Sunbathing

Sunbathing weather, Yorkshire style…..

Midday and it was fleece time.

It was definitely a day to dream. Dream of warmer lands, big adventures.

Hawklad clearly realised I was struggling. He said

“Dad treat yourself. What’s something you have always wanted to buy yourself…”

All I could think of was the Death Star Lego set.

“We’ll see how much it is on Amazon. You never know…..”

Well we did check. £750 for Lego. £750 smackers. Wow….

“Well Dad that’s silly money. Tell you what, buy me Ace Venturer on Prime Video and save yourself £745…it’s a bargain.”

I have just been hustled.

White rose

White roses. All very summer like.

The reality…..

An early start. Exercise out the way. Homeschooling started. Housework done. No work to be done until tomorrow. Time to relax. Time to enjoy a few hours.

The reality…..

Walking bear foot to the kitchen to make a drink and standing on a Lego piece. If only that pesky Lego Lifeboat Set had stayed intact and off the floor for as long as this foot pain is lasting

Charge

Can’t let Captain Chaos off the lead even here. He only has two modes will out. Head in all directions accept forward and CHARGE….

So Hawklad is busy building Lego sets. All about working on his fine motor skills. For some reason he likes to build these outside on the patio.

So there he was nearly completing an old Lord of the Rings building. All very intricate and delicate. Hours of work and then…..

My sister appearing at the back gate.

Captain Chaos is mad but goes the maddest of mad when there are visitors. Like DCs Flash, he was getting to the gate at near the speed of light. Two options. Go the direct and clear route OR head the longer and Lego blocked way. Only one option for a Lord of Chaos.

Lego everywhere. You wouldn’t believe how far Lego can fly and roll. Days later we are still on a recovery mission.

Oh what fun.

Tai Chi for Lego

Stress, anxiety, nerves.

For years the best tool I had to combat these pesky fellas was running. Lots of it. It almost became a daily fix for this bumbling muppet. But 2020 has completely curtailed that. So I strive for my new Excalibur.

The three best candidates so far are

Winning the lottery (still working on that, I guess it would help if I bought a lottery ticket),

Yoga,

Tai Chi.

So in reality it’s down to the later two candidates. It’s early days, we may need a few more recounts but it might be time to call a result. As ever my buddies the Mini Lego figures are keen to help out.

So I started out feeling a little unsure of myself but a few Scooby snacks encouraged me to give both mindfulness exercise regimes a go.

The first thing is that both approaches do require some comfy clothes. But it says nothing about how stylish for those have to be. You can get seriously creative. Maybe lime green circle shorts, or maybe something pinky purple or maybe something royally outrageous.

Both Yoga and Tai Chi do require you to commit to them. It takes much practice to master them. Balance is one thing you need to master. Although beards are not essential on the mat they may in fact help with balance and stability. False beards are available for those who can’t grow them…..

One thing you will notice is that both approaches have their own unique languages. Requests to perform a ‘bound lotus’ or ‘parting the wild horses main’ will frequently leave you with not the slightest ScoobyDoo of what is going on.

Then we come to the instructors. Be aware here. They start out sounding like your new best buddy but be careful. Look at some of the positions they bend you into – they must have a secret dark side.

Then we come to the end results. Well with dedication then just like Frankie both can be real body builders.

Are they good anxiety and stress busters? Yes if you find the right instructor. Find the wrong one and Tai Chi will leave you seriously red in the face as you try to master the meditative breathing routines.

Which actually is much better than Yoga which can definitely release the inner anger when you get painfully stuck in the Formidable Face Pose.

And finally the big difference I noticed between the two approaches to body and soul health. With Tai Chi I feel like I am still in one piece after completing a session.

Unfortunately the same can not be said for yoga. Often after one to many ‘nice detoxifying hip openers’ I feel something akin to this….

And please remember that for whatever exercise you opt for please be mindful of others and maintain effective social distancing.

Namaste….

It’s Yoga but not as we know it

Why do I always hear Spock’s words to Captain Kirk whenever I try to do yoga.

It’s life Jim but not as we know it!”

It’s yoga just not as we know it. That sums up my yoga talents perfectly. I do try. I guess it’s like my parenting as well – it’s parenting but not as we know it. Anyway back to that instrument of torture which is yoga. I’m part of the Yoga with Adriene App community. She’s really really good but even she can’t sort some people out. This person out. But at least I can laugh at the many times I lose balance and then hit the ground.

Like most things in life, we have to find our own way.

The last ME/MUPPET guide to yoga went down so well and it guided so many lost souls to yoga perfection – well then clearly you need another one. Again I will be assisted by some brave and fearless (mostly) mini lego figures. I will be played this time by Shaggy. Bizarrely the rest of the yoga group are Star Wars characters.

First point is that it’s so important that you get yoga mats, leggings and blocks that are the right size for you. Anything other than a perfect fit could lead to injury or worse, embarrassment.

A perfect fit for a yoga block

Remember to place your mat next to people who have similar abilities to yourself. In my case I tend to look at for certain key signs in the other yoga attendees. Badly fitting gym clothes, a few spare tyres round the middle, scrapes and bruises to the knees, bandages on the elbows, squashed nose and a slightly bemused look.

Perfect person to be next to ?

Be careful if you get your selection wrong then it will only ever end in disaster. Some people are better equipped to do certain yoga positions than others…..

Motorised hips, no arms and no knees make the crow pose so much easier.

Remember it’s a badge of honour to be the only person in the session standing on the wrong leg repeatedly.

I’m on the correct leg everybody else is wrong…

There will come a time when you will be asked to do a one legged dancer’s pose. Don’t be fearful, embrace it. Especially when you find out your the only person in the room who can’t do it.

Can you explain that move just one more time….

Breathe deeply. Struggle onto one leg. I find swearing really helps. Then as gracefully as possible try to headbutt the floor. You may get a sensation something equivalent to five neutron stars exploding in your hips. That will be the correct Dancer’s pose. A certain feeling of lower half detachment may follow.

That hurt…..

The other important tip is to embrace the journey you go on with the instructor. At the start of the session he or she may seem the nicest and most kind person you could ever hope to meet. In my case Adriene’s words are like a warming blanket, settling deep inside my soul. Then the true journey of discovery begins. After about 10 minutes your instructor will start to talk about ‘nice detoxifying hip openers’. At this stage you will now start to view the instructor as more akin to a prison guard, barking out instructions with the threat of a gun.

Do as you are told…

Your yoga journey will be complete when your instructor tells you to adopt the crow position so you can be ‘truly grounded and at one with the earth’. At that stage you will see the instructor as a predator, a carnivore about to feed on your lifeless and broken carcass . Don’t worry this is completely normal and just means that you still have 5 minutes to go before the session has ended.

Only 5 minutes to go before you have been properly tenderised.

I hope this has been of some use to you. Remember your body is a temple. Probably in urgent need of a preservation and restoration order. You can do this. NAMASTE….

Time for your daily yoga.

Don’t say I never give you new features. First there was bereavement and autism. Then came parenting. Then virtual trips to Switzerland and world exercise bike tours. Then helpful baking tips. Poking fun at the government came next. Then muppet guides.

I hear you. You want more. OK

Brace yourself people. Don your comfy shirts and brightly coloured tight leggings. It’s time for your first Yoga Guide. Today I’m going to start with transitioning into the Warrior Pose. To add to the difficulty (as I am an elite athlete) I will be doing it dressed up as a Star Wars Clone Trooper.

Find a comfortable position. That is difficult dressed up in tight plastic battle gear, so I will just fall to the ground in a heap.

Now transition into a lotus pose or as close as you can comfortably manage.

Now with the grace of a charging Bison, extend you legs while keeping your head in line with your heart which is in line with your buttocks. Brace your thighs as you transition into the warrior pose.

If you are new to yoga or are a lego figure then you will probably find that the use of support blocks will help with stability.

Now hold. Your body, legs and joints will be screaming for mercy. Remember it’s good for you. Count to 10.

Now release the hold. See how good that feels.

Look at the pure delight on my face as I realise just how good my body now feels.

So hopefully you found that most useful. Remember I am an expert so don’t expect to be as good as me straight away. Stick with it and over many months you might end up not feeling so inferior to me.

Please let me know if you would like any other yoga or fitness activity explained to you.

NAMASTE my friends.