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

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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas