This is a land of well-used chainsaws and dented pick up trucks.
I never expected to go to yoga class here.
But I do. Every Friday morning. Ten minutes down the road to Anne’s place.
Best yoga class ever.
I am no expert, mind you. I used to go to lunch hour yoga in the city. The instructor was nice enough and she could chant “relax” 27 different ways. The place was packed with stressed out civil servants, business men recovering from heart attacks and divorcees. I learned a Downward Dog from a Sun Salutation. I liked it. But I could never bring myself to spend $150 on a pair of those uber-cool Lululemon pants. Even if they do make a certain posterior part of the anatomy look awesome.
It’s different here.
First of all, the road in to Anne’s house is very narrow. The residents have put up a 5kmh speed limit. They aren’t kidding. Slows you right down.
There’s no registration. It just seems to work out in that yoga sort of way. Some weeks,the young woman who helps run the engine repair shop comes. You can usually count on the ebullient and very flexible grandma from Snow Lake. Then there’s the lady who runs a virtual executive assistant business up the hill.
You walk into a living room with 20 foot vaulted ceilings and a view of the lake that reminds you why you live in the country. Jesse,the black lab comes to say hello. You leave your money on the dining room table and put your mat down by the wood stove. Hot yoga. Rural style.
The instructor drives in from Bancroft. She took one of those extreme winter driving courses and has a bit of a lead foot. Class always starts on time.
She’s got a giggle that explodes into a belly laugh. And there’s always something to laugh about. But she’s on a mission. In the city we might have been cajoled to relax – here the directive is “abs up….up…up.. hold it.” I have to admit that at least once a class I look at that grandfather clock wondering how much longer we have to go. This is usually around the time Jesse the Lab starts to snore. And I get right back in it.
She wants us stretch. To build those small muscles in our rib cage and in our ankles. Places you don’t always think about. But a practice to prevent you from seizing up.
Yoga instructors often say to concentrate on a point in the middle distance when you are trying to balance. And I swear, there is something about focussing on a birch tree across a lake that makes it easy to balance for a very long time.
I still don’t have those fancy yoga pants. Up here I use a pair of black Stanfield’s waffle weave long johns. No one seems to notice. Or they are too kind to say anything.
Namaste. Or as we might say up here — Na Moose Stay.