I have a problem with reconciling a yogic outlook with life in London. I generally find the chasm between the overcrowded and unpleasant journey to the spiritual centres which have been cropping up all over town and the atmosphere in said centres a little large to bridge.
The problem is the teachers. They either want you to focus on your breathing, or on your ‘chi’, or something else equally unfathomable to me. The final lot of teachers, which I really struggle with, is those who advocate group meditation for what seems like hours just before the end of the class.
The reason I take umbrage with this last lot of yoga teachers is because I stumble out of the room filled with calm and goodwill towards fellow humans, and then am elbowed in the changing room, ushered through the exit and hustled on the tube. No, I was done with all that mumbo jumbo and traded my yoga membership for a gym pass instead. At least in the gym the purpose was to hurry to excess and work up a sweat while listening to angry hip hop – it seemed more honest, more quintessentially what London is about.
That was all, of course, until I attended a private yoga session with Chris James, the renowned yoga instructor. As you can imagine, given my earlier diatribe, the word ‘renowned’ filled me with more than a little trepidation. This was only augmented when I saw that he has featured in quite a few glossy magazines and newspapers as, dare I whisper it, a guru. That’s right, the sort of person who would expect a level of fitness I didn’t have to offer and would force me to wind myself into strange shapes never to walk straight again.
To read more (and find out if we made it through the session) please visit here on The Arbutarian.