I lay on the floor, staring up at the skylight. Staring at one enormous bluebottle who was banging its head repeatedly against the scorching glass.
A tiny breath of air swept past me, as my yoga teacher, Karol (with-a-kay) sashayed through the organised tangle of bodies on the floor. The hem of her bright purple harem pants brushed the exposed skin on my arm. I shivered slightly. She continued with the visualisation and, dutifully, I closed my eyes.
‘Imagine yourself lying on a beach. Warm sunshine cascading onto your skin from an azure sky. Imagine the sound of the waves, the gentle susurrus they make as they crash onto the yellow sands. Imagine the salty smell of the sea as you inhale and fill your lungs deeply…’
‘Imagine the stench of your partner’s B.O. as they lie, sticky and covered in sun cream next to you, hogging all the beach towels…’ murmured Tom from his prone position next to me. I snorted, gasped and tried to turn it into a cough as Karol (with-a-kay) shot me a look equal parts venom and grave disappointment at breaking the mood.
‘Shut up,’ I hissed under my breath, glaring at him. He shrugged as best as he could, lying down and lifted his eyebrows in apology, pulling such a ridiculously contrite face that I had to cover my mouth with both hands to stop another snort erupting into the quiet room.
Composing myself, I rearranged my face into an appropriately calm and contemplative expression, and tuned back in – ‘….now, start to build your energy from your sacrum and bring it upwards into your…’
‘Bollocks,’ murmured Tom under his breath.
This time, the laugher exploded out of my chest. It felt so good to let it peal out, like a bell tolling in a church tower. I half sat up, despite the scandalised expressions on the faces of all the yummy mummies and OAPs who frequented the leisure centre on Wednesday mornings.
Karol strode over and crouched down, her usual bonhomie evaporating. ‘I don’t think you’re quite in the right head space for this class, today. Yeah?’ She said, her tanned face sour as lemon drops. ‘Maybe you need to just blow out some tension and re-join us later. Much later. Okay?’ She added. I paused, opened and closed my mouth like a fish on a line, and then gathered up my dignity, my water bottle and my sniggering best friend.
‘Come on Tom,’ I managed, and we fled outside.
‘Ahhh….’ Tom sighed contentedly, breathing out a long, lingering breath of cigarette smoke. It curled lugubriously in the still air, pausing, before it broke apart and drifted away.
‘Now this, this is relaxing,’ he said, as he brandished his lit cigarette. The plain gold band on his ring finger caught the light.
I smiled and took a swig from my bottle.
‘So, we got thrown out of yoga class,’ I said, fiddling with the clasp holding up my long, auburn hair, ‘what should we do now?’
This is a free write that I did this morning. I was feeling oddly inspired by the hot weather, and how distracting it is, how thoughts sort of ‘fall’ out of your head, and it’s hard to concentrate and be serious, even about yoga.