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So the person next to me is groaning with pleasure or is it sighing with relief. An ‘in the moment experience’ or perhaps a cry for attention! Surely she’s going to come round and tell this annoying bitch to shut up! I mean the girl has her ass in the air like some satellite dish searching for reception, knees clamped to her ears in some new Kama Sutra position with eyes bulging from sockets. It can’t be good for you! At what point in your life do you want to be able to do that? Ok, there could be many arguments for it, especially the ones where it’s supposedly good for you. So I’m embracing my new surroundings, the heat, the positions, and the smells. My first yogic experience accompanied with surrounding vocalised harmonies. The instructor floated around the room as if high on ecstasy and spoke in a language that was fit for a gardener; plant your foot into the floor, blossom at the top and hold your trunk strong in tree pose. What the hell was she talking about? What had she been smoking? All that was missing was the gardening gloves. I wonder if falling tree or tree with branches in distress are poses! Balancing wasn’t easy but I guess that was the challenge. I was up close and personal with complete strangers. I couldn’t help but notice my neighbours; the attention seekers formally known as the drama queens, the stressed, the disgruntled, the creatures of habit, the desperate housewife, the fashionista, the aspiring yoga teacher wannabe, the introvert, the husband and wife and me. Holding poses like tree pose for an eternity made my ankles swell to trunk like proportions. My foot felt as if surrounded in weeds. Well I hope it was weeds otherwise my mat hadn’t been cleaned since the last time. If I wanted my feet flossed I would’ve gone to the podiatrist! Throughout the class I did everything the instructor asked of me. I inhaled when told to do so. I exhaled to relax deeper into the pose. At the end of the session I then started to breathe normally after what seemed like an hour of hyperventilating! Gasping through my mouth and blowing out my ass at the same time! I guess there’s a reason why it’s called mind and body! The positions were excruciatingly barbaric for my body. Every move contorted me in ways that brought fear to my mind. Once in these positions, would I ever get out of them? Would I end up with my leg mangled around my waist until I could afford reconstructive surgery to dislodge my dislocated joints! The instructor when demonstrating the moves did so with grace and elegance. Her face was noticeably calm. When I glanced in the mirror at myself, I looked as if I was chewing a wasp. The formula of people and positions brought an array of smells to my sensitive nose. Garlic bread from the night before intensified with each breath out from the perpetrators mouth. Morning breath from a non-brushed mouth placed extra havoc to my wasp ravaged facial expression. If the smell wasn’t coming from one end it was certainly seeping through from the other. If it wasn’t the noise that alarmed the ears of the unconscious, it was the odour, which could certainly awaken even the dead. I’d recommend perhaps a change of diet especially cutting out baked beans before a stint in yoga. The atmosphere smelt like some new style recipe I didn’t want to sample. As for sweat, well let’s just say it gives you away every time. Whether it be the alcohol or curry from the night before or something more natural like the smell of the sweat in the first place, it made me question why I didn’t try the DVD option from the comforts of home in the first instance! Lying face down on the mat made me think of cheese sandwiches and onion bagels or at least that’s what my nose sensed as I planted my face into the mat whilst trying to lift my legs off the floor. At key points in the class I found myself plotting my escape plan. With each upside down pose I thought while nobody’s looking I could tip toe through the sweaty people to return my mat. I could reach my final destination, a place similar to heaven, a place where people could breathe in fresh air and eat doughnuts! Scared to commit a crime against the laws of yoga I was frozen in place to move or in some cases cemented like some paving slab, unable to move with no idea how to get out from some of the positions. The one-hour session came to an end and I was impressed with myself for achieving, staying and persevering throughout the trauma of movement and smell. I have to confess I did feel better afterwards. I felt loose in places I never knew I could be with a face like a stoned cat! Happy posing! #yoga #yogi #firsttimer #pose #positions #groupfitness #bendy #stretch

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