Friday, May 26, 2006

You are old, father William...

...the young man said
And your hair has become very white
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right? *

My first ever yoga teacher, thirty years ago at Oxford, was a guy called Kofi. It seems he became a big teacher in the world of Iyengar yoga. He was very keen on Shoulder Stand and Head Stand so early on I got used to being inverted for long periods of time.

Last week the teacher at Esporta got us to do the head stand. She was saying things like "this is difficult but give it a go" and "use the wall to help steady yourself". I just plonked my head on the floor, fingers interlocked behind the head, straightened the legs, lifted gracefully into a free-standing posture and "how long do you want me here?". But pride comes before a fall...

This week we did the Pigeon [see Google images for pictures of the Pigeon posture]. I may be able to put my hand flat on the floor in a forward bend but in reverse my spine has the flexibility of an oak plank! The hip joints were no help either. As soon as I tried to lift my hands off the floor over I toppled.

H-m-m, more practice needed methinks!

* You are old, Father William by Lewis Carroll


Ballpoint Wren said...

No matter about the Pigeon Posture as that will come in time. But you have my complete and total admiration for the headstand.

paris parfait said...

Well you deserve credit for trying! To do any of those yoga poses takes some practice - and no, I don't do yoga, but have been urged repeatedly to do so. I just can't bring myself to take a class with a bunch of stick-thin French people! :) Too intimidating, especially to be humiliated in another language.