Dom Joly: Gardening and yoga – the grave is surely looming

Related Topics

Why is it that when you get older you have to start doing all the stupid things that you used to laugh at when you were younger? I've lost count of the things that I swore I'd never do that now form part of my daily routine. I now make weird disapproving noises to myself whenever I spot a chavvy-looking youth wandering past me on the pavement. When said youth turns back towards me and sticks a horrid little knife up to my face I find myself meekly handing over whatever gadget I've just bought. Buzzing from the adrenalin of this experience I drive home at over 30 miles an hour and decide to do some gardening to clear my head.

Just when I thought that things couldn't get any worse, last Thursday I actually watched myself, in a curious out-of-body experience, ask Stacey whether she had the number of "that yoga teacher as I think I'm going to book us weekly lessons...". It was like watching the very moment that you finally go mental, a spectator to the sight of yourself being pushed off down the driveway on a trolley towards a waiting ambulance.

I have honestly no idea why I wanted to do some yoga. I'm not even sure how I knew that Stacey knew a yoga teacher. Normally the very word puts me into an instant catatonic state. Alea jacta est, however, the lessons were booked.

On yoga day I staggered out of bed with five minutes to spare. I desperately searched what I laughingly call my "sports drawer" for something yogic. All I could find were some very short shorts and an old polo shirt. I then had a quick look in my "travel drawer", and briefly thought about wearing this ethnic garb that I'd picked up in India but decided that it might look as if I was taking the piss.

The doorbell rang – she was here. I tried to look suitably spiritual and hid my cup of coffee. We wandered over to our gym building where the "session" was going to take place. I got a brief introductory chat about what type of yoga this was. I had had no idea that there was more than one.

Fortunately I seemed to have stumbled on a type that was not that meditation/spiritual heavy. She taught me about breathing in through my nose and exhaling in my chest. I then nearly asphyxiated three times before managing to fake it by making weird, bear-snuffling noises. We started the first "exercise" and I realised why people don't wear short shorts when doing yoga. I was now trying to contort my reluctant body into curious stress positions that wouldn't have seemed out of place in an American interrogation centre, while keeping my acorns in their shell, so to speak.

After 10 minutes of unbearable pain I wondered whether this might have been what was going on at Guantanamo. Maybe the neocons were telling the truth? Maybe they were lovely people who thought that it would be nice for the detainees to do some yoga? So the yoga teacher turned up at the camp and started a lesson. Inexplicably, within five minutes the inmates were screaming for mercy and claiming that they were being tortured.

All I know is that if I had to describe what I went through to Clive Stafford Smith, he'd have an arrest warrant out on my teacher before she could say "bumshanka". Sadly, there was no legal relief for me, just more and more pain and humiliation as I twisted and hummed and groaned my way through an hour and a half. Then, in the final act of mid-life madness, rather than calling the police I wrote her out a cheque. In the words of Edith Wharton, "There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow."

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions