Do any of you remember when you were very young and your parents had taken you out for the day to visit friends or relatives a long way off, and because you were going to be very late home they got you ready for bed before you set off for the long return journey? That moment when you got home, fast asleep, and mum or dad lifted you out of the car and carried you into the house. The shock as the cold air woke you with a sudden start, the feeling that you would never get back to sleep only to slip peacefully into the arms of slumber the moment your head touched the pillow! Well that is how my return to yoga practise this week felt after several months away from it. Rather dramatic I know but it’s the only analogy that came to mind. The first session back was a rude awakening for my achy body and rather hectic overworked mind but soon the familiar rhythms and soothing, flowing poses and breathing techniques began to work their magic and I felt a certain lightness of spirit that had been missing from my life for some time.
My descent from being a rather well disciplined student of yoga to a tardy pupil who started playing hooky and then found that she couldn’t stop was a sad time for me. I don’t really know why it happened – I made many excuses but I knew that was what they were, just excuses. Well, like Saul on the road to Damascus I had an epiphany and decided to get a grip and take back control of my life! Yoga here I come!!
I strolled into the class about 10 minutes before it was due to start, hoping that I would be one of the first in but no, the room was almost full and all heads turned towards me as I pushed open the door. A lot of faces I recognised and a smattering of new ones but as with all people who practise yoga, they were friendly and welcoming. I tried to smile as my family tell me I only have two expressions, ferocious or happy and ferocious is not very yogic, so I set my face into a rictus grin and chirruped my hellos. Yoga students, as with most people, are creatures of habit and generally like to occupy the same spot in the room for each session so my quandary was how to avoid nicking someone’s spot! I unrolled my mat, trying to look and act as though I was serenity itself, sat cross-legged, closed my eyes and focussed on my inner self, thankful that I had made it that far.
The session started and for the next 90 minutes I was blissfully unaware of the rest of the world outside our little studio. I forgot about the day’s work and what I hadn’t been able to achieve, the pile of ironing, the house that looks as though it has taken a direct hit. The 101 other things that I would really like to get done, sorted out, filed, thrown out or recycled. Yoga is like that, it takes you outside yourself and helps to free your mind up and de-stress your body. On the 10-minute drive home after class I found that I was singing and smiling rather inanely it has to be said, but I felt happy and slightly giddy. I think I actually felt rather proud of myself!