I get stress build up in my shoulders at the base of my neck, two spots of tension growing ever bigger. It’s connected or so I’ve been told with hunching over a laptop all day and stressing, both occupational hazards of any writer.
Once the rocks of tension became the size of tennis balls and started to bruise my earlobes, I recognised I had to do something about it. I wasn’t looking for anything too strenuous though; I’m not the active type. A friend recommended yoga, and knock me down if I haven’t fallen in love with it. I was cynical at first and I’m not actually very good, but I do enjoy it very much. Last week I missed my class as I was going to dinner with friends, I was bereft for days.
If you’re thinking of taking yoga up, and I suggest you do if you have boulders (note the tension increasing from mere spots, to tennis balls, to mighty bruising rocks; exaggerate, moi?) of tension like I have, here’s my mini-guide to yoga politics:
CATH’S GUIDE TO YOGA
You get told “wear whatever you feel comfortable in”. This could mean anything. For me, it’s leggings and a t-shirt. For others…
Lots of people have said to me that they hate (a bit of an overreaction, if you ask me) the thought of doing yoga in a class with other people but I find a class just gets on with things, not bothering about what others are up to.
Breaking wind due to bending remains unfrowned at, oddly, but in the interests of politeness it’s best not to have a curry for your tea then trot off to yoga class. Happenings may occur. Having said that, botty burpers are rare in my class; I’m assuming all are good clenchers.
Be wary of benign sounding descriptions. When your yoga instructor tells you to “enjoy that beautiful stretch”, for you it’s going to be a case of “oh god, how long does she expect us to hold this position for”.
At the end of yoga, we have a relaxation session. During this, snoring is acceptable. Apparently.
Expect hippy drippy types. At the end of one session, a hemp lover asked our instructor, “Where did you train? India?” and did a weird fanning thing with her hands, fingers outstretched. “Never been,” said the instructor, with a blithe shrug. “I learned all this in St Helens.”
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