Skip to main content


I yoga.
Can one dabble at being mystic and zen?

I was not entirely sure that I have the discipline to practice Yoga. My problem is, I tend to babble when challenged (and I am severely challenged at yoga) Also I don't do peaceful, quiet and calm well. Manic and moody is more my steam.

But I do like trying new things.
So I joined the group of people with their yoga mats and their quiet calm feeling like the elephant in the room.

I started off on the wrong foot (excuse the pun) with our instructor.I got a stern look for disturbing the peace and was harshly shushed.(Quite enjoyed that)

Being peaceful, calm and in a meditative state felt oddly peculiar, like I was at odds with my body. My mind was curious as to why I was suddenly in repose? Why deliberate breathing was entirely necessary when I had been happy breathing unconsciously all along?
Lying on my back with my feet in the air or thrusting my pelvis up; my body curved like a bow, seemed more fitting somehow to the boudoir than  to a crowded studio.

At one stage I was rolling around on the floor like a break dancer skilled in the art of back spins and had a woman bending me over like a pretzel. I even had cause to wonder how my right arm and my left leg ended up intertwined behind my back at one stage, struggling to disengage!

Needless to say, I was like a fish out of water, flapping inelegantly about, not at all fluid, or poetic in my motion. At one stage I caught a glance at my posture in the mirror and I was well impressed. I grinned, "I can do this!"

Challenge accepted, yoga lady!

One-and-a-half hours later I was at it like a semi-pro, I even ended up doing something I hadn't done for 30 years...

And all this while taking conscious breaths:
"Hiss! I want you to hear your breath when you exhale," we were instructed, not so gently by our abrupt, slightly cynical yoga instructor, tired of seeing a constant stream of beginners looking for nirvana passing through her doors.
I hissed loudly, hopefully making up for my earlier lapse in yoga etiquette.
I actually beamed like a two year old when I eventually extracted small praise from the master: "Well done!" she said, stretching my legs even higher up against the wall, while I was doing a particularly jittery hand stand.

She called us "Yogi's!" and after nearly two hours of stretching and bending and breathing and bowing... I felt like I finally earned the name. Sounded like a term of endearment to me coming from a  woman skilled in the art of yoga and tough love.

We ended off at rest, casting our "baggage" out along with each breath, I felt lighter than I had in years.
And for the first time in months, I slept like a baby.

At the end of the class, she plonked herself down next to me on the bench while we were all getting ready to go our separate ways.
"We should all just go to Spain in the winter, just pack our bags and go!" said the woman I had just met 2 hours before.
"Yes," I agreed, "we should just do it!"
She was just making conversation, but I meant it.

I'm not sure she realized who she was preaching to... I would probably be the first one on that flight to Spain, with only a carry-on bag, and my old baggage left far behind,  heading in search of the sun in Ibiza.

Popular posts from this blog

Right here, Right now.

The wind whistles & howls, shaking up Cape Town ; waking her weary chidren.

Dazed I wake up for a second time, opening heavy lids to find that Monday had dawned softly. Ribbons of red are slowly beginning to caress the darkness as I stretch out lazy like a cat, lying in the middle of the kingsize bed, my thick winter frame engulfed by fleecy bedding the colour of candy floss.
"Sweet!" I utter out loud to an already empty house as soft light filters in through aluminium blinds making stripes like tattoos on my pale skin.
I should get up, but I am perplexed by the day which stretches ahead of me demanding nothing!
I'm at odds, not used to so much time on my hands, "busy" being my usual setting.

I'm beginning to like this new reality.
The ticking clock by my bedside sets a steady rhythm, as all around me the world is on the go, moving in circles. It's as if the world's forgotten about this one, tiny space. In my cocoon I groggily sit up, twisting m…


Furrows deep and pronounced line my brow. I contemplate them,  willing them away, stroking them gently, each stroke meant to iron them out. I am their canvas, they are my storylines.

I seize my ironing, and listen to their tales.
I feel the cold to my bones!

Not the usual Cape Town cold I grew up with in the Southern Suburbs, but an iciness matching any day spent in Tewkesbury more than a decade ago in the UK.  The kind of cold that requires down feather jackets and knee-high fake fur boots.  The kind of cold that leaves sleet on windshields, and soup pots full.
Central heating!Pah! Our homes in Cape Town are ill-equipped for this kinda torture!
I hug my hot water bottle to me like a long lost lover, it's squishy, and pot-bellied and jiggles when I squeeze it. Raising the white mug to my lips, I slurp the almost scalding coffee quickly. My fifth cuppa and it's only 10:42am. Two bars glow bright orange at me. Mikey hogs the heater, and Georgie sits on top of the TV cabinet like a …

The Road to Al Dhaid

I wake up from a deep sleep, startled by silence and a bed devoid of him. I lay spread eagled, entangled in white cotton sheet, a sense of solitude overwhelming me as soon as I open my eyes.

The desert heat clings to my body while a pale moon tries it's best to break through thick, brown silky drapes. I drag myself up, feeling a twinge in my lower back and pull the clawing nightdress down thick hips and thighs.
Middle age bringing unwelcome changes.

My feet hit lukewarm tiles as I stumble the short distance to the window, hanking the brown open to reveal the the mosque the colour of sand.  In the distance it's soft lights are alluring against a dark sky.
The call to prayer begins as I stand silently staring out at University City Road. No screeching tyres, honking horns, or irate drivers to disturb the peace. Only an ocassional early morning traveller making his way along the quiet streets of sleepy Sharjah.
The adhan is soothing and I am instantly alert, a sense of urgency gu…