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Yoga proves ‘bit of a stretch’ for some

AS part of my apres cancer 'keep healthy' routine, I decided to join a yoga class. I knew that all the gentle stretching and deep breathing would be of benefit to my limbs and bring a sense of tranquillity to my sometimes overwrought brain. I bullied the other three into joining as well.

"It will be great," I enthused to them. "It will tone your muscles and you will feel really flexible."

"I'm so flexible that not only can I put my feet behind my ears, but I can put my knees there as well. My last boyfriend was most impressed," said Patsy.

As Patsy's last boyfriend was Maggie's brother-in-law, Maggie was starting to look a little green around the gills at this statement.

"There is only one way that your knees would go behind your ears and that is if they were actually attached to your ears in the first place," said Josie. Never was a truer word spoken. Patsy can barely see her knees never mind try to subject them to the Irish version of the Kama Sutra.

Claire, our yoga teacher, led us into some deep breathing techniques. Maggie took these very seriously and was soon deep snorting like Beef or Salmon after winning the Gold Cup.

Claire then got us to pose on all fours and then, with a heave, raise ourselves onto our toes until our bodies were in a 'V' shape. "This is the Dog position," she said. "Now, what I want you to do is bring your heels to the ground and stretch those hamstrings. Some of you may have issues with your hamstrings."

"F**king hell," said (the not so flexible after all) Patsy, as she collapsed in a heap onto her yoga mat clasping her hamstrings.

The next move would see us try to rest our bellies on our thighbones and foreheads on our shins. Patsy had a head start for this position as her belly is already resting on her thighs . . .

By the end of the lesson we were in bits and Patsy was walking like John Wayne. The upside was that we all slept like the dead that night.