Yogi and The Square


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Christopher’s instinctive approach to the practice of yoga

I think I am close to becoming a Zen master. Mrs B – scoffs at this, but, poor thing, she’s still trapped in the here and now, a slave to the mundane practicalities of life, while I am definitely on a higher plane.

It was through the practice of yoga that I had my revelation. I have been going to yoga for eight weeks now, which is six weeks longer than I usually stick at a new enthusiasm. Like cycling. I can do the Up Cat, Doggy Position, Fighter Pose, Pyramid or Sphinx, I’m not sure which, Bendy Back, Toe Wiggle, Dead Swan, and many other positions. My teacher – or Swami as I like to call her – Victoria, is very pleased with how well I’m developing, especially my extraordinary ability in the relaxation area.

I should have known, of course, that I was a natural, because relaxation has always come easily to me. What I didn’t realise before was that my capacity for sitting still and doing nothing was actually my innate transcendence. I suspect with a bit of practice I will be able to do astral travel and levitation. I think this is why I can’t always do the crossword unless I’ve had a long period of meditation – for which read staring at the wall – after which I come back to the clues and find that my brain has solved them all while I wasn’t looking.

This leads me to believe that I will soon be able to transport physical objects by the power of my mind alone. Very handy when chopping wood, or pouring a glass of wine. I will work on this. In my head, of course.

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Christopher has been practicing yoga for eight weeks. This is close to becoming his longest ever hobby/sport. It’s almost become a habit. He’s getting a bit full of himself. In fact, it’s like he invented yoga.

I’ve been doing yoga for eight years.  It ought to be the answer to my issues – stressed, can’t relax, unmindful, in the next moment not the now, in a hurry, too much to do.  But in fact I often miss yoga class because I’m stressed, can’t relax…..

The ‘Negative’ committee that meets in my head tells me there’s no time for yoga. Too much to do. Then it meets again when I’ve not been and turns on me for NOT GOING TO YOGA!

Sarah's let's follow ALL the rules and get anxious, approach to yoga

Sarah’s let’s follow ALL the rules and get anxious, approach to yoga

Christopher, on the other hand, doesn’t have a ‘Negative’ committee in his head. In fact, I’m not sure there’s anything in his head at all, least of all a given command of yoga. At least I know the positions by heart, can actually name them, have a yoga mat and some stretchy yoga pants to wear.  (For the avoidance of doubt – I don’t mean I wear special knickers for yoga – they call yoga trousers, yoga PANTS – go figure?!).  I’m also considerably more bendy than Christopher. He just puts on a smelly old pair of freebie-airline pyjamas, some Velcro’d (yes, Velcro’d – gimme strength!) trainers, a T shirt with holes in, and slopes off to fall asleep the moment our fab teacher, Victoria, tells him to breathe deeply.

Victoria has noted (for which read – finds it incredibly funny) that Christopher and I are polar opposites in almost everything, including yoga. Her challenge is to get me to relax for five minutes, and to get Christopher to stay awake. She even has to limit his lying down time to avoid complete unconsciousness.

We’ve considered going together to see if we can learn from each other. But I think his snoring would drive me nuts, and my hyper-activity would do the same for him. But maybe that’s the point – we both think our way of doing things is best (it really isn’t) but yoga is good for both of us for different reasons.  Somewhere in the middle between comatose (him) and wired (me).

Our favourite dinnertime chat is to frame our own ridiculousness through the eyes of a potential TV format.   We’ve decided the two hit shows of the season would be – ‘Extreme Relaxation with Christopher Broadbent’ – slow TV for laid back, bone idle people with minds that meander like the Orinoco. And ‘Extreme To-Do Lists with Sarah Broadbent’ – for all the (much more productive) uptight, completer finishers among us. There’d be yoga at the end of each episode. Now that Bake Off is splitting in two, who knows – maybe this is our big opportunity.

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