OK, confession time! I have never been particularly sporty. Maybe it was because my PE classes at school consisted mainly of running round a freezing race track in the driving wind and rain once a week for 45 minutes. I grew up with no television so I never developed much of an interest in watching sports either much to some of my friends’ horror. I remember that as a small child in nursery or primary school, playing sports was fun, not something I had to do, but something I wanted to do, something I enjoyed. There were fewer constrictions – it wasn’t working out, it was just playing. I could be crazy; I could play like no one was watching. Moving on to high school marked a big change in this respect. You are no longer encouraged to play with your friends at break time. Instead, you sit and chat, or if you are particularly studious, you work. As a teenager, self-consciousness crept in, and I became a lot more aware of what other people thought of me and of how I looked. Sport became, not something I enjoyed, but something I had to do to stay healthy and pass my PE class. The fun element had been taken away from it. Over the last few years I have tried a few different sports. I have tried running, cycling, and swimming but it all felt a lot of the time like a bit of a chore. I wasn’t really enjoying it. It wasn’t fun and so I found it very difficult to motivate myself. This winter time I decided I would try something new to avoid having to go out jogging in the cold weather. And I stumbled across...yoga. And I love it! It has completely changed how I look at sport. Yoga is not about competing or being the best. It is not about how you look. It is all about how you feel – reconnecting with your own body and rediscovering the fun in movement. Every day is different as you discover more and more about your body’s abilities and limitations. I find it grounds me and calms me on some days whereas on others it fills me up with energy. In yoga you are encouraged to be curious, to have fun with it and make it work for you however you might be feeling that day. It has helped me to take that attitude to other sports, to let go of how I might look and run like I did as a child again, to play sports for fun, as though no-one is watching. If you want to try something new in 2016 I would highly recommend trying out yoga. Sport shouldn’t be a chore or something you feel you ‘should’ or ‘have to’ do. It should be fun. Yoga has helped me change my attitude towards sport. Maybe it could help you too! I hope you all have a great festive period. Happy New Year, yogis!
What is your favourite sport and why? How has your attitude to sport changed as you got older?