Sunday, August 24, 2008

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Before I begin this post, I must apologise for having neglected my blog in the last month. While I have been extremely busy, the main thing that has prevented me from writing has actually been the title of this post. I've had the idea for the post for at least 2 months, but haven't been able to think of a suitable title for it! It would appear that by choosing to make each post title the title of a movie or TV series, I've seriously limited my options! This post is supposed to be about my yoga class, and I have noticed a severe lack of movies entitled "10 Things I Hate About the Lotus Position" or "My Big Fat Greek Sun Salute". So, in desperation, I have opted for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", as it is at least Eastern (though Asian, and not Indian) and sounds somewhat yogic. If anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know! Now on to the actual post...

I love yoga. I've been doing it for over a year and I love the serenity of the movements, alongside the challenges of some of the postures. Plus, I have the coolest yoga teacher, who was incidentally also my matric English teacher! There are a lot of things that I am really good at - like balancing - and some things that I still haven't managed to get right, like the "Little Bird" posture (your knees balance on your elbows and you support your body weight on your hands). Classes are always interesting - and often amusing! For example, a couple of weeks ago, we had a new teacher, who was filling in while my usual teacher was away. She has just qualified as a yoga instructor, and was extremely keen to show off her abilities. As such, she manically corrected every single position we did - including "The Corpse" (lying flat on your back. How hard can it be to be a corpse? If you can sleep, you can do this!). Having repositioned all my limbs (and even my toes) for The Corpse, she proceeded to lead us in the usual end-of-class relaxation and meditation session. Yoga teachers love tell people to do mystical things, like synchronising their "inner" and "outer" breath, and breathing colours. This teacher told us to "harmonise our life currents", which almost sent me into fits of giggles (while everyone else in the class lay in their perfected Corpses, harmonising away). Oddly enough, I do believe a lot of the concepts that go along with yoga, like chakras and auras and such. It's really just the "mystical" way that yoga teachers incorporate them into classes that amuses me!

The "Little Bird" pose

Nonetheless, I am proud to announce that I have made progress with the "20 Firsts" list, because on the same night that I learnt how to harmonise my life currents, I also managed to do a shoulder stand! I was tired of doing the "easy" option at the end of the class (I usually do "The Bridge", which isn't too difficult), and so decided to give the full "Shoulder Stand" a shot. Much to my own surprise, it was actually quite easy, and I got quite comfortable, with my legs dangling above my head, in a suitably controlled, yogic way! And the rush of adrenaline (or possibly all the blood rushing to my head) was amazing!

The Shoulder Stand

I haven't quite got to the full "Head Stand" yet, but I'm working on it, one yoga class at a time. Updates will follow! Maybe I need to fully harmonise my life currents first...