Educating Buddha

Educating Buddha

“You should try yoga”, they said. “It’ll be fun”, they said.

I arrived with much anticipation to become acquainted with the other participants of this ancient Indian practice. My mind recalled images of monks meditating at Varanasi and the Ganges in bright and colourful robes, adorned with flowers around their necks, whilst the distant sound of Tuk Tuk’s can be heard in the nearby city, delivering spices and tea to the shanty towns and street sellers. The smell of said spices, ruminating into the atmosphere, strengthened by the heat of the North Indian climate.

I was brought back to earth when I was met in the local Sport Centre by our spiritual guide….”Swami Linda”.

Was it fun? You could definitely say it was relaxing and fairly achievable on the cardio scale..once you have gotten past the smell of 75 year old camembert and an eyeful of the obligatory ‘Fat Bird’s uniform’, (leggings and a wavy top).

I had dressed myself in the only clothes that I deemed suitable for clambering around on the floor with the ‘blue rinse brigade’ , who would soon begin eying up the fresh meat….and predictably the only man in the class. (Awkward)


As I grabbed a mat, my phone vibrated and the flirting grannies soon focussed their attention to my misdemeanour, tutting away like a bunch of bingo regulars after the announcement of a ‘false call’. Before being lynched, I turned my phone off and awaited the instructions of the lesbian vegan bookshop owner – come yoga instructor for our 1st ‘pose’.

‘Breathe in” ,she said.

“Put your left leg under your right arm….”

“Put your foot on your elbow…”

“Put your little toe in your ear”

Struggling to keep up with Doris and Betty, I was turning blue…I hadn’t been told to breathe out yet and I didn’t want to get it wrong. Also It was a good job I had learned to fart silently because apart from the sound of the whale mating call on the ghetto-blaster and the odd groan from Sylvia, it was deathly quiet, and with some of the positions i was getting into, it was inevitable that any trapped air would need an escape route. In the eerie silence I had to have a good glance round every now and then to make sure there were still 18 people breathing.

As I turned to my left, I was met with Mary’s foot fungus. Clearly she hasn’t seen her feet in a few years, but you could have garnished an entire vat of spaghetti bolognese with the parmesan coming off her trotters.

On my right (I daren’t look), Joyce’s leggings were extremely fitting, and as much as she did her best to camouflage an earlier prolapse with her green oversized tabard, it wasn’t working, and it looked like she was smuggling jammy dodgers.

“Right….get into the plank position!!’, shouted Swami Linda.

Am I supposed to know this?  I think I’ll just copy Doris.

“Assume the Tree position!” – Yep, that is fairly self explanatory.

“Downward Dog!”…ok Im definitely familiar with this one, albeit self taught!

I spent a good 40 minutes getting myself into fairly awkward positions and then a further 20 minutes meditating, well in my case, having a kip. As the class ended , I made a hasty exit while the W.I continued their mother’s meeting in the cafe.

Will I be going again?   HELL YES!