Not yoga for the knocking on.

Because I am married to a man we have two gigantic televisions.  He bought the second one for himself, believing the first, which is the size of a rugby team fridge sat on by an overweight hippopotamus, to be inadequate for his needs.

The second is so massive it takes up the entire top of a large chest of drawers in the sun room.  It is exhausting for the eyes constantly darting hither and yon in a futile attempt to gain some understanding of an experience as immersive as washing your socks under Niagara Falls.

However on the first television, which lives on a swivelling special TV platform thing anchored to the wall with coach bolts, which itself had to be adapted for the TV with a bit of wood and a couple of dozen huge screws through the metal frame (that’s how we roll round here, Shangri La with duct tape), I made a discovery.

Hidden among the Box sets (which paradoxically have no discernable box anywhere and should probably be called unboxed sets, which sounds like a school jumble sale) I found a whole lot of fitness videos.  These did feature men who looked like balloon animals, to be sure, fairly heavily, and also, women with thin arms, who I hate, but also: yoga!

I last did yoga in the 1970s.  It was quite a thing, a recent discovery in England.  We had yoghurt in the 1960s and economically took away some letters a decade later to discover yoga.  With added A, possibly for attitude.  We also had silversmithing, which I did at night school, and macrame which I did not, treasuring sanity.

The yoga was served two ways: in the church hall by a teacher and in a book called Yoga for Health, which may still be up in the loft.  I partook of both and enjoyed them.

Rediscovering yoga hidden among the box sets, I found it had not changed much.  I however, had.

Now there’s an unexpected surprise.  Forty years on and I appear to have changed physically.  I must check my picture of Doll Maker Grey up in the loft, behind the bookcase and see if it is smirking.

What has actually changed most notably are the transformations wrought by surgery and lack of.  The latest lot has left me with a stomach like a beach ball. You know those exercises in the gym where you roll around on a big ball?   I don’t need to, got my own.

‘So,’ intones the teacher, in a calm and measured voice (because this is yoga and we are not going for the burn –or any other small Scottish stream) ‘let’s just fold up the mountain.’  Fine, absolutely fine, I am willing to fold up the mountain except that I seem to have the Epcot Centre in the way.

Then there is Downward Facing Dog.  I am barking mad to fetch this but utterly unable due to two broken toes.

This is the lack of surgery part of Crumbling Jane.  The first toe was broken fifteen years ago in Australia when the OH crowding ahead of me into a bar at lunch time, finding it to be shut stepped back in horror and his crocs on to my bare toe.  You could hear the crunch from here to Bondi Beach cobber.  By the time we got home three weeks later and I got to the doc (do you remember that?  No?  Too young?  Well in 2008 and for the previous fifty years, there had been a system whereby, if you were poorly, you rang the surgery and made an appointment via a receptionist, subsequently going at a specified time that day to consult the medic. Seems like a dream of lost Utopia, now, dunnit?) it was too late.  The toe had set sticking up in the air.  It did not help that this was a toe previously broken inadvertently sliding on a recently polished school hall floor and not showing up on Xray.

The toe, also the second, on the other foot, was a casualty of lockdown.  Desperate to extend the summer as a winter of lockdown loomed, I was wearing sandals, no socks, in November and walking into the bed drawer, heard the crunch again.  I did not go to the hospital, which was solid with Covid sneezes, or ring the doctor, who was hiding.  Instead I watched my toe go black and heal stuck up in the air.  It stopped hurting after a few months.

To do the Downward Facing Dog, you need bones.  You bend your feet so you are standing on your toes, put your hands on the floor and go walkies, backwards.  On your bent toes.


I also cannot do the thing where you hold your arms up above your head.  (If there’s a robbery in the bank when I’m in there getting fifteen quid for portraiture, I am so stuffed.)  I have a long nail and five screws in my right shoulder. 


However, quitters never win, winners never quit. (You already know this if you follow the Hollywood award season, one shoe on the red carpet and we will never hear the end of it.  Best At Pretending To Be Someone Else.  Best At Doing Hairstyles For Someone Pretending To Be Someone Else.  Best at Photographing Them Doing It. Etc.)

Therefore I have decided to invent Yoga for the Challenged.  I have come up with a load of poses.

Beached Whale (Prone on the lino, hoping a neighbour will look in the kitchen window and has a key, still.  Breathe in.)

Seated Pasta.  (With or without a box set, your choice.)

Kneeling Stuck. (Shuffle to the edge of the sofa, wish it had handles and breathe out.)

Inter pose Recovery. (Watching videos of cats doing funny things, or picking your teeth, depending on time available.)

Donning Socks.  (Best done prior to discovering the bit of the carpet where the orange juice got spilt with your bare yoga feet.)

Upward Facing Having a Nice Lie Down.  (On the bed, if you like.)

Warrior Two and A Bit (On the drive with the bin men, or in the porch as the delivery man runs away from the mangled parcel.)

And, to finish

Bag Of Chips.

Thank you for attending the class.  Flobberlop.


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