I've gone to maybe three or four yoga classes in my life. When I went, I didn't really know what to expect, except that my kickboxing instructor said that it would probably help me keep an upright posture during some of our kicks (I have a bit of a tendency to crunch my spine).

Back then, the class met in a studio in a gym in central London. The instructor wasn't one of the regular instructors from our school, but a dedicated yoga teacher named Robin. To say she moved with a cat-like grace would be to do her a disservice. She moved with a very human-like grace, as you would imagine a human would move if it were as comfortable in its skin as a cat.

My preconception of yoga – considered purely as a physical discipline, we can get to the other stuff later – was that it was mostly about stretching. That turns out to be not quite true. There certainly is a lot of stretching, but what surprised me was how much strength it required. I'm not a particularly strong bloke and by about five minutes in my shoulders were starting to give way in some of the plank positions. During some of the balancing things (I'm afraid all the technical terms have evaporated from my mind), I'd be wobbling there, having to occasionally touch the floor with my oher leg to keep myself from toppling over. To add to this, the insistence that I should focus on my breathing seemed to add an unnecessary burden.

Nevertheless, I persevered through the class, getting to the end where the teacher would dim the lights & we'd all sit down and "be" for a minute or two, and I found that I enjoyed it very much. It helped that they were mercifully free of spiritual claims or instructions which would have forced me to leave. It was only the awkward time (Saturday mornings) that made it difficult for me to keep going.

It made me think, what if I did this sort of thing every day? What if at school they had made us do this or something like this for half an hour every morning until we left high school? Imagine how much easier it would be to move and get around, to sit on the floor even (something I haven't been able to do comfortably since I was about ten), or kick someone in the head (a valuable and important life skill). I think I would have enjoyed it more than athletics or team sports, probably. Maybe making it compulsory would have made me hate it in the same way that English classes often make kids hate great books.

Also, kick-boxing is great, but I'd wager that practicing yoga, or something similar that builds that kind of control, flexibility, and strength would be much more beneficial for maximizing the number of years I have in which getting out of a chair isn't a big deal.

But, for the moment, rack it up with learning French, Latin, training in jujitsu, or weight-lifting, or learning to draw, sing or play the piano as one of the many things I haven't figured out how to make time for yet.

This post is part of the Alphabet Supremacy, a collaboration with Bice Dibley. He chooses next week's word.