Tropical yoga

One of my friends on social media recently invited us to post the last picture we took before lockdown, something that represented our life then. The old normal.

My last photos are actually a professional shoot! How glamorous! Not so much in reality. It was actually ‘a date’ with two friends — one photographer and one fellow yogi. Two people dear to me whom I feel as comfortable with as I’m ever going to when I have a camera pointed at me whilst doing yoga!

I am looking at these photos now. I’m not seeing at the small faults in my alignment, I’m not delighting in the composition. I can do that anytime I look at a picture. Instead I’m remembering the day as a rich sensory experience.

The day was so wet, I mean torrential rain, that we couldn’t do the outdoor shoot we’d planned. I love yoga in nature, among flowers, grass, and trees. So Plan B — we decamped into the greenhouses by chance located just across the road. The lighting was tricky but they were full of tropical plants, all huge green leaves and fabulous shapes. And as a bonus one of them was quite humid. It might have threatened to frizz my hair, but it’s helpful for making yoga poses on a cold wintry day! Now I’m remembering the smell of the plants, the sensations under my feet — the discomfort of standing on gravel and then the contrast of the smooth wooden boards, slippery from the plants being watered. I remember how hot I got from physical exertions that I stripped my top off and enjoyed the feeling of the air cooling my skin.

I just zoomed with these two friends at the weekend and although that brought them close it can’t replace their physicality, the easy touch with people you’re happily intimate with. And doing a yoga shoot involves a closeness that’s quite unthinkable now. Now we’re so distant. One is in another country altogether doing Covid-19 research in a hospital, the other lives close by but is heavily pregnant and in strict isolation.

After two months of staying home I am starting to feel lonely. I guess I should be grateful it’s taken this long to feel this way. Hubby told me recently that I’m a great iso-companion. He is too and our relationship flows easily. But I’m still aching for my girlfriends, for easy hugs of greeting, those times when we’d laugh and lean into one another, a squeeze of encouragement or solidarity when contemplating something tricky…

Maybe I’ll use my iso-time configuring some beautiful yoga shapes and the best angles to shoot and I will suggest my photographer friend acquires a telephoto lens ready for when we can meet again!

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