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Nothing Serene About Competitive Yoga...

I love yoga. I’ve been doing it for ages but I’m getting much worse at it. Not the physical bit. I can do most of the advanced poses and hang around in them for a short while, but no, it’s the mental side that’s letting me down and it goes like this:

  1. For some reason I only feel happy in the corner near a wall which necessitates getting to class early and staking a place which I know is pathetic.
  2. No amount of chanting is going to make me love my fellow yogis. There are certain girls who just send out terrible vibes - I’m probably one of them – and that becomes competitive. Almost every teacher intones at the beginning of class how this is not about seeing how much further you can go than your neighbour, but I’m sorry, it is.
  3. Clothes envy. In the good old days of yoga at work when we cleared the conference room at lunchtime and all set to this was not a problem. There was a slight amount of item 2 beadiness, but as my workplace was the Guardian, the ethic was very much negative chic and holey t-shirts and old shorts abounded. It was much more restful. But out in the world of the dedicated yoga studio, clothing counts. Top designer de nos jours is Lulu Lemon, an eye-wateringly expensive Canadian brand previously hard to find in the UK but now here. This has overtaken Sweaty Betty, and some of the tops wouldn’t look out of place on the red carpet.
  4. Accessories. These multiply by the day. Besides own mat and carrying bag, strewn around the studio are strange non-slip socks with individual toes that make the wearer look like a platypus, eyebags and little resin things to stop hands slipping.
  5. Pedicures. An obvious one seeing somebody else’s feet are usually right under your nose.

So that’s an awful lot of distractions to begin with before I even begin to assess hair highlights, engagement rings, possibility of bad fillers or total face jobs. I have done yoga in India and tried really, really hard to be at one with the universe and my fellow man, but my concentration was completely destroyed by the gunshot farts that were the local norm. So there is absolutely no hope for spiritual enlightenment for me until I learn to rise above and conquer all of the above. And you know something? I don’t really want to!


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