Finding out which bits don’t bend – the yoga experiment

One of my best friends and colleagues swears by yoga, my mum does yoga and we have been saying for at least a year that we should try it – it will be good for Kath’s back and my core strength… But as usual we didn’t do anything about anything. Then my friend mentioned a yoga app called Yoga Studio (I’m sure others are available but I’m not one for re-inventing the wheel). I had a look at the app, downloaded it, had another look, ignored it for a little while, had another look and then eventually we had a go. Together, sharing a mat because we only had the one; in our hallway because our living room is stripped back to floorboards and full of plaster dust at the moment…

The app has 15 minute, 30 minute and 60 minute sessions for each beginners, intermediate and advanced and splits them into sessions for balance, flexibility, strength, relaxation or a combination. I like this. 15 minutes is easy to fit in. There is actually a chance I will get my butt out of bed to do 15 minutes in the morning. When working at home 15 minutes relaxation at lunch time sounds like a lovely thing to do (not actually had a day working at home to try that yet) and doing 15 minutes relaxation just before bed might be just what I need to clear my head of the clutter accumulated during the day.

What’s interesting so far is that I am clearly very flexible in some areas and not at all flexible in others. My legs, hamstrings, hips, thighs and calf muscles are pretty good and stretchy and bendy although my right side is slightly tighter than the left (which might explain the injury to my right calf). My upper body is shocking and I have no core strength at all. None.

So here’s what I’ve tried so far. All are obviously the beginner sessions

15 Minute Combination

A nice 15 minute session with gentle stretches and about as much strength stuff I can cope with. A good way to start the day because I feel like I’ve done something but it’s not too tricky. The only thing in there that I can’t do for some reason is extended puppy, as mentioned in a previous post somewhere I just end up face-planting. It’s odd because it shouldn’t be a difficult pose!

15 and 30 minute Relaxationcat-supported-shoulder-stand

I like this – probably because I don’t really have to do anything other than stay still in various poses and breathe. I can do breathing. The 30 minute one does have a supported half shoulderstand in it and the ‘instructor’ tells you to enjoy the relaxing feeling of being upside down. This is usually the point where I loose it and start giggling. I do not find being upside down relaxing. I mean does that look relaxing to you? (The picture is from Yoga Catz)

15 Minute Flexibility

This ends up being half ‘oh yes this is fine, I like this stretch’ and half ‘How the bloody hell are you supposed to do that?’ I am hoping that as I do this more often there’ll be less of the latter

The app works well for me, there are pictures and explanations/instructions of each of the poses so you can check what you’re supposed to be doing and the ‘instructor’ talks you through the session in a voice that I thought might get annoying but actually hasn’t so far. We’ve now got two mats and the iPad hooked up to the TV in the living room which is still just floorboards and doesn’t have any furniture in but we are making progress.

I’ll let you know when I tackle strength and balance sessions – could be amusing!

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