In the last few months my Mum, who turned 70 in August, has been attending my weekly group yoga class in Linlithgow.
A number of years ago when I decided to pursue a career teaching yoga I was fortunate to have had the full support of family and friends. My Mum, who has always been a big advocate of the ‘just do it’ philosophy, was the first one to encourage me to embrace this new path of learning and knowledge but she also made it clear that it wasn’t something she’d ever be interested in herself. All that sitting cross-legged and chanting just wasn’t for her, she told me.
Fast forward about 15 years and I am currently living with her back in Scotland. Her house has been taken over with all things yoga. Yoga mats and wheels piled high in her spare room, her daughter frequently found rolling around the living room floor; she just can’t get away from it. So inevitably, I think, she started to ask questions. Could yoga help her sciatica, could it make her stronger, move more freely and without discomfort? Would it help her be a better bowler (this last one was incredibly important)
Gradually we got into the habit of her having a weekly yoga session which then lead to her asking to come to class.
This was a revelation for me. I know that the thought of attending a group class was quite anxiety inducing for her. Fear of embarrassing herself (or me), not being as good as everyone else or worse still holding others back because she needed extra attention were all quite real concerns.
I don’t think my Mum is unique in her fears, especially when embarking on something so very new at such an age. My tiny Mum, who stands all of about 5 foot high faced her fears and came to class and she’s having a pretty good time with it!
I bought her a kapok cushion to help her to sit on her knees more comfortably and toe separators to spread the toes and reduce the cramps and pain she regularly gets in her feet.
Most nights she practices sitting on her cushion, breathing deeply and siting up tall instead of scrunched up on the sofa. She wears her toe separators and stretches her shoulders and has become a proper little yogi!
At 70 years (young) my Mum attends group yoga classes, has cultivated her own home practice and is getting fitter and more mobile every day. This woman has been an inspiration to me most of my life and I’m sharing a bit of her story so she might be an inspiration to you too.