A letter to my inflexible 40 year old self , from the 60 year old more flexible self.
You might be wondering why on earth you are receiving this letter, from your 60 year old self? To be honest it’s a conversation I’ve been meaning to have for some time, but just haven’t seemed to know how or where to start. Anyway I’ll be brief, as I know you’ve got things to do, and look on the bright side at least you know you made it to sixty!
It just looks like that over the last couple of years you have been struggling a bit with that body of yours.
I’ve noticed subtle little signs, more aches and pains especially in the morning, not sleeping so well, more tired in the evenings when you get in after work, difficulty putting on your socks. I know your blood pressure was pretty high the last time you visited the GP with your back pain. Doing things that you have always found easy are now more of a challenge.
I know you don’t show it outwardly, but you do struggle from time to time with the pressures of life and that’s natural, everyone does. That feeling of having to hold everything in and together is why sometimes I think you are going to internally combust!
I dont mean to offend or for you to over think things in any way, so please dont take it in the wrong way. I know you pride yourself on being self sufficient, resourceful, independent and in control, but sometimes someone from the outside looking in can see things that we cant see for ourselves, when we are in the thick of it.
So here goes…..I know you are going to laugh at me, but have you thought about doing a yoga class, and no I haven’t been drinking.....
Reply from 40 year old inflexible self to the 60 year old self.
Well if you haven’t been drinking, then I suggest you should start. Yoga ....are you mad! In a class full of super bendy women who can bend forward and put their palms flat on the floor, I’d be lucky if I can reach my knees. I’d look a right pillock. And besides I dont have a leotard darling! Is that what you wear to yoga?
Anyway, I get all the exercise I need going to the gym, running and doing the garden. To be perfectly honest what with running the kids taxi service I dont have the time or the energy to do any more exercise.
So thanks for your concern but I think I’m fine just doing what I am doing. Just so you know, I have even started a stretching program recently before I go for a run. Maybe yoga could help refine that a bit, as I dont seem to be getting any looser, in fact the opposite.
I also know that yoga is supposed to be good for relaxation as well as a workout , but how are you supposed to be relaxed when you are tied up in knots.
What I do agree with you on are some of those subtle signs you mentioned, but surely that’s just old age isn’t it? You can’t turn back the hands of time!
P.S. Next time you write perhaps you could let me know what the next weeks lottery numbers are …..
P.P.S. BTW no offence taken
Should you choose to take on this mission to become a flexible bloke….all I need you to be is curious and committed.
At the heart of my work as both a physiotherapist and yoga teacher is education. Education and knowledge empowers people to make informed choices. My purpose is not to turn you into a yoga guru, but to reach out and engage you in looking at the emerging science surrounding, health, exercise and yoga practice. Then the choice is yours!
My first mission is to enable you to look at physical fitness/exercise from a different perspective. Just like our diet needs to be balanced and varied, so too our choice of exercise. Doing just omphy exercise would be like just eating all the pies and non of the green stuff.
Once the concept of physical fitness is reframed, then it makes it more simple to see where the essence of a yoga practice would fit into and benefit your current exercise regime, thats if you have one. Its important that you dont just see the yoga component as just another form of exercise or a work out.
The four cornerstones of yoga for ‘stiff blokes’ are breathwork, movement, habit and function. This is not designed to be an instruction manual, although resources to get you started will be incorporated.
In order to make the most of my expertise and knowledge as both a physio and yoga teacher, I need to see the whites of your eyes, so showing up in the flesh to a half day workshop with like minded chaps can be a really inspiring and safe way to the start of a new flexible you!
The journey will help you maintain doing the things you love for longer, whether thats running, gardening or drinking beer. So are you up for it?
Prior to writing the above, I sent out emails to all my mates who I knew wouldn’t be attending yoga classes to get their thoughts on why they wouldnt entertain the idea of signing up for a yoga class. The replies I received were well thought out, very helpful, even to point of being enlightening. So all I can assume is that they handed over the responsibility of replying to their wives. So thanks guys!
THE NEXT POST WILL BE BE REFRAMING THE CONCEPT OF PHYSICAL FITNESS.