I’m seeing someone else. Don’t tell my wife. The new woman in my life is an American called Adriene, she lives in Austin, Texas. My wife actually did the introductions when she told me about Adriene’s yoga classes on YouTube. It’s not just me and Adriene, in fairness – she has nearly 10 million subscribers to her yoga channel. But she’s the one for me.
I always knew I’d give yoga a try at some stage. I’m not a spiritual person really. But now that I’m a bit older, I’m starting to learn there is such a thing as accumulated wisdom.
Religion has a way of passing on what we’ve learned to future generations, so only a fool would ignore it. The Eastern religions have been looking at mind-and-body health for centuries, so yoga has always been on my horizon.
What stopped me up to now was vanity. I’m over 50 now and want to keep a lid on my midriff – yoga doesn’t seem vigorous enough for that. The other reason I didn't go to classes was the whole yoga fart thing – apparently, you have to accept you’ll fart in front of a group of strangers. That’s not my bag.
Anyway, as I wrote here recently, 'Joe Wicks'- style workouts aren’t an option for me anymore. My knees don’t lie. Fast-moving squats and lunges are enough to knock me out for a few days. No problem, if I didn’t live on a rock in the north Atlantic that literally seems to attract rain and steal it from other countries. But with home-schooling and work on the go, it can be hard to find a time when it isn’t lashing rain, for a bit of outdoors exercise. I need an indoor outlet. I need yoga with Adriene.
Adriene is that rarest of things on social media – a shy American. She isn’t egging me on with a ‘come on y’all’ talk or dazzlingly white teeth; there is no TED Talk type banter or attempts to sell me a branded yoga mat in the middle of a downward dog. Adriene is calm and assured and a little distant – I don’t get the sense that she’s trying to flirt with me or be my friend. She seems a little reserved, which is what you want from a yoga instructor, for that extra bit of calm.
To be honest, it helps that she doesn’t wear skimpy or revealing gear in her videos. If nothing else it stops my wife from poking her head into the room to say ‘hope you’re enjoying your YO-GA'. And I could do without the distraction.
Yoga is hard, at least for beginners. I thought it would be mainly trying to stretch without farting, but it turns out you have to get your alignment, breathing and balance working in tandem .
I’ve only done it twice, using her 20-minute video for beginners. (My wife said she went straight into a more advanced class and things got a bit sore.) I can’t believe how good I feel after each session.
I was groggy over breakfast this morning because the cat has figured out how to hide until 4am, when she miaows for me to let her out. Twenty minutes with Adriene sorted out my foggy mind, and I’ve been flying ever since.
OK, it didn’t help my cosmic calm when one of the kids interrupted my session looking for a Smyth’s catalogue. But they’ll be back at school shortly. (Tell me they’ll be back at school shortly.) And I’ll be free to spend more time with Adriene.