But, like everyone else, when my world shrank to the space in my two bedroom flat during lockdown, I looked for a way to pass time. I’ve never been an avid gym goer, yet have spent a lot of my adult life paying for gym subscriptions so I can occasionally try (and fail) to use weights, go for a run or row or join classes. Yoga has been something I have dabbled with on and off for years. Despite this, it wasn’t my go-to during lockdown. I started by trying to do PE with Joe Wicks every day. Red faced and sweating, I not only found the whole thing frustrating, I also didn’t have a huge amount of space to work with and Joe’s insistence on ‘shouting out’ to those taking part was not the way I wanted to start my groundhog day. Next up there was weights classes, led by a frantic American woman from her garage. Again, this was too much pre-coffee. It was a want for something gentler that made me think again of yoga and, after watching lycra-clad, super toned (and weirdly uncommunicative) instructors, I finally found Yoga with Adriene. Her funny, relaxed and approachable style (plus cameos from her cute dog Benji) drew me in from day one and her 30 days of yoga challenges were a way to mark the passage of time, while feeling like I was doing something constructive. Also those affirmations that, in ‘normal’ times would have been annoying, took on a meaning in lockdown. It was suddenly very important to have something to start my day with, a bit of time for me away from working at home and my partner and dog, who were the only ones I could legally spend any time with. Now that normality, to a certain degree, has returned, I am still partaking in a daily yoga practice, and now go weekly to a public class. I am still, I fear, pretty bad at it. But I appreciate the time, stillness and open-mindedness for something new, which came from the strangest of circumstances.
My lockdown at home yoga class has become a joyous start to every day
The affirmations ‘find what feels good’ and ‘carve out time for yourself’ wouldn’t have meant anything to me four years ago, in fact they’d probably have irritated me especially when said by an American fitness enthusiast.