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‘It’s hard to “teach from the heart” when I’m sniggering about what my students look like with their bums in the air’

The typical image of a yoga teacher is a vegan, teetotal Buddhist, but I’m partial to a kebab after the pub. I’m also supposed to be a “conduit for healing”, but my mind is often anywhere but my class. I’m usually picturing the ice-cream I’m going to devour when I get home. I struggle with the po-faced earnestness of my role: it’s hard to “teach from the heart” when I’m sniggering about what they all look like with their bums in the air. Sometimes I ask them to go into particularly amusing positions, such as the camel and the lion, just for my own entertainment.

My students aren’t much better: they squabble about their favourite spots and compare each other’s outfits like a bunch of children. The room is often “alive with energy”, but it isn’t due to the yoga, more that they’re eyeing up the attractive bloke who always takes off his T-shirt at the first opportunity.

Some of my students’ choices make me boggle. Take the man who insists on wearing micro-shorts: it’s a rare week when he doesn’t expose more than his inner serenity. It’s hard to open your heart to love with that in your peripheral vision.

As the class warms up, a distinctive aroma begins to brew. Alas, it is not coffee. It’s sweat. Every class has a stinker; mine doesn’t believe in deodorant. “Tolerance,”, I think to myself, “forgiveness.” I imagine it oozing over me like warm syrup. But that just takes me back to the chocolate sauce I’m going to drizzle on my ice-cream tonight.

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