Yesterday Rebecca and I went to a new exercise class, yoga (we're on a very determined health kick here)
I did a yoga class half a life time ago and hated it, it was one of those lying down contemplating your navel type ones, which might work on a warm beach with the sound of the sea in the background, but in a grubby little room in the local community sports hall? No.
Since then I have given yoga another go, I have a very good CD that's on my MP3 player and goes on holiday everytime with me and then I do yoga every day, it stops me feeling as though I've given up on exercise for the duration of the 2 week holiday!
I've also done a fair amount of yoga on the Wii fit so I know my way around a downward dog and a sun salutation, enough that when I saw mention of a yoga class being held in Düsseldorf by an American I thought why not and signed Rebecca and myself up for it (I did ring her first and make sure she wanted to go)
The class was held in Holmes Place, a rather swanky gym on the Kö (where all the VERY posh shop are - the likes of Prada and Fendi and Chanel) but gyms have a way of removing social barriers don't you think? You can dress up your body in whatever fancy gear you want but in the gym if you don't get at least a little bit sweaty then what's the point? And in a communal changing room everyone gets to see your naked ass, and that certainly hasn't got a Fendi logo on it (unless of course you have a really tasteless tattoo!)
John who took the class is a dancer by training and now teaches yoga, so he's incredibly supple and bendy. We started off with some 'ohms' but then got stuck in to what to me will always be classic yoga, there was the triangle, the warrior pose (variant 2 apparently) the downward dog, the stork (he demo'd this first and I watched and thought to myself, 'even if I had my back to the wall to keep me upright there's no way I'm flexible enough to do that, let alone do that and balance'...you stand 'mountain strong' (feet together, pulling up the thigh muscles (name escapes me at the mo) and the glutes) then fold over at the waist, at the same time that you 'peel' one foot off the floor, then lift it up to your other knee and grasp the foot (keeping that other leg REALLY straight so that you don't wobble and fall over...) then (if you haven't already fallen over) you straighten the lifted leg (whilst holding onto it) He reckons that over time we'll work on getting the lifted, straightened leg up higher and higher, until it's in front of our face...don't think so somehow! I couldn't balance at all on my right leg, the left leg worked better, marginally!
The last exercise before the wind down was a V shape, you lie down and then simultaneously lift legs up (straight of course) to maybe a 45 degree angle and your torso, so that you form a V, you're supposed to keep your neck relaxed or maybe it was 'your throat chakra open' easier said than done I can tell you.
The wind down was the typical stuff of trying to relax your ear bones and letting everything, muscle by muscle get heavy, I tuned it out after a while and started thinking about lunch...
It was a great class, with a very good instructor, he was very attentive, making sure everyone worked within their limitations but at the same time helping us when we weren't quite getting the pose right. A lovely way to spend 90 minutes on a Sunday morning, setting me up for the day and the week ahead, shame the first couple of poses worked over my shoulder joints that were only just recovering from Frau Qual on Thursday!
On reception on the way out we spotted flyers for a new class at Holmes Place and we're half tempted to sign up (although we wont because 1) you probably have to be a member & 2) we're not that crazy) the class is called 'dance 'n strip' and the photos on the flyer are fairly provocative, wonder if it's girls only?!