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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

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Monday, 2 August 2010

Bend it Stretch it breathe

This Blog is three days old but here it is….. 

I had the worst nights sleep of my trip last night …. Cold?!  I was like a frozen pea.  
I woke up every five minutes with foxes, badgers AND deer nibbling my elbows and the end of my nose.  
I ended up in many many pieces of clothing, woolly jumper, thermal socks and hat,  feet squeezing the fading heat out of the coverless water bottle thinking about how many hours there were to go on this hellish night survival course.

I felt rubbish when I got up but I walked 20 minutes to a yoga centre and did a class.  HURRAY!  She made it!
Ohhhh it was wonderful…. I believe everybody should do yoga.  To me it seems odd that as human beings with bones and muscles that we aren't taught  from an early age.  Then we would treat it as if stretching our bodies was the most natural thing in the world.  

If you work hard and you use your body a lot, for example farming, computer work, nursing, hairdressing, repetitive anything… then it is natural to then think… right I have been in the same position for the last 7 hours (whatever) and I will now take some time out to stretch and breathe, which is all yoga really is at its most basic.

I am so mad at myself for not doing yoga earlier in my life.  The reason I eventually got into it was an anti -social back problem which affected me so much that I can remember feeling absolutely miserable.  Neck pain that made me want to throw up and a back so stiff that I could not enjoy relaxing.  I cant believe how bad I let it get and how long I ignored the advice.  From the age of 28 - 35 I was seriously suffering and I must have been so boring.  This is when I made the piece 'The Evil of the Needle' which was a tongue in cheek representation of my passionate love affair with embroidery.  My embroidery was making me lonely and it was screwing my body.  I tried various classes and I didn't like them at all. They generally seemed to be full of women lying on the floor listening to some over inflated ego go on and on for ages about the importance of breathing, in-between talking about her damn cats.  They were frustrating and painful classes and I would lie there thinking 'For God's Sake can we PLEASE BLOODY MOVE, I did not pay £10 to listen to you drool over your new kitten.  

Then I found Garry!  
He was a star, got me really into yoga to the point where I learnt how to do the posters properly, not just flailing my arms around and thinking I was super bendy now that I could touch the floor.   He had a more straight talking and direct no nonsense approach to yoga, no messing.  In fact I thought he was a bit frightening at first when I didn't know him.  The first thing he ever said to me was 'Take your socks off!'  and pointed at my feet with another 20 people all staring.  I had some weird condition where my feet were covered in blisters (nice touch to the blog yeah?  Very professional) …I began to explain 'It's my feet ... I have .....'  
'Its your mat isn't it?  Well then take your socks off.'  
You see theres no such thing as socks in yoga.  
If you walk into a yoga class and you are allowed to keep your socks on you are in a dud lesson.  A few weeks ago when dear A booked us both into a class, there were socks everywhere.  When we started patting the floor to the mantra 'Release Release Release!' of the rather rounded lady in socks at the front  I thought of Garry and his head stands.  I felt quite cross that this woman was trying to pass her lessons off as yoga but I let her off at the end as the relaxation bit was really nice and its horses for courses.  The 3 regulars in the class liked it and thats all that matters.  But she shouldnt be calling it yoga.  

I'm always aware that I could possibly bore the pants off people talking about yoga, they tend to glaze over BUT if you don't try it then you are a wally.  

It enhances your life.  It reminds you to breathe properly.  It readdresses balance and flexibility and it gives you a sense of simple spirituality, connection of the mental and physicool.  It really is the most wonderful thing in the world ever.  I realised this morning how much I had missed it.  AND ..that I miss Gary from Bristol, my favourite yoga teacher who helped me find the light out of back pain!  Anyway theres different styles and different teachers but if you fancy giving it a go, you have postural problems, a stressful job, home life or are just too busy for yourself …. (How many times have I heard that …. 
'I don't have time!') then get on the web and look for a dynamic beginners Hatha yoga class.  
GO ON! Give your body a stretch… its for everyone not just rubber bands!

Loubendy bandy.


  1. Managed to sort it out that highlighter thingy with only ten internet seconds to g

  2. Yoga is great - I discovered it back when I was pregnant with my first - now I need to rediscover it again! I agree - you need to find the right class. I have just finished a play - Dancing at Lughnasa - and so back to reality plus my house is a bombsite so have to get it back into shape for you arriving next week! can't wait. Regards Annette



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