Do you have a party trick? You know, that one embarrassing thing that you do when the wine’s been flowing just a bit too freely and you want to recapture your youth, or just show off a little bit? Do you have a funny thing you can do with your elbows or a weird thing you do with your eyelids?
My party trick was always that I was able to do the crab. Lie down, arms back and push up into a perfect arch. I did it at birthday parties, dinner parties and even, if my memory serves me rightly, at a wedding reception (sorry Alex).
Only last year I tried it – and my right shoulder gave way. With a thud. Not good. The approach of my 40th birthday was going to be seriously marred if my body decided it was going to give up on me before the clock had had a chance to strike midnight on my thirties.
And so it was I found myself sporting a large amount of sportswear (for this read ‘stretchy and forgiving trousers’) in the Scout Hut in Cullercoats with a long length of foam padding, a pillow and a blanket.
The last time I did yoga was when I lived in Singapore. There it was all about the enormous mirrored practice rooms, the polished wooden floors and the white fluffy towels. Our teachers were from Mumbai, Nepal and China. There was chanting, there were breathing exercises and there were an awful lot of very bendy people.
Back to Cullercoats. Cullercoats was about the rumble of the Metro train as it passed the Scout hut, the screech of seagulls and the blare of the radio from the workmen in the street outside.
And yet, when our teacher Jill had made us aware of our breath, gently stretched our muscles into life and shown us how we could reach into the space “beyond our fingertips” the noise of the Metro, the gulls and the dulcet tones of Lady Gaga from the street disappeared.
The class members smiled encouragement at each other from the strangest positions, there was a lot of laughter and a lot of stillness. A lot of ‘headspace’. Every move was demonstrated, every posture explained and it – I’m thrilled to report – worked.
Six weeks in my stomach muscles have returned. I’m sleeping better. I’ve made new friends and – yes – if you saw a strange woman lying on her back then stretching into the perfect crab somewhere during this festive season then that was me!
by Katherine Wildman © 2014
Discover how Haydn Grey can help you find the right words to promote your business at www.haydngrey.co.uk or call the office on 0191 289 3170.