At the beginning of every class, be it yoga or Pilates, the teacher asks a simple question, which allures the medical confessions of everyone in the room.
There are a few who shyly raise their hands as we all pluck up our ears to hear whats restricting that person from the “salute the sun” pose soon to come. “Slipped disc in recovery” confesses one, “lower back pain” says another.. “asthma”. Of course this personal invasion is exciting for a brief moment until we fall back into the unbearable silence.
For reasons beyond me the atmosphere at the start of all these classes is tense. How is it that you have a room of 15 people and no one utters a word to each other. I’d like to say its respect, but I think that’s casually fluffing away the reality of the situation. We all become totally socially retarded, as though we’re in a library or a funeral parlour. Perhaps I’m being a little over sensitive, perhaps the silence is the thing that makes my skin crawl. AWKWARD. No music, no voices, no movement. A slice of hell on earth.
This particular yoga class was an introduction. 4 hours worth. I might as well tell you now that it was so relaxing I dosed off momentarily. The stretches were hard work and the teacher hilarious: “You don’t expect a tomatoe plant to just grow when you plant it. It takes time. Your hamstrings are the same. You haven’t nurtured them, they’re doing their best.”
And then some.
A friend told me that yoga is an excellent way to escape. It’s an art that helps you get away from stress: breathing techniques, diet, lifestyle improvement. But what if you fall asleep? What if you haven’t got the mental capacity to tap into it?
Not one to just let things go, there are more yoga classes to try and I’m keen to figure out the fuss. For now though Pilates is working and I can feel my body reacting to the classes in an invigorating way even days later. I don’t fall asleep.
Does yoga work for you? And if so…why?