Thursday, 21 July 2011

Yoga matters

I'm on holiday now and it's bloomin' marvellous; however, with most normal people still fully occupied with proper jobs, I do need to be careful that I make the most of my time off and not fritter it away. Catching myself eating Wotsits for breakfast and contemplating watching an episode of Waybuloo the other morning, I realised I was very much on the verge of frittering. I thought about some worthwhile jobs that I could accomplish this summer. The list is long, ambitious, and mostly unrealistic but I've been making some progress on one of the assignments: find a yoga class I like. Hardly the most philanthropic of tasks but purposeful nonetheless (and a positive spin on the near-Waybuloo indiscretion).

I used to go regularly to a class at the council sports centre where you could hear techno music from the gym thudding through the wall. Then there was a brief fling with a class at the local village hall, where the bangin' choons were replaced with trombone practice next door. That was over 4 years ago and it would appear that my toes have got much further away since then.

Back to the task, I first tried a morning Hatha class at another local sports centre. With the daytime scheduling, there were some impressively supple pensioners there. One cheeky chap said he'd rifled through my handbag during the session. Thankfully, I don't think he had, but it's something to be wary of.

Keen for something a little more energetic, I found the details of an evening Ashtanga class at a yoga studio located behind an Italian restaurant (an encouraging sign, especially as my rusty conversational Italian meant I could understand the swearing coming from kitchen). I e-mailed the instructor to apologise in advance for my inelasticity and she replied to say I was very welcome to join; the look on her face suggested she may have reconsidered when I told her I'd run there. I dripped sweat steadily at the back and slid about on my mat, whilst it dawned on me that the class might be a little more advanced than ideal. The instructor was kind and patient; she reassured me not to look at what others could do (especially those balanced on their heads) as she helped push my unyielding limbs to somewhere near they were supposed to be. I imagine it looked rather like Rabbit trying to push Winnie the Pooh out of his front door. The class finished with some chanting; not normally my thing but the instructor said it was to wish everyone well in the world and I thought that sounded jolly sporting. Besides, she said we could just join in with the bits we knew, which reminded me a bit of hymn practice at school.

Still reasonably convinced that Ashtanga was more my cup of tea, I booked into another morning class back at the sports centre today. I cycled there this time, having learned my lesson from the run, and arrived relatively composed. This time there was a nice smell of incense and a good mix of participants. It turned out to be the same instructor from the yoga studio and she was even more helpful than before. She remarked that my shoulders "resisted" relaxing as she tugged energetically at my neck (hardly surprising when I write such long, rambling blog posts) and made several more attempts to free Winnie the Pooh.

So far, I think the 3rd class has been my favourite. The morning timing means its a no-go in term time, but I will go again in the holidays. The search for an evening class continues, as do the efforts to avoid the temptation of Waybuloo.

I know there are a few blogging joggers who practice yoga: do you have any tips for finding a class that suited you?


  1. LOL - I have such an image in my head now.... I don't do yoga at the moment but funnily enough am going to try a Tai Chi class out tomorrow as I need to work on my core strength. I have tried yoga and found it tooo....I dunno, it's late and I can't find the right word for it. But I think it was one of those Haitha ones. What was the 3rd class you went to?

  2. Hi Flo - the 3rd class was another ashtanga class. x

  3. I am struggling to avoid Jeremy kyle, which is awful because not only is it a massive cliche but I really quite hate the programme, so far though I seem to have remained on the coach staring vacuously at the tv... The only way I can see to avoid it is to wake up later! Or maybe I should take up yoga... Good luck with your search! :-)


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