Tuesday, April 28, 2009
At the beginning of yoga
I brought up the subject of Bette Calman the yoga 'supergran' with my husband the other day. His response was that if he had had 50 years to practise he would also be that flexible! I love it and guess who now has a new challenge. For a change it isn't me, it's him. But I'll be supportive.
Over Easter I acquired a new book for my collection. Well, I should use the term 'new' loosely in this case, with its yellow stains, dog eared corners and pages that have come away from their binding. But the book has I story that I can only guess at. It's a second edition little paper back called 'Yoga Postures' by James Hewitt. Interestingly this 1982 edition was only authorised for sale in India, Ceylon, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Korea. Now that sounds like a list of places I would love to visit!
Apart from the cute black and white illustrations what struck me was the introduction. The author speaks of how the average Westerner is "lamentably out of touch with his muscles and joints, which have stiffened up and lost tone and elasticity". So, not much has changed in the last 25 years. He also goes on to speak about how yoga practise, unlike martial arts for example is rewarding at every level regardless of skill and suppleness, perhaps even being the most useful for beginners. That's a positive way of looking at it, because sometimes trying a new posture where you feel stupid and awkward can make you not want to try again. And yet, when you feel that way you stand to gain the most. I will remind my husband as he is starts his 50 years of practise!