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[personal profile] salmakia
I've been a fan of occasional yoga for a year or so now because I've found it wonderfully relaxing and one of the few things that actually improves the RSI in my wrists.

I have just the one yoga DVD that I bought in publishers' outlet, The Works. The instructor is an Australian man called Gary Bromley. His instructions and commentary are generally clear but occasionally he'll throw in a turn of phrase that I find genuinely odd, such as "allow your eyeballs to soften". What? What are my eyeballs? Are they small round lumps of hard cheese which will go off and go runny in my head while I do this posture? Wait! How did my foot get round behind my head again? Help!

For the most part, the way he speaks does not distract me, but then he'll tell me to "feel my joins oskillating". Maybe this is a quirk of Australian pronunciation, but I've always said 'oscillating' as "ossillating". What is this oskillating of which you speak?

I though it might just be this man who spoke in a way I found slightly bizarre, until I tried my recently acquired yogalates DVD after work this evening. I can't generalise on the basis of two DVDs, but the instructor on this one, a woman called Louise Solomon who is also Australian, has one of the oddest voices I've ever heard. Overall, it's not especially unsettling, but the odd word grates intensely. She says "baarrley" for "belly" and "barrdy" for "body". On top of that, the intonation of her sentences can be incredibly disconcerting. If they ever announce the apocalypse in gentle, feminine robot tones, she'll have made the recording they use. She splits sentences in two, with the majority of the words in the first part. She'll pick up the pitch towards the end of the first section, then pause, before speaking the last word or two at a much lower pitch. She sounds like the female computerised voice you get in lifts: "We have now reached the [...] third floor. Allow your body to [...] surrender." What? Surrender? I'm supposed to be relaxing! What have I surrendered to? Have the flesh-eating ants of Judgement Day arrived already?

At one point she described the baarrley as like a bowl of jelly and told me to imagine my internal organs floating above the spine. I had a sudden image of jelly with internal organs suspended in it rather like pieces of fruit.

She also has a fixation with softening eyes it seems, telling me at one point to allow them to settle back into their sockets. Why? Had she been yanking on them with pliers beforehand? God knows. But when she told me my joints were melting, I just couldn't concentrate any longer and gave myself up to visions of The Wizard of Oz "Whoever would have thought a small amount of liquid would ever fall on meeeeeee?" Not the intended outcome I'm sure.

But then, this is a woman who says at the end of the workout "I would like to donate the energy of this DVD to promoting global healing."


However, she obviously knows her stuff as my increasingly jelly-filled insides can testify. I will certainly be attempting this work out again in future.
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July 2011

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