I cannot do Pada Hastasana. Try as I may - and believe me, I've tried - I cannot achieve it. If, inexplicably, you're not up on your sanskrit or the primary series of Ashtanga yoga poses, Pada Hastasana involves hinging forward from your hips, with your legs straight, and standing on your hands. Except in my version, which involves deflating onto my defiantly crooked thighs because my hamstrings are too tight to let me to bend forward. Tight hamstrings is a family trait. It's a real thing.
But don't worry (I know you are), for I have come to a decision: I am going to Give Up. I am going to accept that my body does not bend this way, it was never intended to bend this way and I should stop trying to put my human-shaped body into an Ashtanga-styled forward bend.
On the face of it, I can see that my decision might look a lot like a spineless lack of will-power and abject failure. But let me tell you why you're wrong, and actually quite mean. I contend that I am not so much 'giving up' as 'relinquishing-one-less-than-satisfactory-aspect-of-my-life-in-favour-of-attending-to-more-fruitful-pursuits'. The title needs work.
Pada Hastasana is never going to happen for me, so it's time to move on. By letting it go, I shall be at liberty to focus on the poses I can manage, thus one day I might become competent at them, and eventually, if I work hard enough, I might actually get OK. But I don't want to brag; I'm a long-way off getting 'OK' at 'some yoga'. To become OK at anything, however, I must let go of the useless life ephemera that's weighing me down; in the time I might once have spent trying to stand on my hands, I shall be improving my Purvottanasana; I'll be easing myself further into Baddha Konasana A; I'll work to strengthen my Bakasana, so that I don't face plant onto the floor. Again.
But enough about me, wise and savagely inspiring as I am, for you, too, can change your life and become some kind of super-legend by following the ancient/newly invented by me principle of Giving Up. We are required to be conversant in so many different formats these days, from navigating the latest iPhone software, to seeking out the foods that won't give us cancer, and understanding our jobs...the demands placed on all of us, day in, day out, are exhaustive, and exhausting. Yet the solution is obvious and startlingly simple: prioritise what's important to you, and then give up on the rest.
This is not to say that self-improvement is not important. Individuals who push themselves are usually happier, healthier and more productive as a result, so Giving Up does not advocate sacking off everything to wile away your days eating Tesco value crab sticks in bed, awesome an existence as that would be. You only need give up the stuff you're shit at, so you can flourish at other stuff that you're not.
If we all gave up together, we could start a revolution. We could create a united, harmonious society, free of war and disgruntlement. We could and probably definitely will save the entire world. Think about it; you could be part of the solution to a problem you never even knew existed - a.k.a. the best kind. You could help save humanity, and all because my hamstrings are just too damn tight.
Rosy Edwards is the author of Confessions of a Tinderella, out May 21st 2015.Suggest a correction