Updated: Jan 13
It was a cheery and hopeful (on my part) reunion, with Olof. Unfortunately I found his class to be unrewarding, so I asked him if he could take me on as a private student , not knowing where I would find the money, but determined to make it happen. He then did something, that looking back on now, I can only describe as upfront and honest. Instead of saying "Yes.", and taking my money, he said “No.”. He further went on to explain that it would be a waste of money and time for me to continue to study with him as he taught at a level that I was beyond, which would result in stagnation in my yoga practice. I was disappointed. My hopes of our lips finding themselves locked together in passion as he was attempting to adjust my whatever we're slipping away. However, he quickly interrupted my brooding by inviting me to join him in a class were he practiced. He explained that he believed the class would not only help with my development, but it was also a style of yoga that might be a better fit for my personality and how I move. I didn’t understand what he meant at that moment. I thought movement was movement and quite a separate thing from personality. However, many years later in retrospect, I am amazed that he had such insight into my physical aptness, only having taught me for so brief a time, because he was spot on. It’s amazing how one person’s brief time in your life can be the cause of a major pivoting point in your life’s path . I have truly been blessed in this regard, multiple times. Which has lead me to adapt the motto “The Universe is on my side."
With renewed hope for long lasting yoga love, I agreed to go with him to this mysterious class. So, on a cold Tuesday afternoon in March 2005, I found myself getting off the Jubilee line at the Neasden Underground station to meet Olof, and unbeknownst to me, take my first steps towards a whole new path.
After walking through one of the doggiest neighbourhoods in North London, we arrived at what I now call, “The Tripsichore Headquarters”. While standing in front of a black door with the number 41 written on it in bold white lettering, Olof turned to me and said “I think this is for you. Give it a go.” I remember being concerned about this statement because it sounded like a warning dressed in encouragement. Then he knocked, and the door was opened by what looked like a weather worn man, suffering from sleep deprivation. He kindly welcomed us into an open plan studio flat. were there were already seven people there with their yoga mats rolled out facing what looked to be an open plan kitchen. I began to wonder if there was enough space, as with the addition of Olof and myself it looked like we’d spend the next hour dodging flying arms and legs rather than doing yoga.
I noticed all the other “yogi’s” were extremely fit. I mean ripped! You could see the muscle shred through the lycra spandex outfits. There was nothing cut, shredded, or ripped about my body back then. I was an ex-runner who hadn’t run a race in over two years, and loved dining on fried chicken and waffles. I became acutely self conscious that I was sporting what would now be called curves, and next to these super yogi’s I was feeling a little plump. “Hmmm, I don’t know if this is going to be for me.” I thought, as I began to take off my shoes and outerwear. I’ve never been one of those people who get inspired by seeing ultra fit, slim bodies. I always tend to think things like “I bet they’re hungry” or “I bet they couldn’t survive a knife fight, no fat to take the blows” Weird, I know. Then, the sleep deprived man who welcomed us in, walked up to Olof and myself and starting talking to us like we were a couple. That broke my train self-conscious thought, and created an unembarrassed expression of glee across my face. But then I thought, “Fuck, I hope I don’t embarrass Olof in front of all his super Yogi friends!”.
The sleep deprived man then introduced himself as Edward Clark and shook my hand. And immediately, putting a halt to all the self doubt and school girl crush thoughts that were running through my mind, I felt “IT”. “IT” felt like a wave of energy flowed through my whole body. Almost like time stopped for the briefest of seconds. So I focused, and truly looked into Edward Clarks face, past the exhaustion, and cynicism, and I knew without a doubt that this man and I were destined to meet for some unknown reason. And if I’m honest, I was unsettled, because for the first time in my life I felt like life was living me, and choice was an illusion. I mean, I’ve always felt like that when it comes to things like chocolate cake, but this was other-worldly.
Embarrassed, I drop out of the hand shake, and quickly changed into my yoga gear. I rolled out my yoga mat in the back corner as far way from the others as possible. My mind was still on the “IT” feeling and I wanted to be invisible so I could have time to figure out what the feeling was and why had I felt it. I took a moment to look around the room and noticed a beautiful, tall, skinny, muscular, blonde, girl two mats over, who was pressing up into handstands. As the class hadn’t started yet, I could only assume this was her warm up routine. WTF! It dawned on me then, that the next hour was was going to be painful.