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I was running late for round two of yoga. Everyone was in class and they’d started. I felt the pressure already, should I enter the room? Seriously, never mess with the creatures of habit. These people with their rituals and routines, arrive super early for class, mat clamped under their arms as if to go to war, march in to claim their ‘spot’ in the studio of which heaven forbid you steal their space. For the yogis who are suppose to be calm, relaxed and chilled, they must be the most highly-strung people I’ve come across – and breathe. I hesitated outside the studio doors for a short time, wondering, fearing, analysing! Would I become one of these creatures or was it a dormant fear of being surrounded with them yet again! I took a deep breath in and as I breathed out, opened the door.

During yoga we were in a seated position, legs out in front, reaching for our toes. At this moment in time I had a flashback to the killer stretch test. My spine wouldn’t bend. I felt and looked like I had a steel rod down my back making me look constipated as I tipped forwards. There must be some form of spinal fusion running the length of my spine, either that or I was as flexible as concrete. I’m not that tall but when doing some of these stretches I wished for shorter legs or arms at least twice as long. Even the pregnant woman next to me was touching her toes. How on earth is that possible? To make matters worse, next to super gran was bendy granddad with the tightest pants I’ve witnessed since watching the Olympic sprinters run. How can he breathe in those spandex hot pants, eurgh! I tried to duck my head down to at least look like I was bending forward, you know, blend into the class. I heard the teacher instruct, using her gardening language, for us all to not force the stretch, although her tone sounded like it was directed to me. Just looking at my toes with the contemplation of ‘one day my finger nail will touch my toe if I grow my nails long enough,’ was a push too far. I spied from the corner of my eye that annoying yoga bitch that was in the yoga class the first time I was there. She was right at the front. A wannabe! Is she training to be a yoga teacher as she certainly looked like she was taking the class? Maybe she’s a dancer or an attention-starved housewife. Oh well I couldn’t help but smirk at grumpy grandma for her disapproving glares at the two giggling high school girls at the back. Why is it some yogis just can’t be content within themselves and ignore what’s happening around them, and as for others, they look like they need a nice fattening cheeseburger every once in a while. Some look so fragile they’re going to break! Focus, must focus!

Executing the moves throughout the class was an uphill struggle although I managed to perform them silently unlike others. Expressive groans like giving birth or as if vinegar had been rubbed into a gaping wound in the privates were heard throughout the studio. Is it really necessary! Is it the attention seekers calling for the spotlight to shine on them! Is it the praise seekers looking for affirmation from the instructor that they are doing the moves wonderfully well! Some peoples’ idea of breathing can be vocally dramatised like some perverse old man preying over some younger model but without the drool. Well in some cases there can be involuntary drool left lying on the floor, which without fail my foot manages to find with ease! Breathing out can be heavy, deep, prolonged and generally over exaggerated as if someone has consumed too many chillies HAAAAAAAAAAA!

At the end of the class there were ten minutes of relaxation. Ten minutes of lying on the mat, relaxing in Corpse pose. My favourite pose to do, lie there motionless and I’m sure the real reason why most people come to class for the simple excuse that they can say to others that they’ve been to yoga. Some people in class looked dead, I felt dead and now we had the opportunity to play dead! The instructor told me I was particularly good at this pose. Sarcastic bitch! The lights were dimmed and the soft music echoed out from the stereo. The teacher’s soft tones, similar to that of a sex telephone operator hypnotised the guy next to me who purred with a subtle snore of contentment. Relaxation is such a difficult thing to do. My mind’s active thinking about where I should go at the weekend, the lecture I did in the morning and the assignment that I needed to pull together for a weeks time. What do I want to do for a career? Will I ever be rich and why was this guys’ snoring sounding rather like a song I heard on the radio the morning before. Concentrate! I must learn to concentrate. Oh and relax! Throughout the session my back was starting to feel less like a 90-year-old man and more like the teenager I was. Coupled with the fact of feeling limber and more energised all that I knew at this point in time was a slight addiction to this fitness malarkey and that I could start to see a small lump popping through in the form of a muscle, or was it a tumour or wishful thinking?

Happy Flexing!

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