I love hatha yoga, which means I usually have to scavenge around for a class to accommodate me. Yoga has become ubiquitous, yes, but in more athletic forms. I prize the old stretch and meditate variety.
When Jo Phillips offered to come to my house for an hour’s hatha session, I was of two minds. On the one hand, I loved that her ‘can do’ approach didn’t rule out my teeny tiny amount of floor-space for our lesson, but I was equally nervous that my ‘can’t do’ mindset might impede on my enlightenment.
As it turns out, we were both right. Jo turned up bang on time looking far more perky than I – she had cycled to me, I had just finished my morning tea. We chatted a little about my goals and how far along the yoga road I was. The more I thought about how long the yoga road is, the more daunted I became, and I thought we’d better get on with it before a downward dog became a downward spiral mentally.
Once side by side on the mats Jo had brought along, the session was immensely enjoyable. One-on-one yoga (as it traditionally ought to be practiced), allows for the teacher to tailor each move to the student and, as such, I never felt overstretched during our stretches, but was also challenged on some of the poses. Jo aims for this mix and the lesson maintained the balance throughout.
I lay during the requisite post-yoga meditation and thought how I’d like to do a session at home all over again. How easy it was to have someone knock at the door and then not need to leave the comfort of your own home at the end of the session. How delightful to have a lesson designed to iron out your muscular kinks. How wonderful… And then I saw it. The huge ball of dust hiding malevolently under my sofa. That ball of dust ruined my glow of achievement. Worse, it invited my eyes further into the recesses under the sofa, where dust balls were brewing a-plenty.
Once Jo had gone, instead of reading a book with my porridge as I had imagined all at home exercisers did, I scrabbled and sweated under the sofa. It was not zen, and I did not keep the fine balance of effort and relaxation.
While I thought Jo was a great teacher who made me feel very comfortable about huffing and puffing a deux, I am not sure at home yoga is the thing, unless you are particularly laissez faire when it comes to dust.
Thankfully, Jo is going to be teaching a weekly class just up the road. Any dust balls I see there will induce the benign smile of one who won’t be cleaning them up. Om.
Contact Jo at: firstname.lastname@example.org. An hour’s private session costs £40.