The Cheeky Yogi and the Lockdown Loopies

Lockdown Yogis

Admit it, lockdown has been weird. No judging, but it was weird. 

With regular work hours, travel, socialising and general ease of life suddenly stopping, everything was turned upside down and inside out.

No longer having the need jump out of bed, I now loll under the duvet. My hope is either to fall asleep and get some much needed rest or to wake up and realise everything is a just a dream. Sadly, neither happens, instead I play a little game. ‘What’s that taste?’ Allow me to explain.

Pickled onion & Patanjali

Insomnia has been an added extra during lockdown, which has meant I have explored numerous methods to aid sleep. After trying sheep counting, Yoga Nidra, mantra repetition and camomile tea, I decided to explore more unconventional methods.

Renaissance doctor Gerolamo Cardano suggested smearing doggie ear wax on my teeth, but this was not an option as my dogs have surprisingly unwaxy ears.  The Elizabethan method of rubbing dormouse fat on your feet is also unworkable. Where’s a dormouse when you need one?

Instead my top tip to aid sleep is listening to instrumental 80’s pop hits and chomping on a varied midnight feast. Both will knock you out like a light and let you play a fascinating game the following morning.

Items in the fridge are ever evolving.

Each nightly fridge raid is like a lucky dip, who knows what you’ll get. The one sure thing is whatever concoction I eat, a slew of different tastes explode onto the palate, it has the whole night to mature and seep into the tongue.

The aim of my morning game is to pinpoint the predominate lingering taste. ‘What’s that taste?’ Is it the sweet and sour pork balls? The cheddar? The chocolate cake? The pickled onions?

The game is riveting. It requires focus, concentration and to look inwards. I’m sure this is what Patanjali meant when he talked about Ekagrata – one pointedness – in his ‘Yoga Sutras’.


Lockdown Loopies explained part 1

Still dawdling in bed, I pick up my phone and read the BBC, CNN, Reuters, The New Yorker, The Financial Times, Reddit, Flipboard, Smartnews, Al Jazeera, News 360, Newsbreak and then scroll through WhatsApp, Instagram & Facebook and emails. By the time I am awake this ‘weird feeling’ has engulfed my inner core and buried itself deep in my bone marrow. It is similar to the feeling of PMS.

PMS Explained

For those of you unfamiliar with PMS premenstrual syndrome:
imagine being in a blissful deep sleep, the moment you have been waiting for throughout your amazing dream finally arrives. You are about to be kissed or a little bit more (depending whether it’s a full moon), at that climatic moment, you are woken up by a red Indian and a nun shouting incoherently 3 inches from your face.

PMS= That reeling feeling of not understanding what is happening, mixed with the overwhelming urge to scream and cry and lash out, all at the same time whilst feeling very frustrated.

Lockdown Loopies explained part2

Now take this feeling of PMS and add recurring waves of disbelief at reality, the urge to do something combined with the action of running around (within the confines of your 4 walls) like a headless chicken and we finally arrive to the new normal. It is not a virus, it is not hormonal, nor is it congenital. It is the ‘Lockdown Loopies’

Tea and cake with the Prime Minister  

I know from practicing yoga that a routine helps, it keeps you grounded.

With this in mind, I had afternoon tea with Boris, Chris & Sir Patrick. Sometimes Rishi, Matt and a few others might also pop in. Perched on my bolster, decaf green tea and a little secret slice of naughtiness in hand, to help digest the news from the daily televised briefings we discussed Covid 19.

After the tea, followed a glass of red, and/or white and/or prosecco to aid my further investigation. My research entailed watching more of the News and scrutinising, debating and interpreting the findings with members of my family on Skype until midnight. Which inevitably led to the insomnia.

Covid and Paws

My research led me to the discovery that the virus can enter the house via pet’s paws.

After deliberation with the ‘Elders’ (Elders= any family member or friend over 50 or Google) I realised that if the lurgy were to get me, it would be via my pets. The reasoning was 2 dogs and 2 cats are 16 paws, which can cover 1.7 m2 of floor space in 0.287 seconds.

If x+b) {G m=1.7 x 14%} 16[88 – 999] = π then ∫3/6  x (6 -77.9)_0.287 + A1 + A2 = { y/pie (3, 1) = CERTAIN DEATH


I spent two days designing and creating what I hoped would be an ingenious solution to the impending threat.

The Paw Jet Wash System. It ended up being a not so ingenious water filled, baking tray with 10 dish-brush heads stuck on the floor with random edges of cotton wool decorating the rim. The cats openly laughed at me as they jumped over the contraption.

I then spent the next 2 days crocheting cat slippers- and a further 2 days working out- how to keep them on the cat’s feet. Succumbing to defeat or should I say ‘de-feet’ (get it?), I bought online ‘Kit Mits’, which did stay on.

It was my turn to openly laugh as they pranced about as though they were proud members of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly walks.

Born again walkers

I counterbalanced the monotony of staying in my four walls by going for walks, but I have been doing this regularly on account of having the pooches.

Although the rules allowed 1 hour exercise a day, with two dogs I understood that must get multiplied by 3. I am unable to find the logic behind this theory now, but it did make sense to me when I thought about it at the time. I discussed it with Boris and the team during one of our briefings, although I am not sure I can recall their response, I pretty sure they were in agreement with me.

However, every time I went for my normal walk, I was swarmed by an onslaught of ‘born again walkers’.

No matter what time I got up, they were loitering and clogging up the public footpath. Just because there is sunshine, a global pandemic and a national lockdown does not mean you can suddenly walk in my local field. Especially if the sun is shining. Where were you when it was hailing? Where were you when the rain pounded and the mud was so thick that your welly got stuck? Do you even own a pair of wellies?

Finding balance

Adapting to the lockdown has challenged many of us. We have finally got into a new routine, where we feel safe in our little bubble.

The powers that be are asking us to burst our bubble, coaxing us out into the wilderness again. This is enough to make even the most grounded of us feel exposed and vulnerable.

But we are also amazing creatures, with the capacity to adapt, learn, and flourish. With a little patience and calm we will find our balance again.

At the risk of being trite, repetitive and cheesy, there is this thing called Yoga. It teaches you to adapt, learn, flourish, listen, and find your balance. If only I had remembered to do some during the lockdown, I wonder whether the loopies would have still got me?

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