Now this wasn’t really something I was planning on writing about . . . However I was chatting to my lovely friend Molly who said she wishes she’d taken photos of herself in the beginning and explained that she has written a journal to ensure she is aware of the positive changes and to help her remain motivated . . . which makes total sense so I thought, you know what, might as well blog about it . . . So here we go.
Molly has been my sole inspiration for having a go at this whole Yoga thing – she’s fully evangelical about what a life changing experience it has been for her. You can see it in her. She’s so relaxed and composed. It has helped her to deal with some major challenges in her life with grace & strength. (Though in reality I feel it has just amplified the amazing person she already was.)
So yes this is about physical strength & flexibility & all that jazz but it’s also about taking time for myself. About relaxation, about mindfulness & about peace.
As a Mum of three small children there isn’t a lot of my day that is “time for me” – and the only exercise I really get to do is walking to school & back or to the shops. I’ve considered joining the gym etc but it’s just hard to find a time that isn’t late evening – and I really don’t need the buzzy endorphins of a heavy workout right before bed!
One of the things which appeals here is that it’s at home, it isn’t going to cost me anything & I can do it whenever I get chance – even if it’s only ten minutes.
I’ve thought for a while about doing pilates or yoga – based on the whole low impact, gentle stretchy, strength building nature – bearing in mind I’ve had three C Sections in relatively quick succession (in fact three in just over 4 years) I do need to be careful about what I do. I have next to no core strength – even pushing a shopping trolley can be a real challenge if one of the bigger kids is in it. My core strength & fitness is definitely something I need to work on. I can’t afford to attend a class much as I would like the support & encouragement that would offer.
So yesterday I made the first step, I took ten minutes to myself & shut myself away from everyone to watch – and practice – my first yoga video
Things I learned:
* I really enjoyed being able spend time quietly, on my own
* I’m about as flexible as a plank of wood
* My lungs are really sore at the moment (for anyone that doesn’t know, I am quite asthmatic)
* My tummy gets in the way of everything
Although the video was for beginners, I found some of the moves really hard due to tightness in my muscles – this isn’t a surprise & I’m sure it will improve steadily. I did what I could – I didn’t push it too much. Tara reiterated throughout the video – do it in your own time, do it gently, do what feels nice for you . . . One of the things I found really hard actually was getting my breathing right, aside from breathing deeply being quite painful at the moment, I never seem to be able to breath in the right way. I forget to breathe when I’m exercising (I don’t mean I stop completely obviously), I think I just hold my breath. I really struggle with the whole “Do this on the inhale, now do this as you exhale thing” but I guess that’s something I will just have to work on and I’m sure it will come with time! I have noticed that Tara also does a breathing video so I think that might be one I need to look at.
When I came downstairs & told Dave what I’d been up to he suggested doing it together. He said he could do with the stretching himself (we are both prone to back trouble with being tall & his job is very physical so he needs to take care of himself ). Also doing it together will support me & encourage me to stick to it. We’ve agreed we’ll do it each night as soon as we’ve put the kids in bed but I also anticipate trying to squeeze another session in on my own during the day. So last night once they were all in bed, Dave did his first Yoga practice too – and I had another go too!
I don’t really think I need to say anything much about these photos. I’m sure you can make your own judgements on how I feel about some of the images. Dave took them for me while I did the routine again purely for the purpose of seeing my “baseline”. Anyway, there’s no point taking them if I’m not going to share them with you, warts and all, so here they are . . .