See, what I do on Fridays is to hang around at work, waiting for the traffic to die down and sneaking into an empty room for a cyber-class. I don’t even have a mat. Just the carpet. And my favourite yoga pants. I do a quick strip in the Ladies’ then prop up my iPad (other tablet devices are available) and get moving.
I know that lots of people go to the gym on their way home, so this isn’t exactly a discovery worthy of a Nobel Prize or owt, but it gives me a bit of a thrill – just to feel that I am committed.
Occasionally, colleagues consider that rather than being committed I should be committed, if you see what I mean.*
One Friday evening, the door of my private yoga space (actually a sound studio) was pushed open by a young girl (early twenties – young to me). I rose up from the floor, behind a desk, hair a bit mussed up, gave a rueful grin and said, “Hi!”
She clearly thought I wasn’t alone and had been involved in something… let’s say, something less innocent than yoga… An impression that the jeans strewn over a chair did little to dispel.
“Oh, I’m so, so sorry!” she stammered, beating a hasty retreat.
Another time, I was using a corridor. A mistake. I should have expected that people would use a corridor for its customary purpose: to get from A to B. I was forced into frequent explanatory communications. “Just doing a bit of yoga.”
Oh and there was the occasion when I was in a sort of partitioned off area: again, not quite as personal a studio as I might have liked. I was practicing headstand against the wall. People kept on spotting the feet and legs. Feet halfway up a wall? Not a normal sight in my office. So, unsurprisingly, they chose to investigate. More explanations. Red face even redder.
Now, I am not trying to be, how shall I put it, an exhibitionist. Why the hell would I want anyone looking at me in skin tight Lycra? My thighs are not my strongest suit. And, let’s face it, these are colleagues. The last thing you want is workmates seeing more of you than you’d choose to show them during a script meeting on a winter Wednesday morning.
But I do have a friend who, as soon as he gets in a public place, feels the call to practice. Handstands against car rental porter cabins. Headstands on the pier. Arm balances on the beach. That is a bit weird. I think. But I’m also strangely impressed.
It just goes to show that no place or time is impossible. No place or time can be written off. We can, always, we can always, practice.
*That little bit of wordplay worked far better in my mind than on the page. But, well, I offer it to you anyway.