The quest for karma continues, with yet another set of yoga classes. I snuck into the back of a heaving local class popular for using scented oils. All great, until someone fired up a sausage BBQ behind us.
Yoga is always at the top of my list of after work exercise classes. After all, I did have about 12 years of relentless sun salutations under my belt.
Back in Calcutta, my mother signed us up to the local yoga centre. A stern lady resembling the love child of Indira Gandhi and Maggie Thatcher (God rest their souls) would give us home lessons. All I remember are the gruelling stretches and her rising blood pressure as we pleaded through every extra count for mercy.
On arriving in London, I discovered I was very much on trend. Years of yoga had already set me on the path to spiritual enlightenment. If I could do ujjayi breathing, I could pretty much do anything. Technically.
So through life’s ups and downs, my various half-hearted attempts to regain yoga supremacy this is what I have discovered about the different types of yoga in the West. From an Indian’s perspective:
- Hatha yoga: Proper yogi stuff. Wear white and be prepared to chant, stand still on one leg and sing in a strange language. Sanskrit, I think. More here
- Ashtanga yoga: If the poses don’t stretch your limits, the breathing techniques will. Wear spandex and cancel your gym membership
- Prana yoga: Not entirely sure, but I think its about meditation and controlled breathing. I did neither when I went thanks to the pounding house music straining through the exercise room’s double doors.
- Bikram yoga: This is what happens when you do yoga in the heat of summer, during a Calcutta power cut. The brainchild of a Bengali. No surprise there.
- Pregnancy yoga: Yoga to lull you into a false sense of security. It will hurt. Sorry.
Of course, I am no stranger to taking something old and giving it a new spin.
Like this mid-week Kofta Curry. I bought a pack of quality ready meatballs, sizzled up a curry sauce and let the meatballs simmer gently in them until they cooked. Not exactly the stuff from the courts of Mughal India but it tastes brilliant and is easy enough to knock up after a busy day.
Inner peace next. Om.