After spending enough time in New York, I naturally became a green juice queen. I dabbled a little in London, but in New York with more time on my hands and surrounded by healthy beauties with the firmest bums you have ever seen, I found myself sucked into to all things green and good for you. Back in London, I have kept true to my healthy diet and feel much better for it. But at 35 body-wise, things go down that don't come back up without a little help. So regardless of my loyalty to almond milk and lack of Belgian buns, I need to make like Olive Newton-John and Get Physical.
I'm naturally curvy which I like, but as a friend pointed out while hugging me I am 'Kind of like a pillow' - comforting, but not smoking hot desirable like say a coffee table: solid and durable. It's time to pull my finger out. My mind is peaking constantly due to my utter devotion to nurturing it, so I need to extend the same courtesy to my body before my bum hits the sidewalk. I choose Yoga. I like the idea of locking myself away in the gym until I come out looking like Hugh Jackman, but I am on a limited limited budget until the dream writing gig comes in, so a $10 Yoga session for beginners around the corner gets my vote.
I don't know about you, but each time I pull on my Lycra leggings I instantly think I look like Gwyneth Paltrow. God, what was I worrying about? I'm toned, 10 pounds lighter, checking out my butt in the mirror - nice! I just need to wear more black! But as I fit my sports bra, it's back to reality. I have back and side boob, with arms like marshmallows. I go for a loose fitting top to avoid looking like a caterpillar from behind, Addias hoody, messy pony tale (like Gwyn) and I'm off.
I feel pumped, attractive from the waist down, and ready to find my tribe! The class is at the back of a local Church, bless. I walked around the building a few times and with no obvious entrance, popped my head into the church which had a mini choir practice going on, much more my thing but I no, I must stay focused, I'm looking for my inner Gwyn, not Whoopi. I was just about to give up when I heard a friendly voice call 'Are you here for the yoga my love?' Turning around I see a lady looking exactly like Whoopi with more of a preacher aura than the ability to stand on her head. I feel her warmth and I instantly relax as we open up the hall. I arrived just before 1pm so I didn't walk in on a group of pros giving my marshmallows evils, but it was just us there.
This will be a very relaxed class I think, half expecting Whoopi to start smoking as we set up. She explains that the regular teacher is away for 3 months in India at a Yoga retreat, this was Brenda the lady I googled. Feeling totally at ease I help Whoopi with the mats, no six packs or green juice here, just me and a very serious looking Asian lady who avoids any eye contact or conversation. Finally at the strike of 1pm, a cheerful office worker who's popped out on her lunch break joins us - it's the anti New York yoga center.
Trainers and socks off with my £10 paid to the tin, I take a confident central position with my classmates behind me. Miss Asia's body is naturally slim but who knows what's she's packing below that tee shirt, she could be an iron warrior. As we start off I'm fine with all the moves and really into it! Similar to pulling on the Lycra: I have such a positive mindset I feel like a village hall yoga pro already. I can make all the moves with ease as I am naturally flexible, a few early years of dance help me remember that I was once fit - muscles have memories you know, yes!
As we make some serious bendy moves, Miss Asia lets out the mother of all farts! Normally it's me at home, especially after a Chai Tea, but this echoed throughout the hall in competition to the choir next door. No soundtrack needed here as next to us through a wall of glass we can see and hear the choir go for it. It's pretty surreal, and feeding my mind with endless scenarios rather than strengthening my butt. Whoopi ignores the fart, and the building choir managing to remain the fill-in pro: Brenda would be proud. Next we move to the walls for some moves with a block. Being in the centre I end up right in the middle of the glass doors and check with Whoopi that they're locked, wouldn't want to burst in on God with my legs akimbo. I'm feeling the stretch all over, but in a good way as Whoopi directs us, I just want to hug her, she's so mumsy. Miss Asia looks at my footing a few times, not wanting to speak, while the office lady is in her own world, not totally in the zone and still thinking of her inbox.
To finish we move to the centre of the room placing our mats together as Whoopi adds another layer of padding and brings out some straps - this could be about to kick off, in the presence of God. It is time for shoulder stands. I tell the team I'm scared, but as we take position, as if by magic I manage to make and hold the position perfectly with my arms strapped below my lifted butt for stability. Wow, I am Gwyn! Look at me go, the other two ladies can't even to do! Abs of steel my arse Asia! Although my love rolls are now on full display for all to see with my legs over my head, I'm too proud of position to care. I shake a little as I make it to the last seconds of my pose, but I do not fart as I come back down - success!
I stay and help Whoopi pack up as Miss Asia disappears like a Ninja, and the other lady has that email to send. Whoopi offers to teach me privately at home if I wish, but I kind of like the choir next door and lifting my butt to the Lord, so I tell her I'll see her next time and see how we go. I think Gwyn would be proud.
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