My Lockdown Yoga Experience

I have been finding social isolation quite challenging mentally so I recently started doing yoga in the hope that it would help me to reduce my anxiety levels.

It is quite easy to do yoga from home – the internet is full of videos featuring yoga instuctors serenly moving their bodies into various positions whilst radiating inner calm.

Unfortunately, these yoga instructors recorded the majority of their videos before March 2020 when the future seemed as solid as their core muscles.

After two months of lockdown, I have neither the abs nor the sense of security to replicate such serenity.

For me, ‘developing a practice’ has consisted mainly of manically jerking my body through each position in a vain attempt to restore some semblance of inner zen.

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It turns out that praciticing yoga under lockdown conditions isn’t easy.

I think that yoga was probably designed to be practiced in the mountains or other areas of vast natural beauty whilst listening to the sound of the wind moving through the trees or the waves rushing up against a pebble beach.

It is slightly more difficult to conjour up a sense of profound internal peace in a 4×3 metre room in your parent’s house the middle of Liverpool to the sound of your brothers using the nearby toilet and your mum playing a particularly intense game of Words With Friends in the opposite room.

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That being said, yoga has helped me become more physically attuned to myself and more aware of how my body relates to the space around me.

However, this is predominantly because my room is too small and untidy to accomadate pretty much every single yoga move and my ability to enter into a state of seamless yogic flow is often compromised by inconviently positioned items of furniture. img_0553

I guess I hoped that my body and mind would blend together in some sort of peaceful holistic spiritual cocktail.

Unfortunately, my spiritual cocktail seems to be one of those cheap mixers you buy on a night out at uni – you’re not sure exactly what’s in it but you end up downing it anyway whilst your flatmates chant at you.

All in all, I would like to say that lockdown has transformed me into a fully fledged zen yogi but, if I’m honest, I have pretty much resorted to repeating postive mantras to myself from my favourite position of all. img_0550If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise.

When I first started doing exercise, I found it quite hard to motivate myself so I bought an ambitious amount of sportswear in the hope that wearing it would help me get into the mind-set of an athlete.

I reasoned that, if I looked like an athlete, I could delude my body into thinking it was capable of performing impressive feats of strength and endurance.

Once I started exercising, I was able to maintain this illusion of supreme athleticism for a short amount of time.

However, it soon became clear that I wasn’t an elite athlete and was, in fact, just a regular bog-standard unfit person.

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Before exercising, I would perform elaborate warm-up routines in preparation for what I assumed would be a high intensity workout.

Warm up stretches are a useful way to prepare your body for exercise.

However, they are considerably less useful when they are used to actively avoid doing exercise in the first place.

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Eventually, I decided that I needed to be more disciplined in my approach to exercise so I drew up a plan that detailed exactly how I was going to spend each workout to ensure that I spent less time stretching and more time actually exercising.

I thought that if I could stick to my workout plan, I would eventually fall into a routine and motivating myself to do exercise wouldn’t be such a struggle.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until my workouts started to deviate slightly from the routines that I had originally set out for myself.

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At one point, I also tried going to exercise classes in the hope that the group camaraderie would help drag me through the workout.

The concept of the exercise class has been around since Mulan times (very historically accurate…) in which the renowned military personal trainer Li Shang whipped his recruits into shape to the tune of the song ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’

‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ is a highly motivational song that makes getting fit feel like a heroic mission.

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However, the message relayed to participants in fitness boot camps nowadays tend to be slightly less stirring and dramatic .

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At the end of the day, there is only one thing that will truly encourage me to exercise.

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In theory, healthy exercise cancels out unhealthy cake consumption and everything balances out at a vaguely acceptable level of healthiness (this is a very scientifically accurate statement that I tell myself so that I can eat cake without feeling too guilty…)

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.