My lovely neighbour once invited my Mother and me to a yoga class. I
was thrilled, because I rarely have an opportunity to wear the
disproportionately expensive ‘Sweaty Betty’ yoga sweatpants I bought
several years ago. (Sheltering from the rain and a remarkably
persuasive salesgirl. I think I thought they came with a toned,
fat-free yoga body, so in fact seemed astonishingly reasonable).
The yoga class exceeded expectations from the beginning. They took
place in a building not more than 10mins walk from my house, but which
I had never noticed. I assume this is because my mind was on more
earthly matters, such as if it would be appropriate to wear my yoga
pants to my friend’s parents’ anniversary dinner. (Obviously I would
make them ‘fancy’ by sticking the odd diamante transfer onto them. I’m
not entirely sure where one buys diamante transfers, but had decided
to ask at a local prep school).
Entering the yoga building for the first time I was asked by the
receptionist if I’d like to purchase a season pass to the centre. I
warmly congratulated myself on my choice of yoga pants, which were
proving to be an excellent investment choice. ‘Look how well I fit in here!’ I whispered excitedly to my Mother. ‘People will probably mistake me for an instructor.’ (To be mistaken for an instructor is one of my life’s greatest goals. I very nearly bought a red ski-jacket for this very purpose. I assumed that people would be so dazzled by the comfortably recognisable red sported so proudly by all European ski instructors that they would not question why I was skiing so oddly).
‘Of course, darling,’ My Mother murmured distractedly. I looked pityingly at her rather ropey looking yoga attire, and tactfully changed the subject. Our neighbour took us upstairs to the yoga studio, and explained that we both needed our own mat. I gently dislodged my Mother from my mat, and strode purposefully to the front of the room. Unfortunately, before I could begin to instruct the class a wiry looking man started gently positioning people and handing out mats. I didn’t pay him too much attention, because I was unconvinced he wasn’t just another participant trying to complete one of his life goals. Unfortunately, the other participants were not as prudent, and had already started following his instructions. I generously joined in. ‘It is important, at this moment, to clear your mind completely,’ He told us. ‘Let your thoughts fall naturally to their deepest point.’
‘What were you thinking about, when we had to sit and think about deep things?’ I asked my Mother afterwards. ‘My nail varnish,’ She replied. ‘I’m sorry?’ I asked, bewildered. ‘Your ‘deepest point’ is ‘nail varnish’?’ My Mother smiled happily. ‘Yes, I think I might try a darker shade next week.’ I glared at her to show my disapproval for her frivolous approach to our yoga class. ‘What were you thinking about, darling?’ She asked me in reply. ‘Well, unlike you,’ I said sternly, ‘I wasn’t preoccupied with superficial fripperies. I was thinking about my ‘Sweaty Betty’ yoga pants. I’m going to buy another pair on the way home. What shade of grey do you think would be most suitable?’ Oddly, my neighbour has not invited us back to her yoga class. But I assume that’s because she’s worried that I’ll be mistaken for the teacher.