Blessings # 25 – Y is for Yoga

I had been toying with the idea of taking up some kind of gentle exercise for years but was always too busy and then, when John became more frail, I had time but could only learn by watching a video (which back then was a tape in a machine). That didn’t work for me so I gave up. After he died and I was looking for ways to get out and meet people I decided to see if I could find either a Yoga or Tai Chi class locally and searched online. It was September and I knew that going out after dark when it was also cold would challenge my commitment. There was no Tai Chi group which was in a suitable place at a time I felt able to manage but there was an afternoon Yoga class in Cardigan so I went along.

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The Small Wold Theater in Cardigan where that class was held

I enjoyed the moving and stretching but was disappointed that none of the group spoke to each other. We arrived, rolled out our mats, did what the teacher told us, rolled up our mats and left. Then after about a year the teacher had to take a break for a term as she had several family members needing extra help. I mentioned it to someone I volunteered with who suggested I go to the class she was in which met in an evening. It was summer time so I thought it would not be too bad going out later and it would tide me over.

That was how I met Rose Thorn. (No Mr and Mrs Thorn did not lack imagination – the whole name was made up as a stage name which stuck) The group still wasn’t chatty but I knew 2 other people there so it felt more friendly. And Rose was a revelation. Yoga wasn’t about contorting myself into strange shapes. It was all about exploring what my body could and couldn’t do without fussing too much about its limitations. It was about noticing how I stood, moved, breathed. Then gently inmproving my posture, flexibility and balance through the postures. I knew that I had knock knees but found I also had flat feet. That I walked with my feet at 45 degrees (all those models posing on the catwalk and dress patterns with the model’s toes prettily pointed to show off the skirt had had an effect). Neither of those things were helped by weak ankles. Years of wearing high heels all the time had given me squashed toes and very short hamstrings. Oh, and I rounded my shoulders and stuck my head forward when I walked. Not that Rose said much – she just let me discover all these things through trying to follow her instructions. ‘Stand with your feet parallel to the edges of the mat’ was one of the first and most often used and it is hard to do when you usually waddle like a duck!

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Trying to take a selfie in the mirror whilst standing on one leg in tree pose does not encourage good posture!

I started to go to the Saturday morning sessions she runs from time to time at the home she shares with her partner Marie and which Marie runs as a vegetarian guest house. 3 hours of yoga followed by lunch which Marie cooks and where we all chat and get to know each other. Bit by bit this lovely couple became my friends.

otr-panorama
Over the Rainbow Vegetarian Guest House which is home to Marie and Rose

So now my posture has improved, my better balance means I am less likely to fall and my awareness of how I move makes it easier to avoid aching muscles when I work in the garden.

10 thoughts on “Blessings # 25 – Y is for Yoga

  1. DawnGillDesigns April 19, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    I finally signed up to my first pilates class …It was due to begin the week before lockdown began – but the tutor was understandably concerned for the safety of everyone, so cancelled that week….sometimes i think the universe agrees with me that I’m not suited to exercise!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • DawnGillDesigns April 20, 2020 / 2:21 pm

        Well, I’m 50 next year, I figured it was about time!

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      • Going Batty in Wales April 21, 2020 / 9:41 am

        I took up Yoga when I was 61 and am now almost 70 and still doing it. I am convinced it is even more important to look after my body now – I need it to keep going!

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  2. Laurie Graves April 19, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about the way things rippled forward. What a great thing it was to become friends with Rose and her partner, who have such a lovely place. Also, most impressed with your yoga pose.

    Like

    • Going Batty in Wales April 20, 2020 / 9:56 am

      Their place is lovely and I enjoy seeing how they are improving it and adding on new things year on year. As to the pose I should have been standing straighter but getting a decent photo made me wobble! I am much better at standing on one leg and it really helps to have good balance on these slopes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda April 19, 2020 / 3:53 pm

    That is the exact reason I stopped going to my Pilates class too. It was such a shame as it was at a good time in the next village but I was always Billy No Mates! I have done it for years though and as I’m getting older I’m very much more aware of what bits are doing what in the mornings getting up or in the garden. It does pay off listening to yourself. Lovely to see a photo of you too.

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    • Going Batty in Wales April 20, 2020 / 10:00 am

      I have no idea why some groups stay unfriendly or, almost worse, cliquey. When Rose started another class in the late afternoon in a village nearer me I switched to that one. Some people knew each other but change had happened so I deliberately teased Rose, chatted to others sared what I was learning and gradually others joined in. I no longer go as the time became awkward but I gather it is still a really happy friendly group. I don’t take the credit but it shows that it is at least partly something about habit.

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  4. tialys April 20, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    I did yoga for quite a while in a small (6 people usually) group in the instructor’s home studio. I actually prefer pilates but it was such a nice group that I stuck with it for a long time and there wasn’t too much of the ‘spiritual’ stuff which I don’t really get on with. I already knew one or two of the people who went along so it was instantly friendly and, even though she has stopped classes now due to personal reasons, we are all still friends. My current pilates (and zumba) teacher has had to stop classes due to the current situation but is doing online sessions which i have studiously ignored and that is probably the reason my jeans don’t seem to fit me any more.

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    • Going Batty in Wales April 21, 2020 / 9:44 am

      I am finding my jeans ‘have shrunk’ too! Too much cake when I stop for coffee. I do think a friendly crowd make it easier to keep going with any kind of class.

      Like

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