I took my first yoga session last night. This was quite an experience for me. I was suddenly reminded of my age! I rediscovered parts of my body which I’d long forgotten about! I realised and admitted my limitations.

The others in attendance, all women, about my age with perhaps one exception who was probably at least a decade younger, were all far more supple than me. Although they were far from perfect in their execution of the various exercises we undertook, it was obvious that they had attended a few classes prior to this one.

Nobody seemed to judge me, which was refreshing: I must admit, when it became obvious that I was the only man in the room, I was ready to be on the receiving end of some sniggers and mocking remarks, but there was none of that. However, I chose my usual line of defence in such situations: a mix of self-deprivation and humour aimed at my own inadequacies.

I decided to give yoga a try, to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis, which I have from my neck, and throughout my back. I joke about how I live this time of year because I just wear sandals; I don’t have to struggle to put socks on every morning! In truth, it’s not at all funny. My GP just wants to load me up with opiates, which I’m sure isn’t the best answer; osteopaths and chiropractors would to take £35 per week off me for an equally temporary fix; yoga costs £7 per week at a class, and you can repeat what you did in class at home every day.

Yesterday, being my first class was hard work. I can walk 8km in 90 minutes, come home and mow the lawn, but one hour of yoga totally drained me! This morning, I feel so much better than I have in a couple of years. I expected to wake up in pain; but no, the moderate pain I had last night, a couple hours after the class, has gone, and I can move freely. If I needed to, I could even put socks on without any struggle!

If you suffer from arthritis, I recommend that you find your local yoga class and join. It’s not easy to start, and you will stretch muscles that you didn’t know you had. But it’s cheaper than physiotherapy, and better than government licenced heroin!

Buy yourself the only essential for yoga! (No, not yoga pants)

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