Friday, March 23, 2007

Yoga and Haworth

I experienced yoga for the first time on Wednesday. I have always fancied having a go, but in recent years I have been slightly put off by the attitude of some of my Christian friends towards it. Frankly, as far as I am concerned, you get out of it what you want to. I am interested in the physical benefits of deep exercise and perhaps even the meditational focus. I believe that if you want to meditate, you can do this with yoga and with a focus on the one true God. To my eyes, approached in this way it is not a million miles away from contemplative prayer in the Christian sense. I am a wee bit bemused by the tendency of some Christians to totally demonise it (and I mean that they do actually believe it is demonic!). But on the other hand, I don't want my friends to think that I might be 'possess├Ęd of a demon'

I felt more comfortable that it was an after work thing at the school and that it was my dear friend K's dad, Mr D, who was taking the class. K is a delight and may I stress, not in the slightest bit demonic! I was honest with her and we discussed it together. She found it really strange. I was encouraged by the fact that C was also going and she is a practising Methodist/URC hybrid. She thought the whole thing was hogwash and made the jolly good point that all goodness has its source in God anyway. So I went and I enjoyed it - except maybe when the Year 9 footy team traipsed in to the hall to get their bags. We were in the process of doing this pushing your abdomen in and out thing while your lungs are emptied of air. Mr D showed his belly to demonstrate this. There was a visible movement for him. My own experience, and I believe, that of many of my classmates, was a mild sensation of quivering belly blubber! Thankfully no bare flesh was on show from us but we made a curious sight to the lads!
Today I went on a trip with the Head of English and some 6th Form English Literature students to Bronte country. This was to enrich their study of the novel Wuthering Heights. A trip to the parsonage, a short talk on the novel and a walk on the moor has hopefully given them a sense of the brooding and often bleak environment in which Emily concocted her famous novel. The story of the Brontes is fascinating. For 3 sisters (ie WOMEN) to all be published novelists, of such a high standard, given their sheltered upbringing and lack of formal education in those times is an astounding achievement. How such creativity could flourish in Haworth, which was as impoverished and unhealthy as some of the poorer districts of London of that time, is nothing short of miraculous.

The quote of the day goes to one likely lad who was looking at posters advertising the showing of the film, Jane Eyre, and commented, "Jane Eyre - did she live round here as well?" I managed to stifle my guffaws which is more than can be said for some of his pals!

It's the way they tell 'em!

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