Day Four: Cut Price Yoga
This little guy sits on my desk, a present from an Indian friend. A symbol of good luck and prosperity. As I get ready to head off to my yoga class he caught my eye, I swore he winked and whispered to remind me of this particular gift in my life. On Mondays and Fridays I go to Pilates and on Tuesday and Wednesdays I stretch and purr to yoga. In London these are not cheap pursuits; typically a class will be upwards of £8. My four classes cost a grand total of £5 per week.
When I returned to London in September last year I was recovering from a stress fracture and both pilates and yoga were recommended. I was not hopeful that I would have the budget for the luxury of classes and was grumbling to a lively active neighbour of mine celebrate his impending pension and the perks of old age. “Why don’t you come to my Over 50’s class – it is only £1.50?” – caught in the space between the shock realisation that being over 50 I fall into a designated market niche and the disbelief that there could possibly be a class for £1.50 in Central London I allowed my pride to lead and I declined politely. However the bargain basement price jiggled away in the pocket of my mind and it didnt take long before I took my cap in hand to investigate further.
The classes are run under the auspices of Open Age, a charity that covers the boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster (London) “enabling older people, from 50 to over 100 years of age to sustain their physical and mental fitness, maintain active lifestyles and develop new and stimulating interests.” There are over 350 weekly activities from computer, language and dance classes to guitar lessons, jewelry making, manicure, massages and weekly outings. A cornucopia of offerings most of which are no more than £3 and many are free. My inner skeptic scoffed at the idea that these classes could be any good for the price expecting either sub standard teaching or teaching directed at the lowest level of fitness but to decline the free membership and check out a class or two would be to cut off my nose to spite my face.
How wrong could I have been. I have experienced 5 or 6 different teachers over the past 6 months and each one is superb; highly qualified and specifically trained to accommodate the typical vagaries of age such as hip replacements, high & low blood pressure, arthiritis and hearing problems but all levels are catered for. Perhaps it is because it is the first class that I tried but I am particularly fond of the Tuesday yoga class; I am probably the youngest at 52 but I am not the most supple, there is at one lady approaching 80 who has been practising yoga for over 40 years, another one who cant walk without a cane but embraces all the yoga postures with gusto and the help of a chair. Extra cushy mats are on hand for weary bones but play havoc with the balance poses! It is the one class that doesnt succumb to yoga gear; people in their comfy street clothes just remove their jackets and shoes, during the chilly winter many kept their hats on and one dapper gentleman just removes his tie to signal his transition to yoga mode. It has all the makings of an ensemble that just could end up in an Indie movie sometime.
My Open Age classes are routine in the fabric of my life now and without the wink from my little Laughing Buddha I could have forgotten this little piece of awe in my life.
100 Days of Awe is a playful project I set up to bring my attention to awe in my daily life. I see awe as wonder, a mixture of amazement and respect. I expect the experience of awe to be about perception shifting awareness and that demands a reframing of some sort. I am excited to see what will awe me on this journey.
Anne K. Scott is an imagination technologist, her work to teach, facilitate and deliver innovation for individuals and business. She is the creator of FindYourMojo a FREE iPHone productivity app. If you are interested in what intuitive coaching can do for you please do contact me. I support clients all over the world.