The fearless Flo Wales Bonner volunteered to try anything. So you sent her to find a stretchy soulmate…
Something about trying to find love at a pub yoga class makes me want to cry. I’ve got a bad history with dating – if I tell you I once set my hair on fire ten minutes into a blind date you might start to get the picture. And that was just a normal, bar-based date. Throw in deep breathing and Downward Dogs, and I’ll probably end up inhaling my date’s toes.
Spotting a bunch of legging-clad people standing silently at the bar, I wonder if I’ve walked into Mr Motivator’s wake by accident. But soon Richard, the instructor leading the class in partnership with dating site DoingSomething.co.uk, ushers us into an adjoining studio. We’re about to do some exercises to help us ‘connect’, and we pair up.
Have you done this before?’ asks my companion. I’m unsure if he means yoga, dating or holding hands with a bloke I’ve just met while twisting into a synchronised back bend, but before I can respond, I hear ‘Change partners!’
My next potential suitor is a little older, and obviously a man with a ‘less-is-more’ approach when it comes to shorts. ‘Hold each other round the waist and open your hips.’ Awkward. I compliment my partner on his socks (I’m totally nailing this flirting lark). But soon come words to strike dread into the heart of any Londoner: ‘Now for an eye contact exercise.’ The fearful faces of my fellow singles say it all, but moments later we’re in new pairs, gazing into each other’s peepers like long-lost lovers. Awkwardness factor: 11.
Before I can text a friend to call me and say there’s been a terrible, terrible accident, it’s time for the ‘pub’ bit. ‘It should be easier to talk now that you’re on the same wavelength,’ says Richard. Edging up to the bar, I order a drink. One of the guys from the class walks over. ‘Nice eye contact,’ he says, which goes to Number One in my mental list of weird chat-up lines. But before I know it, we’re bonding over the novelty of the whole thing.
Did I meet my knight in shining Lycra? Sadly, no. Was the evening as awkward as I expected? Off the scale. But did I set my hair on fire? I did not. Success! Flo Wales Bonner