After a week having to be the nagging mother of the Global Groove Life household – reminding people to wash dishes, close doors and keep the noise down after 10pm, I was starting to wonder what sort of sorcerous impostor has sneaked inside my skin covered shell and taken me over.
I used to be the one leaving dishes in the sink, I used to be the one cackling past bed time, I was the one leaving the bathroom light on and forgetting to close the front door.
These new-found responsibilities seem to have aged me by a decade overnight, so you can imagine how elated I was when I finally found my tribe at Yoga Tree Studio last night.
SEXY AT SEVENTY
Esther is living proof that there’s an indirect correlation between yoga practice and ageing.
She started practising yoga when she was fifty-four years old, gained her teacher qualification aged fifty-eight and is now just about to turn seventy-one. And during those seventeen years of bending, balancing and breathing, she hasn’t aged one single day.
She has the youthful presence of a Millenial with the wisdom of a Guru and instantly made my eyes light up, curious as to what she would say next.
Third to join our little lycra gang was seventy-five year old Sophie; a tiny little Japanese lady with a stunningly beautiful face and an ear-to-ear smile that could light up a thousand rooms.
She entered the studio and slowly made her way over step by step, supported on either side by her familial entourage. Her dainty little shoulders were hunched over slightly and trembled as she fought to keep her bare-foot balance on her journey towards the mat.
After waking up at 4am most mornings too excited for life to be able to go back to sleep, I knew that whatever restorative yoga was, it was exactly what I needed to get me ready for a recoup.
I lay there in Savasana (dead man’s pose) for a few minutes waiting patiently for Sophie to follow me into position.
Every move she made was a miniature struggle and every bone creaked out reminders of the impermanence of youth. She bent her tired legs, got herself into a seated position rested her hands on either side before bending her elbows backwards and lowering herself down into the pose.
Soft whispers of agony left her lips her as she settled into her new position and her lungs inhaled in desperation for recovery.
As we lay there, old and young, side by side, on our mats, focusing on our breath and setting ourselves up for the practice I felt an overwhelming sense of appreciation for my body. It was something spanning far beyond surface-level aesthetics and something far beyond the marvel of our anatomy – it was something to do with time.
I realised that every tick of the clock is a pulse in our veins we’ll never feel again, and every tock is another wrinkle on our face. And, if I’m lucky, it won’t be long before I’m there where Sophie is – on the old person’s mat, lying next to somebody half my age who is half as grateful as they should be for the life that they have.
Maybe youth really is wasted on the young.
ONE WEEK OF YOGA
After only one week of regular yoga practice I already feel like a new person – the me that I want to be is the me that I am.
I’m already noticing my body’s improved flexibility, I’ve lost weight, I’ve toned, my mind is super focused and I’m sleeping deeply.
I’m no longer reeling off to-do lists, regressing on moments gone by or hoping for anything from the future. I’m feeling the emotions of fleeting thoughts before they rise up in my stomach and I don’t have any desire to fidget.
I feel good, I feel happy, overwhemingly so in fact. This is what life should be like -loved as much as a grain of sand that one minute is in the grasp of your hand and the next minute has slipped right through your fingers.
During yoga I’m present, focusing on air leaving the pit of my stomach and taking all of my worries with it before the bright, fresh, cool air rushes in through my nostrils and gives me life.
Restorative yoga is nothing quite like any yoga I’ve done before. Essentially it’s like a slightly speeded up night’s sleep with plenty of props and a personal sleep assistant.
It’s all on the floor and there are only a handful of positions. It’s about getting you comfortable for about five minutes at a time and focusing on nothing but the breath.
We had three mats each, a pillow, a blanket, two huge bolster cushions, two sandbags and two blocks. I didn’t know what to do with half of them but my inner-child was dying to make a little bohemian den.
Every pose involved an intense focus on the breath and the deeper it got, the more I forgot my mind and forgot my existence in human form. I heard vibrations – low level vibrations that gently hummed me into a trance.
The contour of my body disappeared. I saw colours – I was colours, lots of them. And I was melting without heat, somehow disappearing within the grasp of everything.
I was relaxed, rejoiced and restored.