not that I think I strictly deserve it.
But hey! No one's perfect right?
After surviving a stroke and getting by on a wing and a prayer I own my own Hot Yoga Studio, which I converted from a plain old office floor.
I could have laid down and just accepted what had happened and sometimes I felt like doing just that but, I'm not one for that, if I am one thing, I am like my Dad "OBSTINATE".
Yep if I have anything, other than his bad stuff, like depression, HHT, an hereditary condition that doesn't allow your arteries and veins to form properly (and hence my stroke), shoulders that I have had to work damned hard to keep straight, (at one point it looked like my head had been cut off and sewn onto my chest just like my dad and aunt) I am proud to be obstinate (but so glad I didn't inherit his red hair).
I worked with the tools nature gave me, I'm not clever but I'm not stupid either. I could only work with the cards I had in my hand, and I'm not a very good bluffer. I have had to work twice as hard as other people, sometimes just to survive. Some might say I'd done well up to my stroke.
The shit bags always seem to come off best, the liars, the cheats, the phonies and the hard hearted. And that is where my mum's genes come in, she left me a bit soft. Brought me up a good catholic, always do the right thing, treat people the way you want to be treated! That doesn't work! Trouble is I cared a bit too much! Now, well, I still care, but about people that care for me, and I think that caring for people is a good thing, even though I get taken for a ride at times. Fortunately for me some of the nicest, trustworthy people I have ever come across are into yoga and then I can say the same is true for the yoga studio.
To be honest I thank God for my stroke! It made me take stock of my life! It made me get my head out of my arse and look at the people that mattered. It told me "Fuck the people that are only out for themselves, the people that only want to take the piss" they don't matter, so who they are.
Steam blown I'll get on with this blog. Yoga
Yes I'm blogging about the best "thing" that has ever happened to me, and I wish that I had started earlier.
Although, even that, I could have started earlier but, we have been led to believe that yoga is some arty farty thing that middle aged women did in a church hall, in flowery skirts and sandals, farting and drinking yogi tea. Well that may have been true back in the sixties and seventies but not now ! Now we have hot yoga, now we have Bikram yoga. Hard, sweaty, heart thumping, thinking you might die it's that hard, but when you've finished the feeling is.....is whaow, mind blowingly good.
I loved yoga from the very first try, I loved the feeling physically. And after a few sessions I found myself wanting to improve. I learned how to breathe properly, and it made the work out (or work in) better, made me feel stronger physically and mentally!
What was that about ?
Like I said earlier my shoulders where rounding, I had the proverbial bad back. So much so it was pushing my chest and hips way, way out of shape, getting out of control almost chronic, but yoga is there to create good posture, to help you get stronger, why? So you can meditate without fidgeting and aching because of your bad posture of course. Can't believe you didn't know that, ha-ha.
Yep! That was what it was about.
But this damned stroke hampered my meditation, at one point all I could do when I tried to meditate was fall asleep (typical of stroke victims). So I learned to breathe even better and would meditate whilst doing my yoga using the breath to relax me and keep me focused.
That worked for a few years but, it got monotonous. I went back to sitting in the classical way of meditating but, this time as soon as I closed my eyes and relaxed ready to meditate, right before my eyes appeared chips and egg on a plate, a cup of steaming hot tea and two slices of bread, knife and fork, the lot, I could even smell the vinegar. The more I tried to ignore it the worse it got. It lasted for years.
Perhaps meditation wasn't for me! Maybe it's all bollocks and it wasn't true, just another made up falsehood.
I got round that episode and I will tell you how another time but, my stroke (still harping on about that eh) well no not really, what I want to say backs up what the yogi's tell us! Yoga or Yuj or yolk is a way to help your mind and body to act as one! It isn't magic! It is science. Yoga has been a way to make your posture incredibly strong, to make you incredibly relaxed and I am here to tell you that 2yrs ago I felt that I had recovered as much as I was going to. I wanted to work harder on my yoga, to get my body in the best shape I have ever been in!! I am rapidly approaching sixty yrs old and the toilet roll effect is playing havoc with my mind, years are passing so quickly now (Let me explain, when a toilet roll is new and big you think it will last forever, you don't notice a change when you pull a couple of sheets off but, when it is getting close to the end it finishes rapidly, you think you have enough but no, you have to search for some more with your trousers round your ankles, yeah...ring any bells ?
Well I work hard on my core, to correct my "bad back", so hard in fact sometimes the pain and aching of exercising and stretching my back for a good spine is worse than the bad back that I am supposed to be correcting but, now I can meditate !! I can sit and relax and meditate so deeply, so quickly, just because of the strength and control of my body that I have accumulated since my recovery because of yoga. I'm not trying to say I am a super fit yogi, no way, like some of my hero's ( Mark Freeth, Nabs Hadi, Dylan Werner, Brian Aganad, Ty Landrum) But I do my best and I am getting there. With yoga and time I am happy in my skin again, times are still tuff but now I have sharpened my tools again so they are usable. And this time maybe...
From the heart of Mike Rigby
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