Monday, 16 February 2009

Why can't I stand on one leg?

I decided to try out the yoga class at the gym today, as I have become almost disturbingly stiff and inflexible. The class started off with a period of meditation, and after years of neglect, my meditation skills are back to those of a toddler with ADD. I could not keep my eyes closed, my thoughts raced at their usual hundred miles an hour and I ended up yelling to myself ‘Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!’ which obviously did not help. I felt like we’d been sitting there for half an hour, but it was only five minutes. At that point, I started getting pins and needles in one of my feet and getting cold, so I was the irritating person shuffling around and no doubt disturbing everyone else.

Luckily following the class was pretty easy, although I couldn’t understand a word the instructor said. He seemed very pleasant though, and came round and corrected me on a couple of postures. Not only is he very fit in several senses, but was wearing full length tracksuit bottoms and displayed no signs of imminent insanity. After attending yoga classes where one of the male instructors insisted on wearing shorts so brief that the mouse was repeatedly out of the house and the owner of the yoga loft became convinced that it was possible to live just on light, this was quite a relief.

It was a more dynamic form of yoga than Iyengar yoga, as you go directly from pose to pose, rather than stopping and starting, and there was a much greater emphasis on warming up the muscles. I preferred thisway of doing it, and also hope it means that I’m not walking like a cowboy tomorrow. Although it was rather odd not to have blocks or belts to help you in poses. It seems that I still cannot do poses on one leg without falling over repeatedly, which probably shows that my karma’s unbalanced or something, but at least I wasn’t the only one tottering about on one leg as if I’d had a few too many shots of baijiu beforehand. One of the things I like most about the class was despite the differences in ability levels, there was a very friendly atmosphere, unlike some of the competitive pretzeling I’ve encountered in British yoga classes.

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