Rise, Warrior

Body balance class: a mixture of tai chi, yoga and pilates. I’m envisioning finding my zen in the middle of crazy busy daily life.
Warning: I may not have fully embraced the spiritual side yet. My heart space needs some renovation, but it’s in the right place.

Thoughts which go through your head when you’re meant to be clearing it:

1/ Firstly, as I stand on one leg, the other wrapped haphazardly around it, my elbows entwined, the backs of my hands blatantly ignoring the instructor’s directions by being nowhere near each other and looking more like I’m trying to escape from an invisible strait jacket…How the f*ck is this meant to resemble an eagle?!

2/ I don’t even know what this pose is called, but my knee absolutely does not bend that way.

3/ Ooh, swan pose. I like you.

4/ There has never been such a graceless mermaid in all the seven seas. On any world. In any universe. I’m putting my elbow where now?! Nope. Sneak back into swan pose and wait it out.

5/ I can only assume, ‘explore the pose’ is actually some sort of secret code. So far I’ve determined it means, ‘try to keep breathing while simultaneously attempting to dislocate your own hips/ribcage.’ Further investigation may be needed.

Unsurprisingly, I found my comfort in the relaxation section at the end of the class. No sooner had the words ‘start to get comfortable’ left the instructor’s mouth, than I was stretched out on my back, arms straight out to the sides, one foot tucked under the opposite knee…just think gunshot victim in every crime drama you’ve ever seen. By the time she says ‘ and close your eyes’, my limbs are lifeless and I’m halfway to the Land of Nod. The only fly in this ointment is the tinny inanity of Rita bleeding Ora coming from one of the other studios.

Despite this, and the terrifying instruction of imagining your smile filling the room – when my mind created my gurning chops stretched like a banner from corner to corner – I was incredibly relaxed, and virtuously achey by the end of the class. I may never conquer the mermaid (there’s a sentence you don’t write every day) but the balance exercises made me feel strong, centred, and challenged. Not bad for a Tuesday night.


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