This year I have started learning yoga - 'practising' they like to call it. I go to a well-attended class on Thursday late afternoon - a break between work and home. A halt, a suspension.
When we arrive, we find a mat and bolsters and we lie in a knees akimbo style on our backs and prepare our bodies and minds for the work ahead. I fidget, I scratch. My mind races. I think about my day and what still needs to be done. I am conscious of my fat stomach. I keep my eyes closed to gain a sense of perspective and inward thinking but really what I want to do is check other people out...always curious!
And then our calm and talented teacher makes a start and for the next hour or so, she demands concentration and perfection. Who knew there were muscles there?
As the session progresses I become oblivious to the others in the room and think only of myself - what is my body doing? How is my breath helping? Can I release any tension I'm feeling?
And at the end we lie once again on our backs to relax - legs straight this time and I am still. My mind is at peace, my body too. I walk out with new found energy and a spring in my step. Pure bliss.
ps When I say I am oblivious to the others in the room that is except for the woman who invariably seems to end up right in front of me. When the instructor repeatedly says "Big toe mounds touching" why does this woman always have her feet apart? I am tempted to kick them together!