Coaches Corner: A Yoga Mystery

I was 47 years old the first time I ever entertained taking a yoga class

A friend from work suggested I go along with her. “The teacher is great she said, a man named Billy. Come along next Tuesday”. Well, I knew I needed to get out of the house. I was battling many challenges in my life that had me crying with a bottle of wine most nights and I was left wondering how I was going to make it through the next day. To be honest, she could have asked me to go and play tiddly winks on Tuesday and I would have gone.

So there I found myself, saying hello to Billy Tudor, an ex car mechanic in his sixties! He was a very soft spoken man who welcomed me warmly and offered me a mat to borrow. This is going to be interesting I thought as I looked around. Billy was on his mat at the front of the room. A table nearby, draped with an orange cloth, held a photograph of a very beautiful man lit up by a small candle that flickered. The room was full of people all softly chatting as they prepared for the class.

As I glanced at my friend, I really did not know what to expect.

Billy gave very clear instructions. I liked him and he was easy to follow. I found the laying down, breathing bit was difficult and boring at first. Once Billy started working on the postures, I was much more comfortable. About half way through the class, he came towards me and asked “have you done this before? ” I was very surprised, I’d never even considered yoga so “No never”. He turned to walk away and then turned back and said with a chuckle, “Are you a spy?” A Spy! A Spy “What kind of organization was this British Wheel of Yoga (BWY)”, I thought to myself.

My mind was whirring as I left that first class. I’d won a gymnastic scholarship when I was fourteen and spent many weeks in a Russian training camp. Later, in my twenties, I was part of the stunt team in a James Bond film, but how could I be a spy. Did they really send out spies to yoga classes.