I’m getting older – hell, we all are – and I’ve started noticing aches that never used to be there. They are, in a very literal sense, a pain. However, I’ve always had in mind what Ryan Giggs did to extend his playing career into his 40s: yoga.
I told myself I’d start doing it when I moved down to London because, somewhat conveniently, my gym offers free classes. However, they’ve always been at inconvenient times, so it remained a pipe dream until last Sunday, which – fittingly – was International Yoga Day.
Going to my first yoga class on that day was a total accident – I didn’t even realise the significance of the day until the following one – but I’m glad I’ve finally got around to it. It’s much more strenuous that I anticipated, but it’s rather good fun.
Oddly, the session took place on a shop floor – specifically Lululemon in Covent Garden. Well, I say oddly – Lululemon does specialise in athletic clothing and yoga paraphernalia, so it does make some sense. What was more of a surprise than the location was the cost – nowt. Being a northerner (relatively speaking), that’s always welcome. If you want to come, the free sessions take place on Sunday mornings, but it’s first come, first served, so you need to be early otherwise you’ve got up for nothing.
Once you’re there, you claim a mat, have a small warm up and then the instructor gets you started. Apparently, the positions we did when I went were relatively simple ones, but that was enough for my first time. It’ll be interesting to see how tough more intermediate classes are – no doubt it’ll test my balance and flexibility even more.
That’s what it’s about though – pushing yourself in those respects and training your body to cope with that kind of thing – very handy for football and general wellness.
My only qualm is with the spiritual side of it – I just can’t buy into that. I’m happy to experience the physical side of it and you do get endorphins as a result, but talk of energies flowing through you just left me thoroughly indifferent.
Still, I got plenty out of the experience without that, so if you’re happy to get in touch with your spiritual side, you’ll probably get even more out of giving it a go.