I danced when I was a kid. And like most things, I was full on about it. I danced at eisteddfods, shopping centres, school fairs, and I LOVED it. I was also a cheerleader and still hold the title of ‘The Only Cheerleader That Can’t Do Cartwheels’, but that’s beside the point.
I was a dancer. I could watch a dance being put together and BAM I’d have it. It was one of my strengths, well that and rocking ice-blue eye shadow. So it came as a surprise that in my later years when I approached yoga with this same tried and tested technique that not only was it unsuccessful but met with an unjustified amount of gluten-free distain.
Yoga, by definition, is an ancient art based on a harmonising system of development for the body, mind, and spirit – which, when done in Bondi, is college talk for wearing over-priced clothes and getting out of doing grown-up things. I was excited about getting a 10 class pass and starting a blog alerting everyone to how super fancy and superior I was, so when my mate Mirrah* asked if I wanted to do a class with her at North Bondi, I sold my puppy to buy the correct attire and, much like leaving my phone at home, I felt equal parts liberated and petrified.
A very bendy man stood at the front of the class in pants worth more than my engagement ring and before I knew it we were bent in half in an attempt to lick our backs. From back licking we snapped (ahem, flowed) into some sort of leg-above -head stuff, then from there my coccyx was attempting to balance on my ear (my right ear of course, because balancing one’s coccyx on one’s left ear would ruin one’s flow and, well, just be silly).
Being thrown off by the lack of 5,6,7,8 I thought I’d revert back to what I know. I’d watch the chorey, then I’d be in business, probably be invited to the front of the class to show my moves and given a patchouli candle in celebration.
So as my fellow yogis were proving that a ribcage is purely for decoration I stood silently and watched.
As I was standing still I noticed Guru McBendy glide his way over to me. I thought “here we go, from one movement expert to another, he can see I’ve got ‘the goods'” and as I began to bend down to roll up my mat and begin my stride of pride to the front of the class, he stood directly in front of me and through coconut milk, decaf latte breath said “If you don’t know what you are doing you need to crouch down on your mat. You are putting people off by just standing there.”
Well, f–k me. I couldn’t believe it. I looked to Mirrah for support expecting a “how f–king dare he say that to you, doesn’t he know who you think you used to be” vibe, yet Mirrah had all of a sudden found her Zen, and that involved making eye contact with anything and anyone that wasn’t me. Classic Mirrah.
I like to say I don’t hold grudges, but that would be a big fat lie and I’d hold a grudge against myself for it. I do, I’m a grudge holder. But I felt the need to forgive Guru McBendy for yoga shaming me because I feel if he were privy to my creative process he may have a different approach. I mean, I danced at the Ekka for god’s sake!
*No names have been changed to protect anyone. Mirrah is her actual name, and we haven’t been to yoga together since. I’m pretty sure Guru McBendy has relocated to LA.