THE X-TRAINER DAYS AND THE YEAR OF RUNNING
My first proper foray into the world of exercise in adulthood would be the six months I spent on a cross-trainer at the gym. I would go on for anything from 45 minutes to two hours most days. I was so thin and dizzy. Gym cardio didn’t work for me; my entire focus was on calorie-burn and getting as thin as possible. I had no care for my health. I did get into running outdoors a couple of years after the gym phase, and found it much more beneficial for me as my progress was measured in distance and speed. I ran 4-5 times a week for a year, then it just stopped fitting into my daily routine. I still have my Runkeeper app and it’s nice to see how much progress I made before stopping. It makes me want to run again.
I’m certainly no seasoned Yogi, but I have improved so much so much since I started using Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann as my Yogic bible. It’s all about the process and progress. That’s one of the core elements of Yoga practice; slowly and surely your body and mind become more and more in tune with one another and you find yourself able to do things you never thought you could. I remember when the first time I went up into a forearm-stand with ease and it was a such a personal victory. I never thought I could do that!
I like the Yoga-as-a-toolbox analogy: based upon how I feel and how I want to feel, I can select an appropriate series of asanas. Being able to feel the shift in mindset, or the relief of a particular muscle group is so much more important to me than how Yoga affects the shape or appearance of my body. Having said that, it does tone you, and improved posture is a good look on anyone.
After I practise, I feel a quiet, ecstatic harmony. Anyone who does Yoga will know the feeling I mean; you feel so open and peaceful, it’s like you’re vibrating with positive energy. Maybe it’s similar to a runner’s high, but I never ran far enough to experience that.
I also practise Pilates, and would recommend 10 Minute Solution – The Pilates Collection [DVD] to anyone who’d like to try it in their own home. Like Yoga, you work at your level and adapt the movements to your ability. I’ve done Pilates for about 8 years now, and although my commitment has waned, I always turn to Pilates when I want to get the blood flowing and enjoy a dynamic full-body work out.
IN THE FUTURE
Violet and I quite fancy doing a short course of tennis lessons, so I’ve been looking into that. Also, I really fancy trying ballet or some kind of barre class.
Born this way,