Yoga with my dog

Benny is a natural at yoga – his favourite resting position is one we like to call “froggy doggy”, where his back legs are splayed out behind him and his pelvis is flat against the floor. Sometimes he lies down and carefully maneuvers his legs into this position, but other times he begins in a downward dog position, then raises his head to stretch his back legs right to the tips of his toes, and allows his feet to slide out from underneath him.

christmas-froggy-doggy
Christmas froggy doggy – he likes unwrapping presents

I’m not nearly as flexible as that, and I don’t particularly want to be able to swivel my hips 180 degrees and lie flat on the floor, but I would like to be a bit more supple. I’ve also got ongoing discomfort in my shoulders and upper back; this is partly due to a tendency to tight muscles that I’ve inherited (hi mum! Hi granny!) but also thanks to my terrible posture. Add to all of that the fact that my brain goes 100 miles a minute and I am not very good at simply being, and the upshot is that yoga would be great for me.

I’ve looked into going to a yoga class several times. When we first moved here, I found there was a Ballet Fit class at the local sports centre. The idea of combining ballet techniques with yoga seemed intriguing, but also terrifying. When I think of ballet, I think of tall, thin, beautiful young women with perfect poise and grace. That’s not a description I would apply to myself! Yoga brings to mind athletic, bendy, healthy-eating overachievers who get up at 4am to meditate and wear Lycra at every opportunity. That’s not me either.
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My Fail-Proof Exercise Plan

There are several reasons why I should exercise more.

One reason is that although I’m only about a centimetre taller than I was four years ago, I’m several inches away from fitting into my Leavers’ Prom dress. And it was a very nice dress. The prom itself was rather a mixed bag of drunken friends, embarassing dances and painful goodbyes, but the dress was and still is lovely. Pity I can’t fasten the zip any more.

This is the best my hair has ever looked, before or since

Another reason is that I have a faint memory of maybe, at some point, possibly quite enjoying exercising. I’ve got the glimmer of a memory of getting up before dawn in the depths of winter to trek across town and exhaust myself skating around in the freezing cold air, and then running three million times around an 800m track while other, sylph-like, greyhound people whizzed past me. Even now, my traitorous legs sometimes start to twitch with an increasing insistency and will only be satisfied when I shut down the laptop or turn off the TV or close the book, and walk out of the house.

This is definitely not the best my hair has ever looked

But the main reason that I brave the unpredictable elements and staggeringly steep hills is this:

"Are you busy? You don't look very busy..."

Somehow the thought of a pink dress or the memory of my team isn’t as effective as those chocolate eyes and the quivery anticipation in his tail when I look like I might be thinking of going out, and the sheer exhilaration when he realises that YES we ARE going OUT right NOW in the GARDEN for a WALK is much better than another ten minutes on Facebook. Even if Facebook doesn’t come with flies and hills.