Get Active: Hardcore holds stretch strength at Barking Boathouse
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 August 2015
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s hippies.
I’ve no time for scented candles, chime-driven music and talk of feeling “centred”.
So I was less than enthused when I arrived at yoga to be told by coach Benita Glogowska that I’d spend my Saturday morning “opening up my heart” in a Vinyasa session focusing on chest-stretching.
But that was easy to accept compared with being told I was “massaging my internal organs” and “finding more space in my body” without realising.
I maintain both these feats are difficult due to a little thing called physics – but nowhere near as difficult as stopping myself from shaking while attempting to perform holds and stretches that Benita demonstrated while floating calm instructions my way.
And as I struggled to bend an extended leg diagonally across my core like a human accordian, it dawned on me how different this intense exercise was from its peaceful image.
True, you’ll probably feel calmer afterwards – but that’s likely to be because you’ve expounded all of your energy on cultivating core strength to a devastating degree.
Talking to a more experienced stretcher after the class, I was told I’d actually done quite well for my first time.
When I told him I was aching and planned to grab a beer as quickly as possible to ease the pain, he looked dismayed.
“Beer?” he said. “That’s not very Zen.”
After a quick Google, I found out Zen is a Buddhist tradition that teaches the personal expression of Buddhist insight in everyday life for the benefit of others.
From what I can remember of the rest of my day, I’m pretty sure I didn’t pass on much of this sort of insight so maybe my bendy buddy had a point about that first pint.
But it definitely made me feel more “centred”.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.