Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Meditations on... meditation

Yoga. It is flipping hard work if it is done right.  I hurt more today than I ever have from the gym (for 'ever' read 'a couple of weeks').
So, I went to a new Yoga place last night.  They have an unlimited classes for twenty quid offer so I thought why not? Also, I have long wondered about going to a 'proper' place to see how it is in 'real' Yoga circles.

It seems that how it is done is with more noise - well, not everyone - just one person to whom I will return.  Who was it? You ask (you might!).  It was not skinny, young woman who made no eye contact, nor was it the clearly bonkers middle-aged woman with halter-top AND bra with standard straps. This is not a good look for anyone but bonkers people in Yoga rooms may wear this 'style' with impunity and even some elan where a similarly aged woman in any Sarf London high street just looks like a raddled old chav. She was, despite the lunacy very smiley and made polite conversation about the room temperature and so I allowed her to be liked.  Until one of her feet found itself uncomfortably close to my face during a particularly tricky move.  This wouldn't usually bother me too much - but this foot was of the type even a hardy chiropodist would retch at... it took me a moment to re-gather myself but I pushed on... through the noise of the only man in the group.  Yoga men: very specific type usually but he didn't seem to fit the usual.  He looked more like an accountant who used to do rugby at university but is more of a watcher than a player nowadays.  He did make a brief nod in my direction when he arrived, hint of a smile and then straight to HIS mat (my guess is, if someone else went there next time, he'd be a bit put out - a touch of the towel on the sunbed about him).  He settled himself, a few feet away from me so (ideally) out of reasonable ear-shot. He falolloped down and began to breathe.  Of course, he'd been breathing when he arrived - he was definitely alive - but this was special breathing.  Noisy YOGA breathing. Or rather NOISY Yoga breathing.  I wish I could explain it adequately - it was kind of tricky to categorise.  It was uninhibited, let's just say that - oh, and that it was upheld for the entire time we were doing the physical yoga - he did shush once we moved to meditation.  Thank goodness manky-foot-woman arrived shortly after him.

Others at the class included a woman who was clearly way beyond beginners group but graced us with her bendiness as she was accompanying her pal (almost wider than she was tall) once the class had started thus I call them the 'two disruptively late women'.  They were ok though and with the bendy pal to live up to, I felt rather sorry for wider-than-tall woman.  She wasn't as bendy as her friend and was not good on one leg but a game girl and didn't give up - you have to admire that.

I did ok at the physical side of things - didn't fall over during 'the Tree' or fart during 'the warrier' or indeed, crash to the ground begging for mercy during 'the plank' so was, all in all quite pleased. Now we move to the meditation section of the proceedings.  Usually in a Yoga class you do about an hourish of bendy, stretchy, fall-y-over stuff and then do the lying down with a blanket, thinking about your points of energy and flowers and such.  It is my favourite part and after the physical stuff, it really does feel wonderful. 

So, lying on my mat, cushion under head, blanket over me, eyes closed, I was ready to relax.  The teacher lowered the blinds and lights to a gentle darkness, candle light at the other end of the studio flickered (ok - opened my eyes to see what she was doing).  It was the perfect time to let all those worries and anxieties slip away and focus on the breath (that's what you do - obviously noisy-breath-man was prepping for the meditation from the get-go).  We did the conscious relaxation of hands, feet, legs, and so on.  We felt the heaviness; we gave ourselves up to the stillness... drifted... into total...

Sleep.  I must have gone out like a light as the next thing I knew, I was awakened by a loud snorting, snore.  At least I'm pretty sure it was loud; it woke me up.  And it was definitely not the noisy-breath-man or manky-foot-woman who were my nearest mat neighbours. I know my own particular brand of snore - it had all the hallmarks. I'd like to think only I heard it but the fact that the teacher made creaky steps towards me at the moment I came to consciousness kind of suggests she'd heard it too. 

I can only hope manky-foot-woman was so caught up with her own lunatic thoughts she didn't notice, and noisy-breath-man is a fair enough sort of a fellow to accept the failing of annoyingly noisy breathing issues in others.

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