Polly Vernon Does 'Mind'
Headspace fan & journalist, Polly Vernon, is our new guest blogger. In part 1 of her debut piece, she talks exercise, cults & meditation.
I would like to start this, my first piece of writing for Headspace, by saying: I don’t think I’ve joined a cult. I mean, I don’t know for sure. No one who ever joins a cult, thinks they’re in a cult, do they? So I suppose I could be wrong. I’ve been fully Headspaced up for about eight months – daily practice, slotted into the morning schedule in between the brushing of the Teeth and the constructing of the Look. Given half a chance, I can get a little boring on how it’s, like, Totally Changed My Life and Everyone Should Do It yadda yadda… And now, here I am, actually writing for it, which could lead one to conclude that I’m in a little deep. But – nah. For reasons I’ll come to in the fullness of time, I don’t think Headpsace is a cult. Apart from anything else, when I went to visit their offices (for an article, I was invited. I don’t think you can just turn up) they made absolutely no attempt to keep me there. If anything, they seemed quite pleased when I left.
So. Right. Exercise. I’m a fan. I don’t like competitive sport; this is because I’m really competitive but also really bad at sport, therefore built to lose, and to care when I do. But exercise is, it transpires, necessary if one hopes to stay feeling and looking good, which I certainly do, mainly because I care a lot about what’s on the outside and I don’t want to die prematurely, not while I have so very much to offer the world (probably). After failing to get into yoga in the early 2000s, I embarked upon an ineffectual, profoundly fractious, possibly toxic six month stint with a personal trainer, which I ended because I couldn’t stand the rows any more. It was at this point, circa 2003, that I ‘discovered’ walking. You know the sort of thing: one foot in front of the other, repeat to fade. If you do it a lot – ten miles / three hours a day minimum in my case – over an extended period of time, it will do you many favours in terms of health, and litheness of hips, thighs and arse (if you go up enough hills); on top of which, it can help temper that modern aspect of the human condition many recognize as Oh Dear I Think I’ve Gone A Bit Mad. Walking calms me down, chills me out, slows the constant, internal cement mixer churn of thought and feeling and unexpressed tension. Not unlike meditation, then.
Read part 2 later this week.