Jonathan Schofield explores yoga’s diversity in the Big Smoke but draws the line with the naked stuff
My countryside idyll is over – for the time being. Working at my desk in my glorified shed at the bottom of the garden, close to a meandering East Anglian river, the dog curled up at my feet, has drawn to a close. I’ve been sucked back into the city; back to London; hooked in by a contract that offered a period of stability in this unstable world of freelancing. I join the throngs of stressed out commuters on a Monday morning heading into the capital where I now work in a gleaming, palatial office filled with rows of people looking intently at diagrams on huge computer screens, or huddled in little pods discussing things I couldn’t begin to understand. I stay in London for the week and re-join the weary commuters heading home on a Friday evening. It’s fine – everything is temporary.
But the big question: how and where in the big bad city would I keep up my weekly yoga sessions?
I did a quick search of classes in and around the City and a part of east London where I was born, although I can now barely recognise it in all its gentrification. The choice was overwhelming. There was Raja, Hatha, Tantra, Shaivism or Jainism; there was also Bikram, Hot, yoga for single people, yoga with your child, yoga without your child, yoga in the dark, and finally…yoga in the nude (which according to the poster ‘boosts self-esteem and banishes hang-ups’). Good enough for me I thought; but a thought that rapidly changed when I caught myself in a full-length mirror getting out of the shower in the hotel where I currently reside (I don’t have a full-length mirror in my house and now I know why). Nobody – I mean nobody – should have to see such a sight in any position. The thought of it, in even the most basic of yoga positions – let alone the Goddess pose – filled me with horror, and I can only imagine what it would do for the person behind me.
I checked to see if there was a ‘naked yoga in the dark’ class but that doesn’t seem to exist yet. Maybe I have spotted a gap in the yoga market.
So for now, until I find a suitable class that really appeals to me, I’ve decided to do my own thing: Small Room Hotel Yoga for Freelance Contract Workers (clothing optional).