Sunday 22 August 2021

Finding the right Yoga teacher for tricky health conditions

 For the first time ever, I took myself into child’s pose and hid my face as I encountered a meltdown. Yoga and I have a love/hate romance going on. It helps so much with the pain and stiffness of Ankylosing Spondylitis. 

It’s huge.

But it hurts.

And it’s tough.


People think that yoga is sitting crossed legged on a mat and chanting. There is some of that. And our Yogi lady lights some nice smelling herbs too. But goodness, what a workout. My recovery time is often five days or more. But I love it and I believe it helps me into the next day, next year, next decade.

     My aim? To be my most independent, fittest, self. Despite challenges, which someone on Instagram recently reminded me, ‘we all have those.’ I removed the post, which was hoping to be inspirational, not a pity party with oneself. I’m not going down that route with my health news. Even though I feel I can help others and educate them through my life-long learning with this. People tell me what I should do or encourage me: ‘sounds like you are on the right track,’ as if they know me better than I know myself. They mean well, I know. 

After yoga, it was time for coffee. Two hours in Starbucks and a long chat with my amazing daughter and best friend, and my world seemed brighter. 

     “What’s your favourite genre or niche?” She asked me. What a great question! I answered that it’s the life writing stuff, the journaling, blogging. About life, and whatever that means to someone. I like seeing people tell me about their travel plans and trips, their ups and downs, their health triumphs, their love stories. That was enough ‘figuring out’ for one day.

     The Yogi we found this year is a blessing. She is a gentle spirit, I can tell. She lets me do me. She didn’t mind that I sat in Childs pose for ten minutes. I don’t even know if she noticed me trying to blot my silent tears on my badly chosen t shirt. I hoped there wasn’t mascara over my face. I also hoped I didn’t need to blow my nose. A couple of sniffs and a firm few words with myself saw me gather my composure once again. 

     I was frustrated, sore, stiff; but determined. I would do what I could, from where I was, with what I’d got. And hope that it might be enough to make some improvements. The alternative was to do nothing, and that was not an option. I wasn’t a quitter. Even if I was delicate. 

     My first yoga classes were at a very different gym, one where ‘those type of girls’ would intimidate you with a look. Someone old and overweight joined the class. Good for her, I thought. She couldn’t sit on her knees. The class leader said, ‘yes you can, just use a block.’ The lady never came back again. My recovery time from those classes was seven days. I tried the other classes, at my posh gym.  Those were full of older women, retired from work and lots of classes to look forward to. They liked their mat in a particular place. I entered that sacred place one Thursday morning and goodness, I was informed how wrong that was. I picked up my mat and left, cried, never went back. 

Yesterday, the class ended. I was strong enough to look our yogi in the eyes and not fall into an ‘end of the world’ sob. 

     “Thank you, that was amazing.”

     “How are you?” she asked me with a queried look on her face,

     “Sore today,” and I was able to thank her for her patience. She has no idea what a difference that made to my Yoga experience. This practice is good for me. I must keep my focus, my will, my tenacity.


Monday 2 August 2021

Missing Pina Colada?

Do you remember last week we spoke about someone always being there for you? Well, this video reminds us why we are feeling more alone than usual. We have missed the 'touching base' of an exchange at the coffee shop, the swim-up bar on holiday, the 'good morning' to the security guard on the way into the office. Some of us might love more quiet time, more time alone, but it will impact that thought of feeling like we might not have the usual support network we are used to. Things are beginning to return to more of a normal way of life now. When travel opens up, we can start to make new friends once again as we sip a pina colada at the pool side and listen to some latino type music.

Click here to see this video discussing this

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