Sleeping came a bit easier last night, although I still find it a little hard to nod off without the dog attempting to straddle my head and the sound of Andre in the background watching Youtube videos on his computer. Normally these are the things that annoyingly keep me awake at night. Now their absence is the reason I can’t get to sleep.
I needed to get up to pee twice in the night. I was so tired that I was, at one point I’ll admit, looking around my bedroom for anything that would do as a makeshift potty. There wasn’t anything, so I had to haul my tired arse to the bathroom both times. So when I woke this morning at what my watch said was 4:45am (actually 6:45am local time) with the cockerel crowing outside and my bladder crowing inside to be emptied again, I felt utterly drained. However, I didn’t actually feel hungry. A short while after waking I experienced those visual aura things with the zig zags that people get before they are going to get a migraine, but I resisted the urge to spoil my ‘detox’ with pain killers and just drank a load more water and the feeling passed quite quickly.
Nay was still pooing for Britain. I suggested she asked if she could avoid the beetroot juice but she was saying how it’s so good for you. I pointed out if it travels through her at such speed she might not be getting any of the nutrients and it might well be stripping other important nutrients with it on its way out without giving her time to digest. So she’s being switched onto something else today.
For yoga at 8am I wore my son, Jude’s, brown baggy harem pants. Jude looks SO cool in these, but I bought them for him on a whim and he doesn’t feel that confident wearing something that ‘different’ yet, so I knew he wouldn’t mind me borrowing them for my trip. I felt…almost cool.
Yoga this morning was with a lovely lady called Jane, who is one of those people that oozes grace, serenity and all round good egg vibes. She has dewy eyes and soft long fair hair like a Botticelli angel and she promised me her yoga class would be quite gentle. This was a big relief as I really did ache from the day before and wasn’t sure I could cope with downward dogging or anything that required my arms to function or my core to do anything but hang over the top of my knickers like risen dough.
The class was actually just what I needed. So gentle, and moves I could mostly do. The poses explained well and gentle movements from one to the other which meant we weren’t having to hold anything too long. There was time to reflect on the other people in the class. A few new faces since yesterday, most notably including beauty pageant winners ‘Miss Malta and Mr Malta’. Not a couple, but here as guests as part of their prize for their big win for being beautiful people.
Towards the end of the class, Jane had us move our mats to near the walls and lay on our backs with our butts up against the wall and legs pointing upwards. This is like an easy version of a shoulder stand for those who haven’t got functioning shoulders that time of the morning. It slows everything down circulation wise and breathing wise and takes the anxiety out of the beginning of the day. We were shown how to shift ourselves around a bit to loosen the lower back which can also get a bit tight first thing in the morning. It was lovely.
This pose doesn’t look as impressive as it felt.
As the class closed, lovely Jane did what David did yesterday and yoga-type people on Youtube comedy videos do all over the world. She pressed her palms together in a prayer pose, nodded her head and said ‘Namaste’. The rest of the class, including my sister replied instinctively with the same response..’Namaste’. My sister shot me a look of sisterly knowingness from the other side of the room, as the day before we’d had a conversation where I said I refused to say or be involved with certain words while I am here. I have already used one of them ‘detox’ far more than I ever thought I would. I have avoided ‘inflammation’ which is my second least favourite health-guru-buzzword. But I told Nay that I flat out refuse to say ‘Namaste’ even if it does mean something lovely. It’s a word from another language, so why not, when in a group of English people, say the meaning in English so we can understand? If it means ‘peace be with you’ or some such thing then say it, because otherwise it could mean, ‘My sausage is the best sausage in all the world and you can’t have some,’ for all I know. Even if you tell me what it means right now (and I know someone reading this won’t be able to resist) and even if it means something SO lovely that doesn’t translate, I am not going to say it. I feel silly saying it. It sounds silly. It looks silly. It’s a Youtube comedy video cliché and I might as well grow a hipster beard and change my name to ‘River Moonbeam Starchild’ if I’m going to start saying Namaste to people. So I said ‘Thank you’ instead. Because it was a really lovely class.
Then Jane suggested we stay in that upside down position but to cross our legs, like we sit on the floor – one of her favourite positions and surprising comfortable. It was very relaxing, until a certain feeling crept up from the depths of me. Yesterday, I mentioned the nerves about accidentally farting in a yoga class due to the positions you put your body in. Today, my body presented me with a new anxiety. If you are a man, stop reading now and skip ahead two or three paragraphs. If you are a woman, then chances are at some time of your life you may have encountered or sadly will at some point your life, certain positions that affect the female anatomy in unexpected and unfortunate ways. Some women encounter this during certain sexual positions, while others discover it whilst doing yoga or other physical activities. Yes, ladies (because no men are reading this, right?) I’m talking about the ‘fanny fart’. Or as it shall be known here on Gozo from now on, ‘The Um Zjah Zjini Exhale’.
Now, before you get visions buzzing in your head that you can’t get out without spanking your eyes, I hasten to add…I didn’t do it. It didn’t happen. But I felt like it was GOING to, and that was almost as bad. When you are trying your hardest to exude Jane-like serenity and follow all the instructions to ‘Give your body permission to relax – every part of you.’ It is near on impossible to say to all your other bodily bits and pieces to switch off, but to have to firmly tell your anus and your lady parts that they can’t play with the other kids and have to stay on high alert, maintaining perfect posture and not ‘letting go’ for one moment or before you know it, your uterine cavity has turned into a pair of extra lungs that suck in air and then exhale with the kind of musical herald that no angels would sing along to. But I managed not to do the Um Zjah Zjini Exhale despite being in the perfect position with legs akimbo and tummy muscles relaxed. I conquered the challenge. I’m doing all kinds of things I thought I couldn’t do this week.
So, laying there on my back with my legs pretzelled up against the wall, eyes closed, breathing deeply and quite close to nodding off (it’s tiring not eating food..had I mentioned that?), we were coming towards the end of the class when Jane starts bonging what I thought was a bell (turned out it’s a ringing/singing bowl thingy). My first thought was that it was like a dinner gong to wake us all up and tell us it was time for our breakfast juice, but then she kept bonging it and I wasn’t sure if we were meant to do something like ommmmm to the vibrations. Being British, I did what we Brits normally do when faced with something awkward and I totally ignored the bonging. Then Jane came and bonged right by my head, moving from one ear to the other. At this stage I didn’t know if she was bonging everyone or had singled me out to bong because I still had my eyes closed. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to get me to wake up, or if she felt I needed my chakras rebalancing more than others or what. So, I continued my totally British response and tried to completely ignore her (whilst trying to stifle giggles). I was relieved when she moved on to the person next to me on the wall and bonged them too and then each of the others. One does not like to be singled out for unexplained bongs. I should point out that at yesterday’s morning yoga class, whilst we were all meditating in silence at the end to lovely music, David, the yoga instructor of the day, started reciting a poem to us completely out of the blue with his most profound Kenneth Brannagh voice. There are certain times when I know I’m supposed to be a grownup but I have to just surpress my giggles. I wondered if everyone in the class was equally as baffled by the end of class deep poetry/ringing bowl bonging or if everyone else knew EXACTLY what to expect and it was just me laying there feeling a bit confused and very slightly embarrassed. I might have to ask a few of the other guests. It might be that they are cool with it in the same way they are cool with saying Namaste without bursting out laughing.