My First Yoga Class

She keeps making eye contact with me as she puts her foot on her head

It’s the first few weeks of Uni, and the best time to try new things. Incidentally, I am also as flexible as a rake, and I’ve been known to stress out every now and then, so when I saw yoga class on the gym timetable, I thought I’d pop in.

I arrived late, not a great start. I awkwardly had to cross to the front of the room to get a mat. The instructor- tanned, muscular, cut off shorts, vest, top knot- told everyone to breathe deeply and let their eyes ‘focus on the late comer, not to make you feel awkward.’ Oh, not at all, bro, thanks for that.

I scuttled round to the back and whipped off my shoes and socks, immediately regretting not spending an hour exfoliating, moisturising and manicuring. I get into the positions, watching the people in front of me. This one is just cat and cow- jolly names, and easy enough. Mainly just arching and relaxing your back whilst breathing deeply.

‘Now stretch up into downward facing dog.’ Loving the lingo, I cheerfully stretch up into an upside down V shape.
‘Now lift up your left leg.’ I see toes pointing straight up at the ceiling. Wait, what? ‘And bring your right arm round below your chest.’ Excusez-moi? Is that even humanly possible? According to everyone else in the room, yep it’s pretty simple.

Guess which one's me. 

The two people in front of me are possibly the most classic people to find in a yoga class ever. The girl is tiny, wearing all black lycra, has cool cropped hair, and has an anklet. She is clearly part elastic band and keeps making eye contact with me through her legs as she puts her foot on her head. The guy has a huge top knot/pineapple/bird nest situation going on and has tribal tattoos on his upper bicep. He is the most enthusiastic inhaler and exhaler since Thomas the Tank Engine.  He is wearing a t-shirt with some words on it, at a guess I’d say they’re ‘I Found Myself In South East Asia.’

Anyway, back to me, failing completely at supporting myself on my wrists whilst my legs flail about behind me. The craziest part was that most people in the class had their eyes shut. Which I completely could not understand. How did they know exactly what to do without even watching!? I spent so much of the hour straining to see each movement that my neck hurt. They must have had some type of yoga telepathy only available for people that take gap yaas.

I must say, the instructor was pretty incredible (and not just because he was a beautiful specimen of human) but also because he was doing all of the movements and talking non-stop about meaningful relaxation. I’m not quite sure I understood everything, such as “Your Mind Moves Slow, But Your Body Learns Fast.” I’d like a fast mind and body, please, if that’s an option.

My view throughout the class. 

So, okay, the game of Twister wasn’t really for me, but what about the relaxing part? I think the point of yoga is that you get relaxed from bending your body into a pretzel, which wasn’t really working for me, as I got pretty stressed out from: trying to copy the moves, getting evils from Lycra Girl, and inhaling deeply and exhaling thoughtfully whilst engaging my mind.

The final 10 minutes, however, was probably my strongest area. This is the bit where you lie flat and picture the relaxation of each of your muscles. Instructor Guy slowly said each body part we needed to visualise and then repeated ‘Relax. Relax. Let Go. Let Go.’ It worked a treat, and I did dose off just a bit. However, I think I could do this bit in my bed and still have the same effect, just without the smell of other people’s feet and the complete humiliation.

Maybe I am good at yoga after all? 

I will probably go to a few more, just to see if I really am doomed for the rest of my life to be a carrot in a world of spaghetti, but I doubt I’ll be putting my foot on my head anytime soon.

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