Apart from clean air and a respite from the melting heat of April and May, the Monsoon also heralds leaky windows and sweaty walls. This prospect and the end of the International School year means that June is expat exodus time.
And so it is that the yoga classes are being covered by other teachers while my usual teacher is away.
Now, it’s quite clear on the schedule that the class on Monday and Wednesday at 9:45am – 11:00am is a BEGINNER class…
The Monday class was taken by a chap who arrived a little late and promptly set us off on ‘relaxation’ exercises at a pace that would have won me a medal at an athletics meet. There were only four of us in the class; two of his students who thankfully positioned themselves in front of him and me and another regular of the beginner class. We looked at each other, wide eyed and startled like rabbits in yogic headlights and then it really got hectic. There were contortions, stretches (more stretch! more stretch!) and even a shoulder stand. At one point the teacher came over and moved me further into a forward stretch which almost resulted in a face plant – “Really, this is as far as I can stretch!”. To add to the mortification of the situation, a photographer turned up to take photos of the class. To be fair the teacher did ask our permission and we all said yes.
Hobbling out of the class later, I felt what I imagine alien abductees feel like on their return to Earth…dazed and confused…”Did that really just happen?”
Tuesday’s child was slow and stiff. Certainly not full of grace.
At the Wednesday class I noticed that my comrade from Monday was missing. Oh my goodness, I thought – she’s broken! Actually, it turns out there’d been a tuk strike that day so she’d walked and had arrived too late to join the class.
This class was taken by a teacher who had already taught our group. Phew, I though, no repeat of Monday….yeah right.
I don’t think of yoga as a sweaty activity. I like to think that after yoga I may be a ‘glowing’ a little but that’s it. There was sweat dripping off my nose. My hands were so wet they kept slipping off the mat. I couldn’t hold onto my bare skin because it was too slippery. How do the Bikram Yoga people manage to get through a class?!
In this class too, the teacher came over to ‘encourage’ me further into a forward stretch….this time I yelped as I felt something go ping in my back…
But I stuck it out like a martyr to a cause – I may be failing dismally but by golly I will stay on till the bitter end!
I went home miserable and sore. I considered not returning to yoga until the regular teacher came back from holiday. I complained to the H, I sent outraged texts to the Sis, I generally stomped around (gently obviously, because of my back), huffing and puffing that my yoga had been RUINED! (I do go in for the dramatic when I’m annoyed).
Then, when the temper tantrum subsided I thought about why I’d really been annoyed and who I was annoyed with.
Me, Me, Me – it was because I’d allowed this happen to me. I hadn’t said anything and quite frankly the door of the yoga studio wasn’t locked, I could have left at any time I’d wanted to and to do it to myself twice….well really!
What is it that makes us keep quiet? Are we scared of making a fuss or offending people? Are we afraid that it’ll embarrass us? Do we think that only people with no backbone should know when to retreat?
Children are much more honest about saying what they feel, what they don’t like and what they do like. My young nephew has a VERY strong opinion on raw vegetable sticks and he’s not afraid to express it! When do we become too scared to say we don’t like crudités?
Yesterday, a week after the last yoga class, I went back to the yoga studio. The teacher was the same one as the previous Wednesday. I politely explained that this was the slot for the beginner yoga class; beginner as in we are not yet eligible to appear in a Lululemon advert. I also told her she’d hurt my back (yep – I told it how it was) and that if she needed to focus my awareness in a particular pose just to place her hand on the relevant part of my body – no pushing needed.
Also, there had been poses in the previous class that I wasn’t familiar with but would certainly try if she could just slow them down and explain them. To her credit she took it all on board.
Bloody fantastic class!
I came out feeling not like an alien abductee but relaxed, in tune with my body and ready for the rest of the day….and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, innit?
P.S. First audible windy-pop in class on Wednesday (not mine..this time) hehehehehehehehehehehe