My salad dressing days


Yoga (level: intermediate/highly competitive)
January 22, 2007, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a New Year (sort of) (shhhhh – don’t jinx it) Resolution type of a thing.

Yoga classes.

Although, I’m not new to yoga. Oh no.

‘So, has anyone here done yoga before?’

[Enthusiastic show of hands.]

Me: ‘Yes, a few years ago. But I’m not sure what type!’ [I hoped it was the type that Madonna does, but that’s not what I asked when I signed up.]

Teacher B is sooooooooooo, well, y’know: Zen.

He’s lithe and well-toned and perpetually calm. You just know he eats nuts and berries for breakfast and raw salads for lunch and has never been on a form of transport that requires the burning of fossil fuels. I aspire to be the female version of him (and therefore slightly amend my NYR of simply ‘do yoga’ to ’emulate B in every way possible’).

‘Now, as you exhale, we’re going to get ourselves into [indistinct as the room is quite echoey but it sounds very much like: athasanathasana], OK?’

No-one bats an eyelid. They simply swivel one foot outwards and tip gently to the right, as instructed.

Except, it isn’t B’s right. It’s his left, but because he faces us, he has had to get used to telling us to go right when for him it’s left. Gosh, he’s clever. I would have a great deal of trouble with this, as I can barely tell my left from my right even without standing in front of eleven lycra-clad thirtysomethings.

‘Let’s now try [hathamathafluxcapacitor??] – do grab a block if you feel you need one…’

I toss my block pointedly to one side and look around to see who is doing the same. Only one other woman! (I rock!)

I bend forward and do the ‘extra’ stretch suggested by B. B comes round to inspect and, much to my disappointment, tugs my stomach inwards and tells me to straighten my arms. (I suck!)

But I recover from this setback quickly…before we move into the [yengarsanalanahatha] pose. I truly suck at this but thankfully, so does virtually everyone else and it’s not long before we are all lying prostrate on the floor, our legs and arms quivering.

Then comes the best bit. The bit we have all been waiting for. The bit when we just lie down on the mat and B turns the lights off. (Sadly, this bit only lasts about three minutes and comes right at the end of the class.) Whilst I am lying in the obscurity – opening one eye every few seconds to look at the clock – I am visualising myself on a yoga holiday. One of those ones where everyone gets up at 5am to do headstands on the beach before eating a breakfast of nuts and berries followed by a two hour long session of breathing through alternate nostrils whilst chanting in the lotus position followed by a raw salad lunch and then some sun salutations and a large glass of spring water before an early bed.

I curse the ugliness of my perpetual desire to compete and resolve to shed all grudges I am holding against my nearest and dearest.

As B is doing his little praying/nodding pose thing, everyone leaps up enthusiastically to put away their mats and blocks. Except some people, it turns out, have now got their own mats! What is this? I struggle to imagine B suggesting that people buy their own mats, living life – as he does – as lightly as a feather. What is wrong with using the communal mats, huh?

I stride out of the room (resolving to buy my own mat), get home and scoff two chocolate chip cookies in a bid to calm down.

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14 Comments so far
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I think I sense a wee crush there…

Comment by Violet

You use a yoga mat? What’s wrong with a floor? *scoff*

tee hee.

Seriously though, good mats go for like US$20, no reason to wallow in someone elses’ sweat marks.

Comment by Shiny Blue Black

What grudges?

Comment by paranora

I bought my own yoga mat after suffering with a veruca and after practising yoga bare foot on a really dirty and dusty floor. Over time your own mat will have gain slightly worn areas which will help you achieve some of your poses with greater ease. If you do purchase one, I would advise that you wash it (with no fabric softener) prior to using it otherwise you’ll definitely fall over.

Comment by the craic girl

I bought a yoga mat and have used it precisely once (I also just bought a yoga mat bag for the yoga mat that never leaves my home).

I’ve never been to a class as I’m worried I’ll trump by mistake whilst stretching. (Should I have admitted that in a public forum?)

Craic Girl – you mean wash it in the machine?

Comment by Teeny

I’ve been on those yoga holidays you dream of. Loads of them, in my more ardent TM period. (Transcendental Meditation.) Glory days. Lang may yer chakras spin, hen.

Comment by Peter

I use the camping bedroll I used to use at festivals. It does the job.

Comment by Kellycat

violet: noooooooo! (besides, mr chick reads this)

sbb: yes, the thought of other people’s sweaty feet (and veruccas)…ugh

paranora (erm, motherhen): not telling

the craig girl: welcome and thanks for the tips!

teeny: welcome too and no, this is also my biggest fear (well, ok, audibly farting is my bigger fear – silently farting and frowning at one of my classmates doesn’t concern me at all)

peter: jeepers! well, there’s something we can talk about over that drink…

kellycat: ah yes, a camping mat: got one of those (used it once for its intended purpose, what with slumming it type of accommodation not turning out to be ‘my thing’) – good idea

Comment by Urban Chick

i do beg your pardon, craic girl

anyone would think i wasn’t a thoroughbred celt…

Comment by Urban Chick

The Scotsman gobbles up stuff like this, you know. Pop in an Edinburgh Street or two, mebbe the bus you caught to get there – which made you so irritable of course – and you’d be sitting on a 200 quid cheque. I know. I used to do it.

Comment by Peter

tguI have a yoga mat and I do use it quite often. People fart at yoga all the time. I did it once. It’s actually quite hard to tell who does it cos you’reupside down and what have you.

Comment by frangelita

So it’s not just wifey who gets competitive. Do you do the jealousy thing, when one person gets complimented, but you don’t? I go to the same teacher’s class, but a different one (and less often) – I get embarrassed if we do it together because I’m so much less bendy, and competitive, than her. I use their mats – I’m the one who does all the yucky sweating everyone else buys their own mats to avoid.
My new year resolution is to be able to put my ankle behind my head, like I used to be able to (I came across an old college photo of me doing this at a party at the age of 20.) Yoga is just a means to this end.

Comment by Stef the engineer

I used to love the 3 minutes at the end, until the day I woke myself up with my own gentle (but unmistakable) snore. After that it was all spoiled 😦

Comment by mig bardsley

That is fabulous – thank you. I thought I was the only petty yoga partaker…

Comment by Justine




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