How am I supposed to exercise with this lump under my feet wanting his tummy tickled. How can one cat take up half of a yoga mat. Scarily that is supposed to be an apex predator. Definitely the heaviest cat in the vets practice and he is proud of it . I guess the only danger he poses to the local rodent population would be if he accidentally sat on them.
They always say eventually owners start looking like their pets.
I’m there already, well it definitely feels that way today.
Lack of sleep does strange things to the mind and body. It took me 30 minutes into a yoga session before that the odd sensation I was experiencing was attributed to me putting on my compression shorts back to front. If only it stopped there.
I decided I needed a milky and sweet coffee to get me going. The sugar is next to the kettle. So what sleep induced madness sent me to the cupboard. Made me reach out and grab a large bag. Open that bag. Carefully add two spoonfuls of the white powder into my drink. Then stir and stir. Rather puzzled at the enfolding congealed mess. Then taste what was clearly something approaching wallpaper paste.
Only a lack of sleep ends with self raising flour being added to coffee.
Saturday arrives and the Yorkshire summer is still trying to hold on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic to feel warm but….. I don’t sleep well these days at the best of times. To have a chance I need to be snuggled under a warm duvet, not lying on top of the covers feeling uncomfortably warm. So the warmth has made sleep even less likely. I’m now getting use to operating through the day with two hours sleep at most. Weeks upon weeks on that. That’s not ideal, it’s not healthy but that’s how it is.
The brain so easily just boots up in auto pilot mode. The body is awake, the brain less so.
It’s Saturday, so I start the day with a yoga session. And thats what I remember doing. So why then after about 15 minutes do I suddenly realise yoga isn’t about throwing a kettlebell about. I can’t even remember taking the kettlebells outside with me. Maybe it was sleep kettlebelling….. Still could be worse. At least I was clothed. At least it was my garden I was in. At least I hadn’t just fallen asleep on the yoga mat.
The worry is that the home at school project restarts on Monday for another 7 week block. The return of the early morning alarms calls are not going to help the sleep.
But on the bright side I have not resorted to early hours QVC or pointless reality TV watching. I am using the extra hours awake to focus on what is truly important to me. That’s why I can still do this. That’s why I might be tired but I’m smiling this Saturday Summers day in Yorkshire.
How do you tell when you son has been watching too much The Simpsons. Maybe it was too much of the American version of The Office….
I thought I was at one with nature. Just completing a 50 minute yoga session out. I thought it going well. I felt a definite natural flow to my movements. Maybe just maybe I have finally found my inner Rhythm and goddess mode. Then I heard the icy tones of a teenage son and the moment was blown out of the water.
“Dad there has never been a finer more awesome Dad squeezed into a pair of 56 inch pants…….”
Trying to do mindful yoga outside works ‘so well’ when your fingers are blue and you can’t feel your toes. Actually can’t feel any part of your body. Not so much mindful as Mind Numbing. Brain Freeze.
A bit later Hawklad wanted a slush puppy. Really…. Well I guess it is the warmer months. So the slush was made and taken outside.
“Dad it’s not melting infact it’s refreezing….”
So yes it cold but here’s the thing. It’s been just what I needed today. Not enough sleep last night. Not enough for a while now. So I woke feeling like a zombie. As I’m trying to be healthy, caffeine is not an option to get me going. The next best thing is a shock to the system. An ice cold bath or in this case a Yorkshire Spring day…
I’ve been trying to practice yoga and tai chi for months now. I diligently watch and follow the videos. All the really glossy and professional videos. I was trying again this morning. Following the instructor through her perfect routine. Even her dog sits beside her perfectly. Never moving. In the background the gentle sound of peaceful music. Perfect.
Meanwhile in deepest Yorkshire.
A muppet is seamlessly moving from one body creak to the next groan. Losing balance and crashing into furniture. Constantly fearing my pants are going to split under the galactic pressure being exerted on them. Every time I hit the ground a mad dog instantly leaps on me and I replay the Bill Murray Ghostbusters scene – I’VE BEEN SLIMED. And no gentle sound of peaceful music here. Rather the sound of derision and laughter….
“What on earth are you doing Dad”
“If this was on TV it would be banned”
“You look a right sight”
“Funnier than a Will Ferrell movie”
“Say that again Dad. Golden Rooster. More like drunken Pigeon”
“Are you supposed to be balancing on one leg or head butting the wall”
“My Dad has turned into Homer Simpson”
“Please never do this when any of my friends visit”
“Your just embarrassing yourself now”
Technically speaking this probably means that I still have a long way to go on my spiritual exercise journey. Or more likely …. time to get the mega pack of biscuits out and vegetate.
A beautiful start to the day. Early morning. A time for reflection and renewal. The perfect time for yoga and meditation.
Well that’s the plan.
The reality was somewhat different. A creaking, stiff body. A sleep deprived mind and a cat. Yes that cat. The big boy. The biggest cat on the Vets’s books. Yoga is too much of a temptation for him. Great for him. Not so great for yoga practice. Not the greatest photos. Toodark. Cat way too close. Trying to hide my exposed short covered legs….
This time last year exercise was so easy. Didn’t need to think about it. Chuck some kettlebells about and then go running in the hills. Happy days.
Then the pandemic happened. Anxiety and fears of my son brought the walls up. Suddenly we were housebound. Running stopped.
So now it’s chucking a kettlebell about and things like yoga. It’s not easy anymore. Not just running in the direction of my nose anymore. Need to think about things. Lots of things…
Are the feet, hips and shoulders in line,
Imagine the feet sinking into the ground, a great base,
Am I correctly rooted,
Is the back straight,
Am I controlling my breathing,
Am I extending that hip opener,
Is this an up dog or a down dog,
Is my neck extended,
Have I just done a clockwise or anticlockwise circle with my knee,
Which is my left leg again,
Is that my knee clicking,
How am I going to get out of this knot,
Have I done my 3 minutes in the tree pose yet,
Remember to lower my back one vertebrae at a time,
Do I bring my feet together, hip wide or wider,
What on earth is a virabhadrasana II,
Is my bum tensed,
Don’t forget to say namaste….
If the thinking was bad enough what about the pain. Never again will I ever moan about a muddy hill climb. The agony of a delicious hip opener. The dizziness of my head being below my buttocks. The shooting pain from holding my entire and not insignificant weight on just two dodgy old wrists for a torturous crow. The brain shakes that come from yet another extended plank. That soul destroying feeling that hits you when after suffering 5 minutes of a triangle pose you here the words ‘and now for the left side’.
So yes I really do miss the good old days of just running.