A little bit of yoga in my life

Posted on 25/01/2022

Wellbeing, Health

Darth Vader breathing and how every little helps our co-founder Janine keep the niggles at bay

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Contrary to what you may think, I am not a yogi. My exercise background is the hardcore sweaty stuff: running, cycling, netball. I was a yoga sceptic for years.

The reason behind forming G&G with Yasmin was the desire to do something different with my life, so I jumped on the back of Yasmin’s passion. (Poor thing, she’s being carrying me ever since!) In lockdown v3, I finally decided to start practicing what I preach, and I set myself a challenge of doing a bit of yoga every day for a month.

After the month, a realisation dawned on me that I had become a better person because of it.

I am calmer. I shout less at my kids (I still shout, but it has more of an effect now when I do because they are not quite so used to it). To the untrained eye, I am sure I would still be described as a middle aged, harassed mother whose spinning plates look like they are just about to fall, but I feel calmer inside, more able to deal with the smaller transgressions without totally throwing my toys out the pram. Happier because of the sense of calm. More present. Stressing less about what is coming up, especially when my hormones are out of kilter, and everything would usually get on top of me.

I am better at getting to sleep. Darth Vader breathing helps with my anxiety just before bedtime when I have a million things whirling through my foggy brain. I can drop off so much quicker after a few minutes of deep breathing or chanting and I feel like I get a better sleep without so many crazy dreams because of it. Only downside to this is the worrying looks you get from your husband or potentially scaring a small child if they wander into your room in the middle of the night… 

I am spritelier. I have less niggles. I can get off the sofa without ooffing and ahhing. It complements my running and cycling, and I can now run further than ever before without the knee pain I used to suffer from regularly. I carried on the challenge after the first month and have now reduced my osteopath visits to once every three to four months. This for me is probably the most incredible change, as since the birth of my third child six years ago, I had been going every three weeks to manage my back and pelvis pain caused by three pregnancies and lugging around small children for most of my thirties.  

Obviously, I am not going to write a negative article on yoga so to that end, I am very much biased. To add balance to my findings though, I would say that fitting it in every day is a big challenge. Life is busy and was arguably busier for me in lockdown when I started my challenge, as I was running a small business, home schooling three children and running a small B&B (well that’s what all the cooking/cleaning/tidying felt like but none of the guests were paying or very appreciative…). It was not fun, but I think it was this relentless time in my life that I really needed to carve out a little bit of me time.  

Nearly a year on, and I have continued to practice yoga daily. I don’t put too much pressure on myself, and I probably only get to a studio class once a week, but I always do something. Sometimes it’s only 5 mins, so this is where our online offering has been invaluable in enabling me to stick at it 

I suddenly feel evangelical about yoga and want to start preaching to the masses about how it can make you feel mentally and physically (perhaps you should have been doing this before now, I hear you say). So next time you see me in the village, at the school gates or in the cafe, give me a wide berth if you don’t want me to try and convert you.