And breathe in to prepare…


‘Yes, thank you, but I think I should be the judge of that, don’t you?’
I’m practising my clipped response to the next person who says earnestly that pilates is brilliant and looks at me, shiny-eyed, waiting for a full-throated endorsement. My yoga slapdown is already in the bag and it doesn’t take prisoners, but honestly, that’s because yoga is a gift to the haters. It brings it on itself! It’s boring as hell and it makes you 27 times more likely to spout shit about energies and nurturing your sacred space and coddy, half-baked toss about the healing power of crystals.

This is not to knock its efficacy. Not in the least. My dad has been practising it for years, starting way back in the 70s when the only training you could get was from a book featuring a lady with massive false eyelashes, middle-parted hippie hair and a leotard so pre-Lycra it did up with a zip. Since then, my dad has remained brimful of yoga’s superbiness, until eventually I was persuaded and tried it. Every day for a month I dutifully did Angry Lion and Wonky Dog, and still it didn’t take – though I must say I’ve nicked some of the stretches and use them in my own regime. And yes, I bet I couldn’t persuade my hips to do that without a bit of 5,000-year stretchy-bendy wisdom. Yet, yet, the boringness will not die.

So, despite knowing that listening to other people is a HUGE mistake, I swallowed the KoolAid and signed up for six pilates classes, arriving voluble and giggly with nerves at the basement of a private house in SW-something.

There’d been some anxiety about trousers. Not an unfamiliar condition in the normal run of things, truth be told, but after my yoga-strophe, I wasn’t going to go nuts in Nike Town and purchase what would turn out to be single-wear £200 sillygear. However, case for the defence: properties in SW-anything tend to attract women who love Sweaty Betty enough to wear it out to coffee shops. I am not one of those ladies, but I accept the difference between high-performance fibre and street-market schmatta. The fight between stinginess and camel toe was on.

I had my first class last night, and I’m pretty sure stinginess won the first round, but since the classes were purchased as a special deal on Amazonlocal, we were all a bit on the motley side. There was a rugby shirt, some pyjama bottoms and a blessedly deployed dimmer switch, so my elephant-legged pramface monstrosities stayed below the radar. It’s sad that the classes are on so late in the evening and I’m too embarrassed to wear the trousers until after dark, otherwise I could score in Greggs.

In fact, the jury is still out on pilates. It’s 24 hours later, but who knows? Not EVERYONE can be wrong, can they?


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