Richard Ord: On the joys of yoga - scream if you want to stretch further!

A number of people have asked for an update on how my yoga class is going. Okay, here is it: ‘Ouch!’

You want more detail? How about: ‘Oof. Jesus Christ. No more. Please, that’s as far as it bends. MEDIC!’

It’s not going as well as hoped.

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My instructor, while touching her toes, asked on the first day: ‘What do you want to achieve through yoga?’

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Seeing her grabbing her toes with both hands without breaking sweat, I pointed in her direction and said: ‘That would do me.’

And within a month I had achieved the goal. The instructor, strangely, wasn’t that impressed.

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‘Why don’t you try touching your own toes?’ she said.

‘Gotta crawl before you can walk,’ I said, refusing to relinquish my grip on her toes (grabbing the instructor’s feet wasn’t the hard part, it was catching her in the first place). ‘I’ll move on to touching my own toes in my own sweet time.’

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My reason for joining the class was to meet women, after being unceremoniously dumped by my then-girlfriend. To be fair, being ‘unceremoniously dumped’ is by far the better of the two options.

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I feel the full ceremonial dumping only adds to the distress of any break-up . You know how those ceremonial dumps can be. Booking the venue, who do you invite, where does everyone sit, making the pies… it all adds to the heartache. And that ‘ceremonial dumping hat’ you’re made to wear! Jeez! You can kiss goodbye to your dignity right there.

As it turns out, the yoga class both ticked and unticked a number of boxes. Yes, I was the only male there, but then I was also the youngest. And, as subsequent classes would reveal, the least flexible.

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Things have changed. There are now younger women there. But I remain the only male and the least flexible.

All that has changed is that I have acquired my first piece of yoga equipment. A long band that I can loop around my feet as part of my long journey to nearing those elusive toes.

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The belts came in two colours. ‘Which colour would you like?’ asked the instructor.

‘Maybe blue to match my eyes…’ I ventured. She handed me the red. ‘Goes with your face.’

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Yoga! Like I say… ‘ouch!’