Day six of what is possibly my life changing attempt to try something new each day, but I still feel a little guilty about yesterday’s snooze until 11.40am. I’m never going to change my life just lying in bed all day, although I’m not sure I am actually setting out to change my life at the moment I guess I’m just seeing what happens over the next year.
I’ve always loved being in bed, in fact most of my twenties was spent sleeping – a decade happily snoozed away. So, in order to get me out of bed I sign up to my friend Lucy’s yoga class in the City of London at 7.15am. In order to be on time I have to wake at 6am. I imagine all the friends of mine that are young parents (for the record I don’t have a child although I guess that’s obvious) will read this and think “6am? Big deal! Come try this bloody baby business for awhile”.
A lot of my friends who are in their early thirties are now starting to have babies. I imagine to my grandparents thirty seems like a late age to have a child, but I guess we are a generation of late starters. I personally don’t have a current desire to procreate although I’m very aware that if I don’t then I will kill my Family Tree. I’m an only child (again I guess that’s obvious) and as far as I’m aware there’s nobody else to continue the family name so I do feel a slight sense of responsibility, but for now I’m secretly enjoying the idea of a chart showing years’ worth of family history leading all the way to just me. As I don’t have a baby, and I could add that in the order of new things to try (I’ll put it in pencil on the list rather than in pen), getting up at 6am was quiet a task.
During the night I had dream that I’m running late for Yoga and when I arrive the class has finished. My friend Lucy, whilst stepping into an old style lift, says “Typical Neil, just what I was expecting”. She closes the gate to the old style lift (a bit like the one Tim Curry comes down in in the film Rocky Horror Picture Show) and I watch her disappear as the lift descends. The exact symbolic meaning of this dream I’m not sure, perhaps I’ll ring my old Psychic friend Margret although I’m not certain she does dream analysis, but I’m fairly sure it meant I was going to be late. I woke up at 6am so convinced by the dream that I nearly went back to sleep and admittedly felt contend that I’d missed having to workout at stupid-o-clock. When I realised it was all a dream, I ran out of the front door and left the house; this time in proper clothes rather than just a dressing gown.
When I arrive at the Yoga Centre I’m greeted with a nice looking studio and classic yogi chilled vibes playing in the background. I must confess at this point I have done Yoga before so this is not completely new to me, however this the first time I’ve done my friends class at seven in the morning.
I’ve been to Yoga twice before. The first time was when I was in India – I’m aware how middle-class I once again sound and also that the phrase “When I was I India” my make many people want to punch me in my clichéd face. The second time I tried Yoga was in London when I decided it was time to get fit, but if I’m honest with myself I was only really going because I fancied the teacher. Looking back I’m not too sure any woman would be impressed with the sight of me sweating whilst trying to put my leg behind my head.
The times I have done Yoga before we’ve just been given a Yoga mat to use and nothing else. This time we are told to collect from the side of the room a mat, a blanket, a sausage shaped cushion and a strap – all tools which are traditionally used to commit someone to a mental institute. This was different to what I’d done before so the nerves creeped in once again.
As the class/practice/session starts I’m not really listening to the instructions instead I’m just stuck in my head thinking “I hope nobody else is judging me”. I should have listened to the instructions because the instructions were to get out of your head and concentrate on your body and breathing. As the practice/class/session continues I actually get into, only occasionally have to glimpse to the person next to me to see if I’m doing it right. I hope the person next to me wasn’t also glimpsing at me for help otherwise we both got it wrong.
The highlight of the session/practice/class is at the end when we lie on our backs covered with the blanket and the sausage-cushion under our heads. We close our eyes and RELAX. There’s music playing that reminds me of ‘when I was in India’. We are told to let our minds go. I’ll be honest I got a bit carried away. I imagined I was floating freely in space in my dressing gown looking down on the beautiful planet Earth slowly rotating, everything peaceful and calm. It seems I’d become a slave to the hippy yogi vibes…and I was quite happy about it.
I felt slightly dissatisfied with my day’s task as technically it wasn’t something I have never done before (the whole point of this). To make up for it Lucy took me to a nearby coffee shop where she introduced me to a drink I’ve never had; something new. It was a Matcha Latte, which is basically a coffee with powdered green tea in it. I took a sip and thought it tasted quite nice and then said goodbye to my lovely friend. As I walked back towards home I took a couple more sips of my drink and thought to myself “No, actually this tastes of shit”.
At the end of Yoga, Lucy said to the class the following words:
May our practice help us to be kinder
more truthful beings
and may we go out into the world
and teach peace by example
…so this is me doing as instructed.