Yoga: how to be good at being bad at sports

It’s yoga fortnight on illustratedguidetolife! With some things, like, um, well, sport in general, (and yoga in particular) I’m forced to enjoy being good enough

Never a yogi but nevertheless enjoying yoga

Even standing up is a yoga posture. So ha! Don’t say you can’t do it. Laura Eades 2014

Can you do this posture? RickAstlyassnah

Never gonna wrap the back of my knee calf round behind my neck.

Never gonna hinge forward in the splitz with a flat flat back.

Never gonna headstand and cross my arms on my chest.

Never do a move that’ll make you impressed.

Or swing on my hands flat on the floor like a gorilla, with my legs crossed in lotus and bum lifted from the mat.

No I ain’t never ever gonna do a move like that.

A lifetime as a beginner

Come to mention it, and I don’t wanna get reverse bravado about my shortcomings, or my short hamstrings for that matter, I think if I did yoga every day forever I might feasibly manage to touch my toes, or even hinge forward from the waist enough to actually sit up straight and not have a hunched backhump.

I’ve done enough of this stuff over the years (I even went to physical theatre school for Goodnessake!) to know that if I keep it up, I’ll be an elderly pro doing basic posture variations.

Every day forever is pretty unlikely though

I’d need a private tutor, a premium bonds win, or a relocation in India or Thailand… I have insufficient self-discipline to do it at home.

But even if I am inflexible, it’s a merry little outing

I like to ‘go somewhere’, like a sexy studio with lemon verbena tea, quartz crystal lamps and a little shrine on a windowsill. It makes me feel like I’m setting aside space. And I feel treated, that I value my wellbeing, not that it’s something I have to fit in, like hanging washing.

It makes me happier

And that is enough of a reason. I can still breathe! I can do that part! I can only do what’s possible. Maybe I’ll be more flexible in my life. Ha! Less of a bitch! = all round good investment.

What else I love about it

  • Listening to German spoken softly by yoga instructors.
  • That it makes me feel totally renewed.
  • It releases my stress.
  • It stops me rushing in my desperation to be productive.
  • It gets my eating habits ticking the right way.
  • It makes me feel spirtual. By which I mean, connected to the brilliance of having a body, of being alive in this moment. The wonder of the world, the air, the light coming through the window, the season taking place outside it, the ground beneath me…
  • It’s a moving meditation.

I’m also happy not excelling at…

  • Swimming. But I love it. I refuse to count my lengths. At most, I’ll set a time target – stay swimming for 25 minutes, say. That way if I want to mess around doing mushroom floats or trying to run in the shallow end or something foolish like that, I can also do that.
  • Ping pong. But I love it. I can try to improve of course, but too much competitive spirit ruins the pleasure for me.
  • Cycling. I won’t do any triathlons or athletic tours (though I’m up for a challenge – my friend told me she cycled from Amsterdam to Berlin as a cycling amateur and I’d love to have a bash at an epic adventure like that though not sure if kids would love that!)
  • Drawing. I just accept what I draw. That’s the way it is. That’s what I could do in the time available. I have to take this attitude, to try to be good would stop me in my tracks.
  • Writing. This NaNoWriMo approach of suspending attempt to make your writing edited and brilliant really got me going. But now I’m between first and second draft, I’m needing to ‘make it good’ – it’s a harder moment. Part of me now wants to make my novel of a ‘certain standard’.

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What do you let yourself be ‘good enough‘ at? Open up the comment thread below and add your views.

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