January 4th 2018
So now I'm three days into my 30-day yoga challenge and I bring this blog post to you direct from Smug City. I am eating a gingerbread cookie (just because, right?) and slurping a decaff with soya and have the smuggest (is that a word? It is now) of smiles playing on my lips.
Why? Because I rocked my yoga this morning. And no, that doesn't mean I balanced like a ninja or planked like a warrior. No, it's because I have exceeded my own expectations and that, for me, is enough.
First of all, can I say that I did not expect I'd be able to get up so early this morning. Not after a late night of blogging about yesterday's yoga shenanigans and then taking my laptop to bed to embark on an Eastenders marathon that would bring me up to date with what's going down in the Square (OMG - Mick!). And not when it was the Lads' first day back at school which would mean major readjustments to a strict morning routine / flurry of duvets, uniforms, toothpaste and disgusting sugar-caked cereal. It is fair to say I did not expect much from myself this morning.
Nevertheless, last night I optimistically set my alarm for 5.45am, meaning I'd have time for a wash before stumbling on the mat for Day Three of the TRUE yoga journey led by You Tube star Adriene Mishler. As I have already concluded due to much prior experimentation, I am physically unable to stop myself from pressing the Snooze button at least twice before even contemplating getting my bum out of bed, so I had to go through that rigmarole first. I'm telling you, the struggle is REAL.
Anyway, that done and dusted and my wash-time critically downgraded, I was there on the mat, in my pyjamas, searching on You Tube for Day Three, entitled 'Stretch'. And I couldn't bloody find it. There was the orientation day video (in which we just get to stare at the lovely being that is Adriene and nod in agreement that we need to return to our true selves through yoga), the day one, the day two but not the bloody day three! What? You mean I could have hit the snooze button at least another five times?! Or maybe six at a push?!
However, having a mindfulness practice at my fingertips, I did not write the whole day off as a disaster as I might have done in a previous life. Instead I took a couple of deep breaths and looked at what I had. Myself. On a mat. Washed(ish). A quiet house. A big telly with access to You Tube. There was no reason why I couldn't still do some yoga.
So, I clicked on a YWA (Yoga With Adriene) video I've done a few times before called 'Morning Fresh' and went to it. I stretched, I balanced, I teetered, I tottered and I let myself flow through the practice - warts and all - until it was time to get those Lads out of bed.
By the time I pulled their curtain and kissed their cheeks and tugged on their duvets, I really was Morning Fresh. Nothing was stopping me. "Come on boys!" I trilled, "It's the first day back at school, time to see all your friends again!" Then I remembered that I live with two premature teenagers and revised my expectations. "I tell you what, tell me what you want for breakfast and I'll shout you in when it's ready." Big Lad mumbled "Peanutbutter wrap" from under his duvet. Fine. Standard issue. Little Lad started whinging his little head off so I just proposed Frosties and toast and spun out the door before he could whinge any further.
The breakfast table was quite a sight. Big Lad complaining of a crippling, going-back-to-school-induced headache, Little Lad wrapped so tight in his duvet he could hardly get his little fingers out to eat his Frosties. These boys were most definitely not Morning Fresh.
No matter. I obviously had yogic super powers and therefore managed to get them hurried along into uniforms, in the car, down the road and into their respective classrooms. On time. With PE kits. And without meltdowns.
Now if that's not a reason to be smug then I don't know what is.
And then, because I was on such a roll, I had a little peep at You Tube when I got home and there it was! Day Three - 'Stretch'. Should I? Could I? Is it ok to do TWO yoga practices in one day? Is a mum actually allowed to even think about this kind of thing, let alone do it?
Of course she bloody is.
So I let the dirty dishes, the full washing machine, the unanswered emails, the messy living room and the sleeping husband all melt into the background and I got on that mat AGAIN.
I was a little downhearted to find that the dreaded Plank would feature in my elongated 'me-time' but I guess you've got to take the rough with the smooth. So I made sure my heart had a chance to lift upwards too, whenever I felt the shake, the tremble that lets me know I'm well and truly alive. I did what Adriene said, and made the adjustments, the tiny changes necessary to make the experience transform from a boring old stretch to an all-singing, all-dancing yogic adventure that merrily follows you round for the rest of the day.
And can I just point out that it is not even 2pm and I have ALREADY written my blog post. I am winning at life.
Hence the gingerbread cookie. Hence the coffee. And hence the smug smile.
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