Dead rats, junk food and breathing with your feet

October 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 3 Comments
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So today I went to a yoga retreat. A half day of calm, relaxation and quiet reflection. I’m not a yoga bod, but I donned what I felt Geri Halliwell would wear for the occasion and off I went.

I practically floated up to the entrance, preparing myself for the aura of peace and tranquility which lay ahead. This illusion was quickly shattered as I stepped into the lobby to an overwhelming stench of rotting flesh. It appeared that the community centre venue of choice had been home to a rat which had decided it’s time was up right there in the middle of the stage. Luckily the yoga studio was upstairs. Unluckily the smell was wafting upwards and the copious amount of incense burning was not totally masking it.

I re-centred my chakwits (or something) and brought myself back to the task in hand. Ultimate relaxation. I met some of my fellow yogi’s; one quite loud and dominant lady declared that she couldn’t possibly have a blanket – she might bake. Heaven forbid. I hate to judge people quickly but she was not having a positive effect on my mood.

Sadly she didn’t stop being loud. During an admittedly bizarre nasal exercise which involved breathing in one nostril and out of the other whilst imagining a silver stream of light entering your nose and a golden ball of sun leaving it, she hollered at her neighbour who offered tissues around that she didn’t need one but that the lady in question most certainly did. Poor woman did have an awful head cold, I fear her ball of light didn’t go far.

I was starting to wonder if this was the best use of my Sunday morning. I could have organised brunch with the girls in a nice cafe. Full English and builders tea with a gossip thrown in for good measure. Instead, at break time I was drinking chamomile tea and yogi biscuits, which actually turned out just to be ginger biscuits. Ok so they were nice; big chewy bits of ginger in them. We also had fortune cookies; according to my message rose is my lucky flower. Horrified, the loud woman shrilled ‘but these are Chinese, we can’t have these at yoga!’. I’m not quite sure what her issue was here but I’d decided to blot her out as far as possible by this stage. Channelling rays of light out of my nose was going to have no benefit if this woman kept upsetting my inner self.

There was also a lovely lady playing the Hang, or Hung as she explained – a kind of steel drum shaped like two woks cupped together. That was actually very lovely. A little unnerving when she placed one of her vibrating bowl instruments on my stomach during meditation at the end, but quite nice all the same. When she arrived I asked if we’d met before, to which she replied that she was sure we had. Turns out she just reminded me of someone I worked with once but on leaving she hugged and kissed me and suggested maybe we knew each other in a previous life.

I liked the last part of the session the best. Lying quietly on my mat under my blanket on the verge of sleep. My neighbour was most certainly not on the verge, he was totally gone, snoring like a train. As much as I tried to nod off, I couldn’t help but lie there and try to calculate whether the instructor had made any money out of this little retreat. The hall hire, the tea and biscuits, the music lady. Surely not. Plus, it was nearing lunchtime and I was peckish. I’d already snaffled an extra yogi biscuit during the break but I was getting seriously hungry. All I could think about was a McDonalds – a chicken McNugget meal to be exact.

How could I contemplate junk food after half a day of cleansing – restoring my chi or whatever it is. Would all that salt and saturated fat cancel out my good work? So I made a decision; Fanta instead of Diet Coke. Lose the caffeine. It’d be fine.

It’s a shame I didn’t leave desperate to do it all over again really, because I was quite good at it – down dogs, cobra, warrior one and all that. Apart from the freestyle bits that is; I just couldn’t bring myself to venture from my mat when encouraged to move around the room, wherever my body wanted to take me. It wanted to take me to the Golden Arches. I also felt no need to sigh out loud. I think I’m just more of a dog jogger type of girl that’s all.

And no, I didn’t break wind. Nor did anyone else to be fair. Good job really, the whiff from the dead rodent was enough. I was trying hard not to breath too much at all, let alone with my feet, which our instructor suggested was possible….. might stick to something less adventurous on Sundays from now on.

Lululemon Athletica on Flickr Creative Commons



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  1. Hope you had a great time and found your inner peace x

  2. Sounds like quite a day and not very relaxing at all. Well done you for staying and giving it a go!

    • It was interested to say the least!

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