I’ve been to yoga this week. I’ve flirted with yoga classes for years and years, never attending a class with any real regularity.
Nothing has changed.
I rate yoga classes on the experience with the teachers, their style of yoga and whether or not I can walk without pain the next day.
I like this teacher
She is a good vibey sort, not quite a hippy, but not averse to using words such as ‘universal’ ‘One’ ‘earth’ ‘ground’ ‘consciousness” in various sentences. I like her because I like her attitude – she is relaxed about the class, she gives variations for people with back issues and easy poses for noobs.
I also like her for not putting her hands on me to ‘help‘ me into a better downward facing dog position. This happened to me with a more hands-on teacher years ago. She went round the class, as our asses were in the air (downward facing dog looks like this, for the uninitiated):
In this position you are already feeling a little vulnerable, not to mention green.
Anyway, if we weren’t doing it as perfectly as Kermit there, she’d push you into a better alignment. This might involve some unexpected shoving of hips, re-positioning of feet and pushing on the back.
In any case, for a beginner, to stretch the muscles to far in the first sessions has the unremarkable result that the next day HURTS. I remember I couldn’t walk without my muscles protesting for a couple of days after that ‘help’ from that teacher.
So now I pick my classes with the next day in mind. This session we did ‘eagle’ pose, which I am not familiar with. I have done sun salutes at home and know the basic names and positions since yoga is really good for your body and I do rate it highly as a form of physical and mental exercise.
EAGLE POSE: Best left to the eagles?
Well, it’s a contortion. My strongest yogic area are leg stretches – the forward bends feel easiest to my body. My weakest area are the balancing acts. The eagle involves wrapping one foot around the calf (so, balancing awkwardly on one leg), whilst battling with your arms to weave your fingers into a very unnatural position, and then… we bend forward.
FALL FROM GRACE
I am not too good at co-ordination of movement. I am worse at balance. I realised my eagle was going to fall and in the few seconds left between the thought and the action my brain went into overdrive. I quickly assessed my falling options:
Forward? An elderly lady in front of me = ABSOLUTELY NOT
Try to redirect my imbalance to the back or side so that I would stagger back, hopefully avoiding collision? = BETTER
Quick look to the side, ascertaining from the mirror the woman behind me is young = You’ll have to do! Sorry love.
So, stagger I did.
Heavily putting the suspended leg back on the floor, whilst trying to untangle my hands in the process. I freed my fingers, clumsily moving to the side and back whilst I got my balance back.
Luckily didn’t bang into anyone. Apologised to the people I was keeling towards. Leapt back on my own mat, two feet firmly on the ground.
Where eagles dare, I shall solemnly retreat.