Yoga– Day 9
Since I started writing about my adventures I have found that my writing style leans toward the self-deprecating. I assumed, therefore that yoga, my number 9 challenge, would be rich pickings. I could talk about my fear of flatulence whilst in a pose, with either me being the emitter or the receiver. Or the fact, that I forgot that it was bare-foot and I hadn’t re-painted my half chipped toe-nail paint or that I wore my Lycra shorts instead of loose fitting bottoms like everybody else. However, this bit will be different and dare I say it, a bit emosh (which is, I gather, a trendy word for emotional). I actually found something I truly connected with.
I tried yoga once before, and that was pregnancy yoga 12 years ago, when I was carrying my first child. We lived in North London then and I took myself off to Crouch End to give it a go. I must have found myself in an advanced class because I certainly couldn’t follow the instructions, the group felt clique-y and I remember leaving feeling slightly humiliated. Until now, it has put me off going back again. But I’m doing a challenge and yoga is on the list.
I was invited by Aimee at the Cornwall Yoga Centre to try out two different styles of yoga; the first being Vinyasa, which is, I would say a fairly physically demanding form of yoga. Aimee took us through a built up sequence of poses, with a further link added after each repetition. Instead of clock-watching, which I invariably do in any type of class, I was surprised when the hour had finished.
To get a more balanced overview of yoga, Aimee invited me to the general class, which followed on. In contrast, this was a far less physically intense form, where we focused on movement and breathing. Aimee’s gentle voice guided us through the steps and we concentrated on different parts of the body.
The session culminated in a meditative focus on breathing and mentally identifying parts of the body to be thoughtful of. At this point, laying on the mat, under a blanket, I stopped doing what I was told and my thoughts drifted away to what I was like when I entered the building. Getting through rush hour traffic, finding the building, finding a parking spot, checking my phone, checking that the battery was charged in the camera... I had been just a ball of frenzy and now lying there, it felt peaceful. It felt quiet. It felt quite alien.
As I drove home, I thought about those alien feelings. As a busy mum of three primary aged children, my life is non-stop with afterschool clubs and play dates. I also run two businesses; I am the club secretary of the local hockey club and am taking on this mad challenge of trying this bewildering number of activities in a short period of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have a very happy and fulfilled life and I count my blessings every day but sitting in the car on the journey home, I started to cry.
I seemed to have tapped into something, which maybe I didn’t know I needed: quiet. Some time to stand still, to breath and reflect. The tears weren’t from a place of self-pity. It reminded me a little of the scene in Pretty Woman when Vivian is taken to the Opera for the first time and cries. She cries out of wonder and discovery. Maybe she cried because it was like finding a new friend, who she didn’t know was missing in her life. That was why I cried and when this crazy year is over, I know that I will come back looking for this new friend.