I’ve been having an inner debate about the topic of yoga again the past few weeks. Unfortunately, we have not reached any conclusions yet.
There is a distinct possibility I might actually like doing it. I’m all for things like breathing techniques and meditation for one. Quite a fan of Eastern philosophy too (including some of the sexier bits of Taoism). Did Qigong for a while and loved it - once I got over the feeling of looking like a demented crane. And yet, whenever yoga is suggested to me, my mouth appears to be going into grimace mode.
It might be that I’m still failing to grasp the real benefits of bending my body into pretzel shapes with funny names. The whole idea after all, I believe, is to come to a deep state of relaxation and inner tranquility. Now for some reason I don’t associate body contortionism with inner peace. I just don’t think I’d be feeling very serene trying to do the Nearly Dead Crab. I’m sure it’s me. Just haven’t heard the right arguments yet – but am quite willing to be convinced. No really.
She told me that she can feel incredibly frustrated and sore, attempting to get her body to assume the desired awkward pose. And once she’s there, she ends up thinking she may never be able to uncoil herself without causing irreparable damage. Ah, but then! When she's at the end of a session and knows it's all over for another week and she's allowed to lie flat on her back for 15 minutes, listening to some sweet meditative tones, she can feel so very very content.
Hmm. Even as I type that I can feel my left eyebrow arching. Doesn't it all sound suspiciously like 'Why do you keep hitting yourself on the head with a hammer?' 'Because it feels so darn good when I stop!'. Yes. I’m SO going to be lectured about this. And for mentioning the instructor’s package obviously. I'll let you know once she gets a hold of it (for the record, I'd like white peonies at my funeral - I know they're out of season but if you'd truly love me you'd get them for me anyway).
Admittedly, I do have this silly mental image of myself doing yoga. Just not in some gym smelling of old shoes. In my fantasy yoga session I’m in the open air, on a plateau by an oriental style temple. I rather fancy a Balinese one. I’m wearing white cotton clothing (looking deceptively simple yet elegant) and have a fragrant melati flower stuck over one of my ears. A soft breeze gently ruffles my hair (not too much – said flower needs to stay put), carrying with it the scent of blossoms and the ocean. And all the while I’m bending my body into all sorts of positions with an easy, effortless grace.
Bit of a pity there's this little nagging voice inside my head that says that the whole point of yoga is probably to obtain that kind of tranquility even when life does not provide a Balinese temple and a gentle sea breeze. Maybe I should try to overcome years of extreme body consciousness and the fear of feeling awkward and clumsy and just give it a go. I'm the one who's always telling people 'you won't know until you try' after all (never realised quite how annoying that is).
I think I secretly want to be convinced yoga would be great for me.