I practice yoga because my handbag is too big

Fairly typically, today I carried an over-sized leather shoulder bag. I believe people who decide these things call the style a hobo. For whatever reason, I can only carry bags on my right shoulder. No idea why. But I do think it’s bad for me to be so inflexible. No pun intended.

This is what, fairly typically, I had in my shoulder bag today:

  • my beautiful, shiny new BlackBerry (no, I won’t be getting an iPhone)
  • a Sony Walkman mp3 player (see above)
  • a Game of Thrones paperback (yes, I’m sure a kindle would be marvellous but if I buy just one more thing that comes with a USB charger then the terrorists have won)
  • my purse
  • Avalon Organics green tea and peppermint lip balm
  • my Starbucks thermos tumbler
  • my neoprene water bottle (both of which constitute my attempt to make up for the small wooded glen sacrificed for my Game of Thrones paperback)
  • small hair brush
  • house keys
  • baby wipes
  • a huge tub of home made dark chocolate peanut butter brownies (this is not typical, but were a necessary post-London marathon treat for the family)
  • sunglasses (and sunglasses case)
  • oyster
  • back up oyster ( i know)
  • mini A to Z
  • Hello Kitty make-up case (I never do touch-ups during the day but always take my make-up with me. My reasoning being that I never know when I might bump into Timothy Olyphant)
  • Hello Kitty make-up mirror
  • three pens (you know, for all that writing I do)
  • a big scarf (amost pashmina size, but not a pashmina)
  • I think that’s it

Discounting my nail polish collection, that’s more or less my entire life. And I carry it around with me more or less every day. In addition to my yoga kit, which I also carry on my right shoulder. No wonder I have back trouble – it doesn’t take a genius. But wait, there is a predisposition to back trouble. I have a tilted pelvis and an over extended S-curve in my spine. I guess I should take responsibility to know the names of the vertebra that are in trauma but what do you want from me? I can recite Point Break from start to finish, do I look like I have time to learn L2 from L4? Anyway, I get pain just below the small of my back, I suspect from bad technique picked up from 14 years of classical ballet, but I cannot prove this.

What’s my point? My point is that the yoga (bikram) didn’t exactly heal me; it alerted me to the problem in the first place. The pain is apparently a “healing crisis”. And I think a lot of people would say “yoga made my back hurt” and stop, but I keep going. Some classes it hurts so bad that tears roll down my cheeks. Why don’t I stop? I’m not sure except I know that I trust the process, and since I stopped going to dance class several lifetimes ago, bikram is the one thing I am truly passionate about. It’s alerted me to back pain, sure, but it’s given me so much more besides. That’s all. Perhaps not much of a point but it means something to me – and back pain or no, bikram is – some days – all I think about.

I know I’m meant to wrap up blog posts with some supposedly cute and witty call-back like “bikram is all I think about – well that and Point Break”. But, as simple as my point is, I don’t want to trivialise it like that. So I’m just going to stop. The blog post, not the yoga.

The Kingslayer: also right-handed.


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