A night stretched out on the couch or the yoga mat? Jonathan Schofield discovers that only one of these options can guarantee a good night’s sleep for a guilt-ridden mind.
It’s 7pm on a gloomy Tuesday. My yoga class starts at 7.30pm, but my body has given up the ghost; I’m in a coma-like state. The type of sapped energy that doesn’t come from a day of physical exertion, but from a day sitting in front of a computer. How can sitting be so tiring?
All I want to do is lay on the couch, remote control in hand, number for the pizza delivery ready to be speed dialed. But there are certainties – things I know will happen if I don’t go to my class. I’ll vegetate for three hours, haul myself up to bed, and then, as soon as the light goes out I’ll stare at the ceiling listening to the world service on the radio until the wee hours – feeling bad, unfit and promising myself that tomorrow will be the start of a new healthy regime.
It’s 7.10pm. If I’m going to yoga – I need to go now. The tipping point. Another few minutes and it will be too late and I can, in my head, legitimately begin my evening of sloth. It’s 7.12. I’m still on the couch. The dog has curled up next to me.
It’s 8pm, I’m stretching further into trikonasana. The lethargy that had turned my limbs to lead and filled my head with wool has disappeared. A surge of guilt and I grabbed my mat, made the short dash to the old school hall and I’m suddenly light, my lungs feel deep and I have visions of oxygen filling every corner of my body.
I’m still a newcomer to yoga, I glance around the hall and realise it could be years, decades, perhaps never that I’ll be able to stretch, move, breath like my fellow yogis. But right now I feel alive, awake, the ache in my back is stretching, loosening and various niggles from past injuries are leaving my body.
I slip into bed, telling myself that I’ll never miss another class, never debate the choice between pepperoni and parsvakonasana on a gloomy Tuesday evening.