I set off from my brother's house this afternoon on the drive over the hills to my yoga session. I had said to him how I didn't know what to expect "You know what to expect, it's not fuckin' Kick Boxing!!" He's a bit abrasive.
But I was more worried about incense sticks and weird chanting - I'm really not into the esoteric side of it at all. So I was a little concerned when I saw my teacher come out of her house to meet me. Margaret must have been 70 if she was a day - but looked very spritely and was positively glowing. All of that is cool but she just had an aura of the esoteric about her.
She has an easy way with people and was absolutely lovely but I could smell the incense as we approached her studio. I think I just made my mind up about it there and then......which turned out to be a bit unfair.
She started me off in a few simple poses kneeling/sitting on blocks because my knees couldn't take it, and then steadily upped the ante to more (for me) excuriating poses. You know the type of twisted pain that actually has you laughing.
She paid a lot of attention to detail which did make a difference to my balance and where I felt the stretch. But to be honest most of the stuff wasn't that different to routines I've cooked up for myself in the past. They felt more or less the same (a pain in the wherever) except she told me to stop straining so much with them and go to my limits, but not beyond.
Towards the end of the session she did a relaxation exercise with me. She made me lay with my calves resting on a chair, and placed like a small beanbag over my eyes. She then began to talk me through my breathing and relaxing etc. It was around about this time that I realised that I was out in the middle of nowhere with a complete stranger. No one knew where I was and I was blind and kinda vulnerable to say the least!!
It occurred to me that this must have been how countless numbers of people have been unwittingly killed by old yoga teachers. She came to lay blankets over me to help me relax, but by this time I was convinced I needed to watch out for myself. I was in two minds about whether or not to kick out at her. I finished the relaxation session more switched on than I can remember for some time!!
I don't think that I shall go back - I got the same feeling about it when I did a class before, just not for me. It's miles away and a bit too pricey for me right now.
I don't feel it was a wasted trip though I got the following out of it:
There is no magic about it - a bit of attention to detail and consistency and anyone can do the basics.
Don't put yourself in the position where even an old woman could knife you and get away with it!! But do more relaxation stuff.
Man I must be getting so paranoid as I get older.