I bought a special introductory offer one month’s unlimited yoga classes at the local yoga place, which is excellent value if you use it to go to as many yoga classes as you can in the month, not so excellent value if you only use it to go to one and then give up and sit drinking coffee and growling in their sweet little vegan café and altering the karma in a negative direction. So, this month you will mostly find me in down dog, failing to stretch my hamstrings sufficiently.
I am having fun. It has been exciting. I have done a hot yoga class, which is essentially yoga in a room with the heating turned up really, really high, like a sauna. Partner says this is a ‘gimmick’. I will say that I am not rushing to book on my next hot yoga class: indeed, I thought I might be their first fatality. I kept thinking of that man who put a lot of people in a sweat lodge and they died, and he said he was going to ‘absorb that lesson as part of his spiritual journey’ as he got on a plane to a country with no extradition arrangements with the US. Anyway, I have this piece of wisdom for you: if you go to a hot yoga class, wear very little and take a towel, because you will sweat. You will sweat even if, like me, you are a person who doesn’t sweat, ever, and whose internal temperature gauge is turned lower than that of most people, and whose touch is like the Cold Grip Of Death.
I have done more. I have yoga flowed. I have been conscious of my breath. I have fallen on my nose doing a posture ‘to give the hips a good deep opening’. I have ommed. I have ‘engaged my core muscles’. I have discovered I am ‘further on than half bind but not binding fully’ and require straps around my nether regions. I have done shoulder stands and kept my legs in the air for surprising amounts of time, a posture which, Mr Iyengar assures me in his book, will deal with constipation with the efficiency of a Dulcolax overdose. But something so terrible happened to me this morning that I began to fear that the remembered trauma would mean I could never do yoga again.
Obviously, this will surprise you, but, sometimes I take clothes out of the washer and I do not put them away immediately, I know, you thought I was Martha Stewart and Anthea Turner (poor Anthea!) combined. But, no! I chuck them on the beanbag overnight. Well, I have learned my lesson. Because this morning, as I staggered out of bed half asleep to amble off to Yoga Flow Detox, and put on my vest that I wear, I realised something had been sharing my vest with me. It was an enormous spider. With great big thick black legs. And it was now sitting on my waist. So this morning saw me running backwards and forwards in only my ratty sports bra and with my head trapped in a lycra vest, squawking and wriggling and jumping up and down to dislodge it. It is not on me now: but, it is somewhere, and I do not think the other people at the yoga classes, who have the proper kit and are in touch with their Prana, have to deal with spiders. But, I keep on. Because, when you are a person who is further on than half bind, the only way is forwards. I have mastered plough pose and now am working towards wheel. When I get there I will open a bottle of wine.
Love, Susie, the world’s most unlikely yogi,