I have a dysfunctional relationship with yoga. A recent class took the biscuit. You see, it’s just not that into me. Feel the breath. Allow the breath to become more fluid. Let your thoughts come and go. I should have been relaxing, I should have been baring all monkey thoughts but what breath?! I had stopped breathing 10 mins into the class. I think I like it, I know I am the better for doing it, I do get something from it. There is that feeling coming away from a class of being a bit lighter mentally and physically, like my muscles have been put through a 1400 spin and my brain has been exorcised. But I’m just not that good at it and I’m not convinced I like the people who do yoga either, even though albeit inconsistently, from time to time, I am one of them. Go figure. Perhaps it is that sub-conscious competitive part in me. Everyone else is better at it. And perhaps it is because I admire those who have the discipline to work at it and improve. They have a handle on their asanas, whilst mine are the yoga equivalent of Future Islands lead singer’s dad dance. Some people are just bendy. I’m stiff as a plank, not bendy at all. In one particular posture I sit with my legs spread apart. The idea is to bend from the hip, reach down with your hands along our inner legs to grab your toes, all the while breathing. I resemble a door that has something jammed in its hinges. I can go no further. The lady beside me has folded herself over, now lying with her cheek on the ground, all the while chewing gum. I’d swear she has WD40 IV’d into her hips. How dare she be so bendy! Maybe I’ll excel at the balancing postures? Nope, cannot master those either. I stare unfocused, unstably, at something ahead of me, not really sure as I have forgotten to wear my lenses. I can’t see the instructor either so I’m left looking around me as if I have a nervous tick to see what the others are doing. They are all in the moment, eyes closed, doing that breathing malarkey. There are accouterments like straps, blocks, foam cushions, like raw materials for a Mary-Make-&-Do adult class. Whatever extra tools are available I’m using them. Now we’re trying the splits. Saints preserve us. Blocks stacked high either side of me, I’m leaning on two Jenga piles to make but a mere triangle with my legs. Chewing gum lady is horizontal, just chilling, legs 180°. I need more blocks and announce to the instructor we’re going to need a bigger boat! Smelly guy to my right is laughing his arse off at me and falls out of his asana. Into another posture now and we’re using straps wrapped around the soles of our feet, to encourage the leg to drop to the side. It’s cosy, we’re packed to the rafters, just a little too close for comfort. As my leg drops I struggle to keep it from falling uncontrollably to the right in which case it will crash land and destroy the jewels of the guy beside me. My red face in contortions, concentration all over the shop, my pranayama is all gone a bit Pete Tong with futile attempts to stifle a menacing prevailing wind from the spicy chicken I had earlier. The only thing that has had a work out are my glutes with ferocious clenching, and my forehead from frowning. I hear the sounds of music and craic waft in through the windows from the pub across the road, drowning out the plinky planky yoga tunes. Maybe that’s where my true asanas lie.