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Assuming the Ostrich position at Christmas, or a headstand, downward dog, cat, cobra, child's pose, corpse pose for that matter...

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Alexander Residence: Assuming the Ostrich position at Christmas, or a headstand, downward dog, cat, cobra, child's pose, corpse pose for that matter...

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Assuming the Ostrich position at Christmas, or a headstand, downward dog, cat, cobra, child's pose, corpse pose for that matter...

Mr G attempts a headstand
I could be blogging about Christmas, but if you hadn't guessed already, I am a bit of an ostrich when it comes to Christmas.  I like to bury my head in the sand/snow, and pretend it isn't happening for as long as possible.  Bit like this picture of Mr G.  So how do i keep calm and carry on? 

I've recently rediscovered yoga.  I have found an amazing teacher whose class keeps me sane.  Every week I feel totally transformed afterwards.  This week I feel on cloud nine, and a bit cheeky.  One week I cried all the way home, but in a really wonderfully cathartic way, some sad feelings that needed to be let out.  By the time I got home I was fixed.  Last week I felt soooooo sleeeeeeeepy.  Next week she is promising to help us feel grounded in the run up to Christmas.  Normally whatever I need to feel I feel, yoga seems to untangle the day for me. 

I've always dipped into yoga and have some good memories.  Lying on the mat relaxing at the end I always have some random thoughts drift by.  Today, my mind drifted back to yoga experiences in my past. Some funny, some magic, one scary.

My very first yoga class was terrifying.  Me and my fellow trainee teacher H ran out into New Cross screaming with a mixture of laughter and shock.  H was white with fear and shrieked most the way home that he felt violated.  The teacher was clearly a sadist, the walls were covered in chains and she spent and hour and a half poking and prodding and sitting on us to get us into positions I have never seen since in a yoga class.  The sort of class that gives yoga a bad name.

I attempted yoga again when me and Mr A first moved in together in Brighton, when our relationship was still young and he would attempt things he thought were silly to impress me.  The teacher of 'Beginners Yoga' used to spend an age demonstrating each pose while Mr A made up his own poses with names like 'taramosalata' behind her back.  It was fun, but for all the wrong reasons.  I found another class with my cousin, it was amazing, like being on drugs without any nasty side effects. After just five minutes breathing and holding my tummy I was smiling like a crazy lady. Since then I've been hooked.

Next me and my teacher friend K attempted yoga, this time in Brixton.  We sabotaged all health benefits each week with a pint of shandy and a packet of crisps in the pub afterwards.  I'm not sure if it was the yoga or the chat, but it got me through one of the most stressful points in my teaching career.

Then there was pregnancy yoga, lots of sitting on swiss/gym/birthing balls discussing our symptoms followed by some very gentle stretches and lots of lying on bean bags.  Heavenly.

And mother and baby yoga.  I absolutely swear by this as the best baby bonding, mother nurturing experience I have found.  I did it with both kids.  I spent some of the time feeding or trying to soothe a grizzly baby rather than participating, but with Mr G especially, I noticed after a few weeks we really settled into it.

Lying there in the relaxation bit tonight, where the teacher comes and helps you stretch your arms and legs, pulling really gently from the wrists and then the ankles and giving them a little squeeze, it suddenly hit me why I love this class so much.  It was such a motherly gesture.  When you spend all your time mothering, yoga gives you some of that back.  It was my mum who first introduced me to yoga and relaxation - both such wonderful gifts which I intend to pass on.

Both my kids are picking up loads of moves from Wayballoo, so I think they'll love kids yoga class when they are a little bit bigger. I'm just waiting until they are both old enough to go together, rather than juggling Mr G while Miss L refuses to participate without me, because stressing me out defeats the object of relaxing them.

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