Tag Archives: hobbies


Hobby butterfly though I am, my one constant over the years has been yoga. Through self-absorbed singledom, snatched lunchtime sessions near work, the smug stretches of antenatal yoga (first time around) and postnatal yoga co-opting baby, ending with the cheap convenience of an iPad app. Yoga reminds me that I have a mortal body which can be stressed, stretched and coaxed; sessions can be mundane or moving.
So, to review some of these approaches:
In Hitchin, the class I went to before motherhood made it difficult was Club Yoga led by Sarah. The lessons were unique and thoughtful. Feelings of frustration at being stuck in the same place for over an hour would subtly subside to quiet pleasure and focus. The classes hit a spiritual note that could feel uncomfortable for sceptics, but this was preferable to ‘keep fit’ yoga class that bang on about body-tightening benefits.
Second, I ordered the Tara Lee Yoga For You and Your Baby DVD to do with Babycub. This now appears to be unavailable. In any case, it is not a routine I would recommend. The short section focusing on yoga that includes your baby was gruellingly slow, and for every interesting move demonstrated (swing your baby from side-to-side, held by the ankles in a cross-legged pose) another bleeding-obvious one would be shown (holding your baby, dance gently around to some music). None of the other sections amounted to a great deal.
Third, I have recently used the Yoga Studio app to practice yoga at home. I love it: a calm voice describes the moves, a bendy lady demonstrates clearly on an uncluttered screen and sessions can be short or long. I went through a phase of doing short sessions when Babycub woke me pre-dawn, with the little mite kicking and cooing on a mat next to me, and felt very proud and relaxed for it. But I think I was in the crazed-new-mother phase then, and have now settled for bleary-eyed playing on the carpet. So now the odd session during naptime suffices. And gosh it’s good value for money.


R is for Rock (choir)

Finally, this project has forced me to leave the house and do something that scares me. This was Hitchin’s Rock Choir “The Ultimate Singing Experience” which generously offers free taster sessions. I harassed my friend Jo to go with me.
The choir appeared to be about 60 strong (95% female) on the evening we went and everyone seemed very cheerful. As newbies, we were welcomed into our row and I relaxed quickly. The talented and confident Hazel led us in some fun warm-up exercises (singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow making only a ‘ng’ noise while furiously mouthing the words). Split into bass, upper/lower alto and upper/lower soprano, we started learning the piece for that evening: Fall at Your Feet by Crowded House (weird lyrics when you scrutinise them). We sat in lower alto which seemed to have the most straightforward, if ploddy, job of singing the main bit while sopranos added vocal embroidery. While singing Man in the Mirror we did some hand-clapping and synchronised swaying like a real choir. The website talked about the natural high of performing as part of a bigger group.
But here’s where my ego interferes. If I had felt like a rock star during rock choir — think Mick Jagger dancing on his cherry-picker above stadia audiences — I might have been tempted to join. It turns out performing a small role as part of a choir, a team, didn’t do it for me, at least on this occasion. So, I have not found my interest, but a lovely evening nonetheless.