January 2nd 2018
It's Day One people! Day one of my thirty day yoga journey with the lovely Adriene Mishler and her online community massive. AND day one of my fumbling attempt to blog on each of those thirty days about how it goes. Or how it doesn't go. Cos I'm flexible like that.
Didn't feel too flexible this morning though. After a late night of blogging / finishing a nice bottle of red left over from Christmas / watching Black Mirror on Netflix / re-watching Black Mirror on Netflix when the hubby got home from work / reassuring my nine-year-old the letterbox was flapping because of the wind and not because of a sinister parallel underworld a-la-Stranger-Things, there were a few aches and pains on waking to say the least. And the waking didn't happen at the early hour I had imagined either.
More like 9.15.
No matter. My Lads (praise be) usually sleep quite late, and they're not yet back at school after the Christmas holidays so the house was quiet and still. I crept about with my aches and my pains, laying out my yoga mat, starting a stick of incense, tutting at the drizzle clinging to the window and lamenting for the pearlescent glow of sunrise that should have been mine if a.) I had got my arse out of bed two hours earlier and b.) I lived in Barbados. I fired up You Tube on the trusty Play Station and there she was . . . Adriene . . . looking absolutely vibrant and beautiful and ready to guide me through my twenty four minute yoga sesh focused on 'Motive'.
Motive. Right. What was mine? Adriene started the video by encouraging me (cos she is just talking to me, right?) to tap into my breath, deepen it and feel it and observe it. And consider what my motive for going on this thirty day yoga journey might be. I bowed my head to my heart as instructed, felt the gentle pull down the back of my neck, and pondered what on earth my motive was. I like yoga. I like a challenge. Could that be it?
Adriene said it was fine if I didn't know what my motive was yet. It's all cool. Words flowed into my head like openness, flow, flexibility, liberation, fun, strength, health. I didn't know which one to settle on as they all seemed as good as each other but I didn't get hung up on it. I just drifted straight into the slow, mindful postures and felt muscles open up, stretch and awaken. I felt heat, quivering, trembling and twitching - especially when she stretched good old Warrior Posture out for all it was worth - but this had to be good, right? A stirring of energy? A rousing of spirit?
My thoughts roamed to the people on Facebook and Instagram who have said they're going to try this programme out too, on account of my recommendation. Some older, some younger. Some well, some not so well. I wondered how they'd be getting on with this Director's Cut of a Warrior sesh. Would it be a bit much for them? Would it put them off? Would they be left in a shuddering heap on the floor cursing my very name and everything that goes with it?
Jeez. Get a grip.
So I noticed where my thoughts had gone, tried not to beat myself up about it, and went back to my breath. In, out. Expand, contract. Bring it in, let it go.
After the video, I decided to indulge just a little bit more and squeeze in a short meditation before the Yardimci household rocked back to life as usual. I grabbed my favourite blanket and a cushion and lay down on my just-used yoga mat in a way that I like to think wasn't at all smug. Then I heard the familiar sleepy footsteps of my oldest Lad making his way from his bedroom to the bathroom and then to me in the living room (I don't know how or why God blessed mothers with the ability to tell which child she is about to confront purely by the sound of their footsteps, but it is pretty awesome, right? Kind of like a super power? One day I WILL be an X-man). And much to my amazement, Big Lad did not burst through the door and demand to watch some slush on Cartoon Network or to commandeer the PS4, but he slipped under the blanket next to me and asked me what I was doing.
Now he's used to seeing me mid-yoga of a morning so I knew he didn't mean that. So I said, "I'm about to do a little meditation sweetheart. Want to join me?" I braced myself for the look of disdain followed by the hastily reconsidered 'No thank you mum, not today', but it didn't come. Instead he pulled half of the blanket onto himself, edged onto my yoga mat and said "Yeah, ok. If I can choose the meditation."
I was sold. I flicked on my phone and he chose a short session called 'Follow the Leader' for 7-12 year olds from a meditation app I have called Calm. We kind of snuggled in together (i.e. lay next to each other with fingertips barely touching which is about as snuggly as a nine-year-old boy gets) and started the session.
It was seven minutes of some stillness, some fiddling, some deep-breathing, some shallow and some distracted. It was seven minutes of me and my boy, together, in a tiny corner of the world, on a mat.
And later on, in other corners of the world, I took both my Lads shopping for school shoes and underwear and curtains and other dull stuff that would usually result in a family meltdown reminiscent of a scene from 'Shameless'. But not today. Oh no. Not on Day One of my thirty day yoga journey thank you very much. No meltdowns of any kind here. In fact, the Lads were so bloomin' delightful we even stopped for a juice and a cookie in Waterstones AND I let them spend their book tokens from Christmas. And for once - just once - I was that mother. The one that everybody half-hates and half-loves and wants their very being to emanate in every way shape and form. That. Was. Me.
Than Little Lad spectacularly wet himself whilst running through Starbucks towards the disabled loo while I was still paying for the school shoes in another shop and Big Lad blazed after him periodically wailing and gagging and screaming like a banshee.
What's my motive? I'll give you three guesses.
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