Do you enjoy sweating profusely while in the company of total strangers? Me neither. I decided, all the same, to channel my inner Sting and go along to my first yoga class anyway.
Rolled up bit of carpet underlay, check. Shorts that are slightly too tight for me, check. I was finally ready to venture into the terrifying world of yoga. I expected a room full of Gisele BŁndchen lookalikes in painted-on Lycra. I was both disappointed and slightly relieved to instead find a room full of regular people much like myself. Well not exactly like me. Everyone is different after all but they were a good bunch all the same.
I have bravely ventured along to a few different fitness classes in my time. This one was very different.The sadomasochistic spin classes that I went to allowed me to find out very little about anyone else in the class. Well, other than the instructor's name was Stevie and he enjoyed hurting people. At the Om Club I instantly felt relaxed and welcomed. As I sauntered into the venue, fellow yoginis lounged around drinking tea and chatting. A more varied mix of people I could not have hoped for. Every stereotype I had created in my mind immediately drifted out of the window on a cloud of delightful smelling incense. There were other men in attendance. Real men. Barry the 50-something ponytailed hippie builder was more than happy to introduce me to the rest of the groovy gang.
The more advanced students about to be put through their paces.
It wasn't long before the yoga instructor Amber called us all over to get started. People wandered over with their cups of tea as they nibbled on ethnic snacks. I turned up for the beginners class as I thought this would best suit my limited range of motion. Leaning over to pick up my phone as a strange wheezing noise emanates from my throat is about as bendy as I normally get. The instructor made everything so simple to follow. I could do everything! I instantly felt at one with the universe. I also felt a little foolish for being too scared to go along to a class in the past.
The class finished with an incredibly relaxing and peaceful meditation. I was invited to stay on for the intermediate group. It is the same price after all, $12 for up to two hours of yoga. Plus you get as much herbal tea and chit chat as you can handle. Sadly I had other adventures to attend to. Just under half of the beginners class of 18 stayed for the intermediate session, so they must be onto something.
As I was sauntering back out of the class (walking on my hands and feet in a crab style) I was called back. Was I about to be asked to replace my old off cut of carpet with a proper yoga mat? Luckily no. I should have known they were too friendly a bunch to mention my bohemian style. I hadn't put a wish in the serotonin jar. A large glass receptacle at the front of the class that people use to send wishes into the universe. I hurried back over and scribbled down my wish on a tiny square of purple paper. More yoga please.