Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Zen and the Art of body Maintenance

My body is not working quite the way it used to, subtle changes have been occurring over the last decade..... or two. Age creeps up on one slowly and not just from behind, unfortunately, there are things that have gone south for the winter that are never coming back. Plus, there's the softening of the jaw-line, a sagging of the elbow, the creeks and groans that accompany most movement and which make one sound like a Spanish galleon about to set sail every time one tries to leave the sofa. So, with the on set of winter and the long, drawn out evenings with nowhere to go but the kitchen for a fatal forage in the fridge, I have become increasingly concerned about health and safety on the body front. It's all about maintenance now. Like an old car, you need to tinker constantly with what you've got because if something falls off you're in big trouble, they don't make body parts like these anymore. And so, I've gone back to yoga. This summer I packed the sarong and headed to Ibiza, not to dance in the foam, but to do the downward dog with a back-drop of Benares beach and the rock of good vibes, under the instruction of the whippet-thin 53 year old, Kahti, which was quite brilliant and inspired me to want to do more.
Then, when I got back to the smoke, full of bliss, I bumped into a delightful woman of 68 who I used to see at a class I went to 20 odd years ago (note: the universe will provide....) We talked of tans and yoga and she said about half a dozen from the old class were still standing on their heads, at the teachers house, and I should come along. So I did. Our teacher, The Zen mother, is now 70 and looks amazing, the others range from 53 to 86 and so I am, as they like to call me, still the 'baby of the class', which suits me absolutely fine.........I thought it would be fairly low key with quite a lot of relaxation, but no, it's really hard and right now my bum may look smaller in this, but it hurts. They're hilarious and inspiring in equal measures and have been doing their weekly class together for over 30 years, swapping funny stories and tales of their children and grand-children between postures. They really are quite brilliant, and bendy, and I want some of that.

So, a feeling of well being is hovering about me which, on a day as dull as today, is just what you need. I really can't see myself sitting out my dotage on this damp island, not when there is much better weather to be had elsewhere. My son's father is currently residing in Barcelona where apparently, it's really hot. Living somewhere 'really hot' seems like a jolly good idea right now and if it wasn't for the fact that The Son, who has finally returned to higher education (hurrah!) is living with me, then I might go somewhere really hot too. But for now, Pranayama anybody?? 

Top tip: Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter makes a brilliant night cream when used a couple of times a week.

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