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

Share
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Why it won’t be the i wot won it – our promise to you

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
A relative of dead Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman reacts after seeing his body at Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka on March 30,  

Atheists are being hacked to death in Bangladesh, and soon there will be none left

Rory Fenton
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor