Another unexpected blessing today in my homogenous, 'trying-hard to be upper middle-class' seaside suburb. If you recall I 'visited' Greece a few months back while out on a lunchtime walk. Today I went to India. A new yoga studio has opened in the village; not so unusual, they're popping up everywhere, including the gym. Always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance my own teaching and practice, I tentatively called past to determine the time and nature of the classes. Greeted with one of those 'I know the secrets to the Universe and you don't' smiles I was asked if I would like to speak to the yoga teacher upstairs. 'Oh ... No,' I said.  'I'm in a hurry,' I lied.  My 'Best and Less' canvas shopping bags collided with Buddha and Krishna; nearly swept a bowl full of crystals on to the floor and I was in danger of becoming permanently entangled in Prayer Flags ... oh if I could so easily dissipate into the breeze! The question was inane enough, but I don't want my yoga wrapped in New Age eco-plastic. Back in the street I started to head for home, but pulled myself up. Why not speak to him?

Upstairs, the yoga room was a peaceful space away from the traffic. The teacher greeted me warmly and invited me to sit - he cross-legged and me upright and uptight with a 'Best and Less' barrier between us. What followed was a profound and stimulating discussion of Classical Yoga. I was impressed not only with his knowledge and his dedication, but that his understanding, and my albeit limited understanding of yoga were aligned. The fact that he was Indian shouldn't have made a difference, but it did. (Okay, I am sometimes a sucker for the cliche). I was enriched when I left. I had learned some things. How easily I could have missed it. As I walked home I thought about the opportunities that arise, in many different forms, when we open ourselves to their possibility. My 'visits' to Greece and to India happened because I said 'yes'. What they represent too, is that there are unexpected stories behind ordinary doors, just as those stories lie behind ordinary faces. For a writer this is grist for the mill; the real and imaginary behind the ordinariness of every day lives. 

AuthorAmanda Apthorpe