After eating an incredibly dense stack of pancakes at a cafe near our flat, I went to Cocoon Yoga for a class. I had walked past their front door a couple of weeks ago, looking for ice cream, and saw they had a back class. Since I have always had dreadful posture, and since working with a computer is inimical to a healthy spine, it was a no-brainer to sign up.
The class was almost all women, because men don’t do yoga. They go to the gym and lift huge pieces of iron until the veins in their temples bulge out of their faces, and then they drink creatine and steroids and roar at one another, while flicking towels in the showers. Or something. Whereas yoga is the preserve of women in yoga pants. Well, that is what yoga pants are for, I suppose.
The first part of the class was very restful. We lay on the floor, and after a while the teacher came round and adjusted me a bit, because I’m a bit wonky (one of my shoulders is too high, and my hip is tilted the wrong way on the other side to accomodate this). As he explained, the approach of chiropractors and masseuses is to open up space in your body and separate the areas that are jamming into one another. What they don’t do is build the muscle you need to keep those spaces apart. Or strengthen your fascia. Or give you better proprioception, or anything like that.
So, after about half an hour to 45 minutes of adjusting various people (either by puling their bodies around on the ground, or when they were standing) we went through a series of iyengar yoga poses, which for all their minimalism were fairly hard to do for more than a few seconds. What I got from this is that unless you’re engaging your thighs and buttocks, your abdomen is going to sag and your back will curve and lose stability; a happy back really is built from the ground up. Although when you’re hanging off a set of metal bars and hauling yourself up by clutching a piece of rope, you notice that you really don’t have upper body strength either.
Still, this was a good class for me. I felt very relaxed afterwards, and went home to find the children both waking up, after truncated naps. THis wasn’t good for the rest of us (my wife hadn’t slept well last night, and although I was super relaxed from yoga I’d also deprived myself of a good nap, so I was a rolling mess for the rest of the day). I took La Serpiente to her swimming class, where she excelled, and I lost her water bottle twice, dropped my sunglasses in the toilet, almost forgot her booster seat to get her home in the taxi, and nearly broke a toe when I kicked the stool in the kitchen when I got home.
But in the evening we had burgers from Burger Joint, a restaurant whose unimaginative title didn’t correlate at all with the quality of the food, and we watched a nice exciting motoGP race before we went to bed. This has been a very good weekend, and I felt properly set up for next week. IT helps that we have Wednesday off, of course…