Body Balance – Or as I like to call it, Standing on one leg club with my amazing sticky out wall.
Chrisi has always been into her yoga and in all fairness sometimes when I would get home and she would have “yoga head” which would always be a bit triggering as I would want to talk about my day and all she was interested in was sitting on the sofa and melting. This went on for a few years until I read that meditation and yoga helps with MS.
I had just signed up to a new gym and had never ever done an actual class, I saw they did something called body balance. In all fairness I wasn’t sure exactly what it was but balance is something I have always been lacking and maybe this will help. A combination of tai chi, yoga and pilates. Am I gonna end up in a yoga trance like Chrisi at the end of it, only one way to find out.
I arrived quite early to the gym, I wanted to see who goes in the studio so I picked a machine near the door and waited, I thought people would be there early then somebody walked in so I followed, It turned out it was Nita the instructor. I had load of questions and said about me not being that good with balance. That’s when she introduced me to the amazing sticky out bit of wall that has been my close friend for the last 18 months, front and to the right of the studio. More people arrived who instantly looked like they had been doing this class for years and they are going to be really good at it.
Things started and I spent the whole class trying to copy everybody else as best as I could, I knew none of the poses or terminology I just tried to copy Nita and go with the flow. We started with the tai chi, not a massive issue there but it was a bit wobbly for me. We then moved onto the yoga bit which was something called sun salutation, no its not standing on the edge of a cliff b***ock naked staring at the dawn sunrise. It’s something my body hasn’t really done before and it made it known to me it will take a bit of time to be able to do that.
Things like Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Plank, Downward dog. The way it was going on I thought it was going to end up with us all fighting. However these are all poses in yoga and I struggled with all of them but I stuck with it and my friend the wall helped me when the balence got hairy.
Next up was the pilates stuff and this is where everybody else came into their own apart from me. It was hard work and from that first time of doing it I have total admiration for anybody donning gym kit and trying it. Those people that go to the gym just to lift weights should try it sometime as that old woman in a leotard you take the piss out of will kick your ass at it.
The penultimate part of the class was stretching, again I discovered ways the body could bend and stretch that I never imagined just not mine today.Trust me it does come in time but very very slowly but you will feel changes the more you do it. Finally the meditation part of the class, I had never done this before so was expecting to get full on yoga brain that Chrisi gets, thankfully it wasn’t but I did drift off for a few minutes and came back feeling really refreshed and with a few more forks.
At the end of the class Nita though I was going to walk out half way through as I think she saw I was struggling but I really enjoyed it and it was another new challenge. I stuck with it for a few weeks mainly as I wanted to be able to put up a fight should I get attacked in a dark alley by a pilates granny.
After a few weeks I noticed I could stretch more and things like warrior 1 actually became a warrior 1 rather than a wobbler 1. I noticed at home too I was a lot more stable on my feet because I was teaching my body how to compensate. I was doing the class too and there were certain things to this day I struggle with mainly the one-legged stuff but have always noticed an improvement with every single class I do. The meditation too I think really helps and its nice to switch off from the world and spend those minutes recharging.
I have been doing it now for about 18 months and I cannot mention enough the benefits it has given me so if you get a chance to do a class then do it. I have to thank Nita too for being awesome at teaching it and having the patience of a saint. BodyBalence is a Les Mills class so available in a lot of places but their website is here.