Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Things that can go terribly wrong in Yoga: number one

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,



Magpie Mimi said...

I think I would have died had I found a spider in my top. Kudos to you for going to Yoga afterwards! I hate spiders and set the cat on them whenever they make the mistake of coming in the house to terrorise me.

Rachel said...

I suspect I may have already told you the story (but I'm going to tell it again) about the time I tried to set the cat onto a huge spider that was on the bedroom ceiling. I was standing on the bed in my dressing gown. Cat, held aloft, admired the view. When finally persuaded to take an interest in the spider, spider jumped, as they do. Spider ended up somewhere in the folds of my dressing gown, which I quickly shed, squawking, as I fled the room. I don't think I could have done yoga after that.

I do have a copy of Mr Iyangar's book, though. I even attempted to follow Asana course no. 1, and came to the conclusion that the moves specified for weeks 1&2 would take me well over a year to master (this was after attending classes - I didn't just try to learn from the book). Every so often I pick up the book and think I should try to take up yoga again, but never get much further than that thought.

Vivianne said...

That spider is lying in wait for you now :-)

kristieinbc said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you for a good morning laugh! I hope you find the spider, or better yet that your partner finds the spider for you.

Anonymous said...

I would have screamed like the girl that I am, jumped up and down and until it fell off me (still screaming, mind you), squished it to death, and then burned the shirt.

You probably handled it better than me.

Sarah said...

Thank you for turning your horror into my laughter - that must be some karmic brownie points for you I should think