Series of 12 yoga sessions

So I got to do a series of 12 yoga sessions. I have done my share of stretching, (well maybe someone else did some of my share for me) but saw that nothing really changed in my body as I only do the stretches I like, and to be honest the idea of going to a yoga class per se has never turned me on.

I think I have been to 2 classes in my life. So here I am embarking on a series of 12 sessions with a trainee teacher, so it is a major intensive.

I am assigned to a practitioner who’s very polite actually, never laughing once at my awkwardness, but always at the jokes I made when I found myself in a position you can only really imagining Indians thinking was any good for you.

I kept asking myself “Why would anyone want do that???”

All kinds of twisties, stretchies, laying this way and that, lying on the rack for a major spine stretch (which shocked me in the vulnerability I felt), always staying within the limits of what felt OK, as long as I could still breathe!

After the first session when the practitioner she sussed out my body pretty well and then designed a program especially for me!

I was expecting to feel sore, or at least stiff, after the first few days, and almost felt a little ripped off when there was no pain at all! “Good, you’re staying within your limits” was how she described it, happy I wasn’t whingeing.

After a couple of sessions I started noticing that when I was sitting at home I felt more at ease, and when I stretched I could go into areas where before it was all dark, no go territory.

Then I realised that is one of the things about yoga.

By working the body in that way, it is like you bring light into the dark areas of the body, giving more freedom inside, in much the same way as a counselling session opens up new areas in the psyche, and the weird positions actually do do something to the general easiness in the body.

Once I got that I became (relatively) enthusiastic about it.

I also really liked the discipline of being at a certain place and time with someone there just for me and a friend who I was sharing the experience with.

I also really liked not having to get up at an ungodly hour (Has anyone ever seen god at dawn?), with the choice of 12.15 or 2 pm times available.

After the month was up I felt that it was doing something really good for me, so signed up for another month. India is finally getting to me!

Written by Mark O’Brien for the “Session of the Month’, Here & Now magazine 1999-2005

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