In praise of yoga and a downward dog

The stillness, quiet and large grounds at Powdermills Bed & Breakfast, Furnace, near Inveraray allows me to go outside on the decking to do yoga, but only when the weather is sunny.  Being on the west of Scotland this can be hit and miss.  But on a sunny day with views to Loch Fyne, who wants to be in California?    Can there be more scenic accommodation on Loch Fyne?

A recent health report has said that people who take up exercise later in life can be as fit as if they had been sporty in their early years; but the catch is that they must keep it up, or the health benefits fade and fast.

I have been trying to ‘do’ yoga for about two years now – that’s nearly 10 months to think about it and a year and a bit doing something about it. I was encouraged by a friend who said that yoga was the best thing you can do.  She does two hours of yoga a day and is an amazing advert for it.

So, on coming to Furnace I had to find another route to yoga.

I started my yoga journey in a gym in Edinburgh led by Daphne – who looked like a Californian yoga goddess.  I tried not to let that put me off; everyone else in the class looked like me.  Daphne’s classes demanded that you in the class by 7am.  It was January, so it was a bit of an effort, but I got into a routine, it was encouraging doing exercise with other people and downward facing dog is a relaxing position once you get familiar with it! 

One of my daughters put the Down Dog yoga app on my phone and it has been great – user friendly beginners’ lessons with some very relaxing music thrown in and as reassuring as being in a class. I have been trying to do these lessons at least twice a week. 

And I am not alone, our very own downward pup, called Boo, likes to be involved.     

Going outside is just too exciting and Boo loves to hog my yoga mat.  She continually gets in the way; lying on me, sitting next to me or under me, during downward facing dog.  

But she is company and we all know that the support of others is considered hugely helpful when trying to be active.  

So, if you do come to stay during the nice weather, do bring your yoga mat.  Although I do have a spare one.

PS. If you are into yoga or other mindful body activities look out for SCAPA FEST 2019 – an all-out celebration of Mind & Body health outdoor education and environmental action on 3 – 5 May at Ardkinglas Estate, Loch Fyne