Endured my first-ever yoga lesson today — and it was “hot yoga” too! Armed with the story of how a friend once slipped in a puddle of someone else’s sweat during one of these sessions, I went in with no other thought but to listen, obey and keep to one side. The room wasn’t overbearingly hot, but the yoga was definitely kinda stretchy! It seemed like all the moves you often catch glimpses of here and there were paraded out.
The only part that made me squirm was the decidedly religious “ommmmm” (three of ’em — why?) at the start of the lesson (I just went “mmmmm”). I was in a right sweat at the end of things, but in a good way. And rather dehydrated (cold Pocari is one of life’s little pleasures) — was that why visions of my trip to India started flitting across my mind? I also felt terribly giggly when the teacher said “namaste”. And that was that.
Next, I’m trying power yoga and hatha yoga. Dunno what they are. I might actually sign up for a package, and thus end up actually fulfilling something I’d intended to do in Hong Kong from the start. Anyway, this has reminded me about how experiencing a new system (whether a regime of exercise or a school of thought) can be such a trying experience. I can practically feel the earth moving under my feet. But we soldier on, unless we don’t.
Now here’s something to buzz up your brain, if the preceding paragraphs got you drowsy:
I’m reading a book on Al Jazeera by Hugh Miles, a British journalist. Have not finished it, but am ready to recommend it highly. Hey, did you know you can get a fuzzy version of the channel here (RealPlayer required, no Arabic needed)? Are you ready for other opinions? I think I was convinced of the channel’s quality when I witnessed a group interview on ASEAN democracy which included, among other regional voices, Kishore Mahbubani, a newspaper editor from Thailand and Anwar Ibrahim.
What I’m getting from Miles’s book halfway through is that, instead of being a biased mouthpiece for extremists and whatnot, the channel has actually been a great force for freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Entertaining, informative, mind-expanding stuff (whither and how deep the author’s own bias lies remains to be discerned).