation at attempting yoga because I thought everyone else there would be:
c) bendy; and
and none of these things can be applied to me and, to be honest, only two ever have been (you can guess these for yourself. It’s like a free quiz, yay. There are no prizes for the correct answer though, ha).
I entered the studio, where the instructor was fortunately sat on her own and not surrounded by young, thin, bendy and coordinated women and she asked me the usual questions about had I done yoga before (no) and did I have any injuries (yes*) and she asked if I minded if she came over to adjust my position if she needed to and I said no because I’d probably be doing it all wrong anyway.
There were only three of us in the class and a small part of me felt meanly pleased to see I wasn’t the biggest or the oldest and even the smaller, younger one was only slightly smaller and younger.
My main concern apart from not being young, thin, bendy and coordinated – and hoping my feet were clean as we had to take our shoes and socks off – was that it was an hour-long class and, if I was as crap as I thought I’d be and unable to follow what we’re supposed to be doing, I’d get hideously self-conscious and want to flee the class but I’d be stuck there for an hour doing the wrong thing and trying not to cry.
As it happened, all the downward dogging and sun salutationing and stretching and stuff was easy to follow (especially when I glanced sideways to see what the woman next to me was doing) and I didn’t get singled out for doing it wrong all the time. Ha, get me Miss Yogi.
The hour went quickly and afterwards I felt amazingly relaxed, light and bendy. I thanked the instructor and told her how good I felt – like I’d been foam rollered all over, in a good way – and she said I’d done really well and I looked like I was standing taller.
I’ll definitely be going again.
*I broke my foot last year staggering home drunk from a party. I’ve been paranoid about my foot ever since and avoid anything that may involve stretching my toes.