I went to Yoga the other day. I figure that seeing as I now torture myself with a thrash about in the swimming pool on a regular basis now, I may as well try out all the classes that my club has to offer in the vain hope that I will walk into one and be told 'in this class, you have a nap on a mat and when you wake up you'll have the toning of Angelina Jolie and legs like Elle McPherson. I'm still waiting.
I've done Yoga on and off since I was about fifteen. My first teacher looked like Whooping Goldberg and had exactly the same voice (come to think about it, maybe she was Whoopi Goldberg), causing me to fall asleep more than once during 'relaxation'.
The teachers at Esporta seem to be less concerned with relaxation and more concerned with bending us all into impossible knots. They all have their different styles (school-marmish ballerina, relaxed Aussie chick and tough-as-nails East-End girl) and they all have their own flair and charm.
For this fateful session a few days ago, however, we had the instructor who I fundamentally do not understand. If she had to wear a label it might say 'Massive leaf-loving hippie', and she takes Yoga to places like the Tenby Haven Caravan Park (for which read: one visit per lifetime is plenty, thank you). She leads us in a flowing routine of wholesome backward bends and conditioning side twists- and then ruins it all by opening her mouth. Her accent means that everyone is concentrating extra hard on deciphering what she is saying, but by the time we've clarified the actual words it's clear that we are all on a different planet anyway as we have no idea what she is on about. Being in a session with her is what I imagine it would be like if you took a couple of tabs of LSD and sat in on a Year nine biology class.
"Now. Position your sits bones. Remove the flesh from your buttocks. Remove it. Imagine just the sits bones, making contact with the floor. Pressing into the floor. Close your eyes. Can you feel it? The bubbles. The bubbles of energy surging through your bodies. That- that is the Chi. The Chi, the life force flowing through us all. And the burning in your abs? That is the blue light telling us that our bodies are healing. Allow the blue light to course through the veins; it is cool and calming. Allow yourselves to be soothed by the blue light.
Now breathe in. When we breathe in we are inhaling energy. Breathe in more blue light. Now breathe out. When we breathe out we are exhaling tiredness. That is red. Breathe out the red light. You know why we feel tired in the day? A blockage, a blockage of Chi. The same reason we experience pain. Pain is when our Chi cannot pass through our bodies because of not enough Yin or Yang; it gets trapped. If you have muscle pain; this is because you are too Yin. The athletes, in the Olympics? They retire in their forties because they have done too much Yin movement, they have lost their balance. If you have joint pain? Like the old people? They have too much Yang. When we are teeny babies, we are Yin. Then between twenty and thirty years we are perfect balance. Then we move into Yang, and this is when our problems start.
Also a problem is our stress. Our gall bladder is our decision-making centre. If there is a blockage in our gall bladder meridian we have worry, we have stress. In this class though, we are good. We must bring light and love to the world. Rub your hands together, place them over your eyes. Feel the warmth; it brings sparkle to your eyes. Now reach out and harness the energies of the Earth; bring them into your heart. Now push up; we are pushing our light and love to the world."
You get the idea. All I can say is, I can't see any blue light (I certainly don't inhale any); I don't know who Yin is; I am certainly not 'perfectly balanced' right now and if my gall bladder is my 'decision making centre', then quite frankly we all have another reason to worry.