Dubai Diaries: My tryst with yoga

DUBAI - I long for the day when I can coax my body back into a headstand


Ambica Sachin

Published: Mon 21 Jun 2021, 12:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Jun 2021, 12:49 PM

She was a friend of my mother’s. A hotshot lawyer who put the meaning into ‘If you’ve got some urgent work to be done ASAP, give it to a busy person’.

In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never seen her sit still or with a frown on her face. She’s one of the most hardworking women I was privileged to be surrounded by while growing up — if friends wanted to visit they had to do it post 10:30pm after she had finished her official work, met with clients and was done with her housework.

So during one summer vacation while I was lazing around at home, when she suggested to my parents that I attend yoga classes with her, my initial response was ‘why ever would or should I.’

In my defense all I can say is that it was an indolent time of my youth where I derived much more fun matching steps with a still youthful Jane Fonda and yoga was dismissed as a practice best suited for those who had chosen to hit the pause button on their life.

Who had the time to sit still and breathe in, with eyes closed, no less, when there was so much to do and read and take in around us?

But then I fell prey to the ‘parents know best’ dictum and soon was browbeaten into joining the yoga class.

While my mother’s friend wowed everyone with her wit and her agile frame, for me admittedly it took a bit of time to find my feet.

With a chronic back issue that had recently flared up, as you can imagine I wasn’t one to take flexing my muscles for granted. I had to be coaxed or as the yoga instructor found out, spoken to pretty severely to twist my body in till then unimaginable postures.

At one point the ‘bullying’ was so bad I even harboured dreams of not turning up for the sessions anymore. But better sense prevailed.

So I laboured day after day until D-day finally dawned and I could easily do a headstand to my own astonishment and my instructor’s cool and collected ‘I told you so’ demeanor.

But there’s nothing as lonely as practicing yoga on your own and soon I left my flexible body behind to ease into a carefree lifestyle.

Fast forward a few decades later and while my sporadic early morning sun salutations admittedly keep me grounded, unlike my partner who’s a life long devotee of the practice, I have my ups and downs.

But there is not a single day that goes by when I don’t tell my recalcitrant body that we will renew my age-old relationship with yoga — this time forever.

Perhaps as homage to my dad who to this day hasn’t lost hope that he can steer his reluctant daughter into a holistic way of life, today might be a good day to bend and flex and contort my body into a sun salutation.

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