Feeling Floaty

I don’t know how I’ve managed to get to the ripe old age of 44 without ever trying yoga – especially as I was humiliated as a child by a school gym report saying I had a ‘weak but flexible body’ which my family thought was hilarious and has never been forgotten and I thought was a bit unnecessary, frankly (and who gives six-year-olds gym reports anyway?). I suppose when I was growing up yoga was still a bit alternative and hippyish, and by the time it had become just another reason to go shopping for accessories I had taken up pilates which seemed to involve similar amounts of bendy-stretchiness without having to embrace a whole eastern philosophy. But as time has worn on and I’ve failed to do anything about booking myself a pilates class up here (there are waiting lists), yoga has started to look more appealing. Apart from anything else, I am now a bit alternative and hippyish myself, and suddenly the whole meditative aspect (if not the actual philosophy) is becoming a plus rather than a minus in my mind. So when a friend suggested I join her at her gentle, beginners, and (most importantly) pay-as-you-go yoga class, just as my neck and shoulders were giving me gyp, I decided to take it as a sign and see how it went.

I was a bit nervous that I’d make some horrible faux pas or just be hopeless but fortunately a welcoming teacher and the aforementioned weak but still mostly quite flexible body meant I managed okay, especially as doing a mid-week morning class means I’m the youngest in the room, although it would help if my glasses didn’t keep falling off. And – combined with the fact that I have finally managed to get my bike serviced (it’s been even harder than getting a GP appointment, frankly) – the ride home has been lovely and fluid with me and the bike both moving like well-oiled machines. To keep this going, I’ve been promising myself I will stretch out, yoga fashion, after every ride (cycling is brilliant for you in so many ways, but it does tend to tighten up the hamstrings) and keep the bike a bit cleaner and the chain lubricated. Let’s see how long either of those resolutions last…

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10 Responses to Feeling Floaty

  1. velovoiceblogspot says:

    As another 40-something female cyclists who was described as a child (and as an adult, actually) as “weak but flexible” —

    Well done! And, glad you feel better.

  2. disgruntled says:

    Oh I’m glad it wasn’t just me…

  3. CJ says:

    A gym report – what horror! I tried yoga for a while. I used to fall asleep at the end of the session when we were supposed to be in a state of alert relaxation.

  4. John Gibson says:

    Good for you. So you found it easier to ride home after the yoga did you?
    John

  5. Jenny says:

    Ha – glad yoga is working for you. Somehow although I’m cut out for leisure cycling, I cannot cope with yoga (last time I did it I got a fit of the giggles at the ‘lion roar’ stage), and pilates – which was attempted only last year, and I almost needed carrying out to my car afterwards. I went to see if it eased sciatica but something I did. . . ah well.

  6. anniebikes says:

    I love yoga, but could live without the meditation part. However, the relaxing stretching seems to alleviate most of my back pain. It’s a gentle way to stretch — something I definitely need.

  7. The Paper Boy says:

    Well my bike has finally been ridden into the ground now… after some 4500km.

    As I said to a workmate last week on having a horrid ride with a lot of chain skipping – “The chain has stretched about 3% (and has a lot of lateral play), the rear gear sprocket has developed gums rather than teeth, pedals are definitely not as they should be (steel ball-bearings in an aluminium alloy ball-race is never going to last with 100kg+ of idiot pumping away at them), front wheel-bearings are loose… but the forks, frame, tyres, saddle and rims are fine”

    Chain & rear sprocket replaced – and it all rides like a dream now…

    Side note: If anyone reading wants a hand removing a Shimano HG fit rear cassette, don’t hesitate to ask (but please ask someone else). Was a sods own job to loosen the lock ring. It lived up to its name alright… you’re trying to hold in the key, in a spanner, whilst simultaneously trying to stop the sprocket turning (by use of a chain whip) – so you need about 4 hands to start with & of course the reason you’re trying to remove it is worn teeth… worn teeth means the chain whip doesn’t grab 100%… and naturally it’s all corroded on (in the end it came off but requiring many cable ties, a hugely extended spanner, a large injection of penetrating oil, a 7lb lump hammer & much swearing).

    Yesterday, I washed the bike thoroughly – it seems I spoke to soon regarding the “items not requiring immediate attention”. I now think I may have some stress cracking around my nipples (why is talking about anything on a bike so laden with innuendo?) on my rear rim.

    No energy here for yoga…

    Does anyone have any hot tips on how to surreptitiously introduce a new bicycle in to the family without “that look” (or possibly violence) from the other half? I appear to have (ahem) accidentally arranged to acquire a ‘new’ recycled bike last week (picking it up Saturday coming…)

  8. disgruntled says:

    haha – seems like it’s horses for courses on yoga then! I have been meditating anyway so don’t find that part anything like as weird as I would have a few years ago
    @Paperboy – you need to get the rest of the family into cycling, basically. I’d be positively delighted if the other half brought a stray bike home

  9. The Paper Boy says:

    More chance of me (or indeed her) being anointed as the next Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury/Representative of the unlikely religious body of your choice….

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