After a month off from exercise because of my back, I decided to try a gentle yoga session this morning. I started teaching myself yoga from books when Martha was about 2 years old, so I've been doing it since about 1999. It didn't make sense to me at first as some of the poses looked as though they do your body more harm than good, but after persevering for a while, I could definitely feel the benefits (to both my body and my head).
At times it has slipped from my routine as the distractions of life have got on top of me, but my body soon starts to stiffen and seize up, so I know that it's something I should maintain as it works well to help me feel balanced and strong.
Martha used to lie on the floor next to me trying to copy what I was doing - once she said 'look mummy I've made one up' - she was lying on her back with her little legs in the air having placed a 1p coin on each eyelid.
Back to today, my back is a lot better although there's still some residual muscular pain, so I just need to be careful not to aggravate anything. (This old injury began when I was a teenage gymnast. After tackling a back flip I then jerked forwards landing on my knees, which jarred the bottom of my spine.)
My gymnastic coach was of the 'old school' variety and just complained that my legs were 'like an Isle of Man badge' rather than straight - there's no pleasing some people. In those days it was a case of 'if your head's not falling off - you're fine' and most people I know from then seem to be pretty hardy.
My body feels so much better now after the yoga and the spring sun is streaming in the window. Agnes Obel's Citizen of Glass album is playing in the background and I'm noisily eating a very large, juicy orange - namaste indeed.