Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Yoga class and Easter weekend


So, last Friday afternoon I left work a bit early to go meet my friends for my very first yoga class. Working in a stupidly male predominant, geeky, antisocial, sexist IT environment, I did hear some comments about that session. Someone even mentioned that I would leave my genitalia in the locker room and start growing a vagina (ha ha)! That was his attempt at being funny! I didn’t even feel like it deserved a reply. This is a big serious discussion I’m not going to comment on now. Some people are simply really ignorantly stupid!

Anyhow, I met my friends and we headed to their ‘health centre’. As I mentioned before, I was going to use a free pass to go with them so that I’d lose my yoga virginity with friends and not alone. Apparently, a ‘health centre’ is the posh way to say gym! I didn’t see any difference between that and my gym. The receptionist was very polite though.


After changing into simple shorts and t-shirt we moved to the class room. There was only one girl already there and I thought that it would be an almost private session. However, other people arrived soon afterwards. Overall, there were around 9 of us excluding the teacher, 4 guys and 5 girls. The majority of people were young and looked like they belonged to the class. Then the yogi (?) came. He was tall, very thin and looked to be in his late 30s. He talked in a soft voice, prolonging all words in calmness. He did say gooooooood many times during the hour that followed. At first I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but then I got used to his soft low voice and we started by telling us to gather helping blocks and belts and by asking who’s new at yoga (me, me!).


At first I felt a bit lost. The yogi wasn’t actually doing everything he wanted us to do as I thought he would at least at the beginning, but he simply gave us instructions. However, for an inexperienced ear like mine, I couldn’t follow him. He was also using yoga terminology that I was completely unaware of. What’s the warrior 1 or warrior 2 position? What’s the fish? Cobra? Huh???? So, I decided to start looking what other people were doing and mimic them. It’s not that simple to observe other people, try to link it with the instructions and keep the difficult positions at the same time. I fought some building frustration and decided to go with the flow.

Soon I was really enjoying it. I sweated a lot which I took as a very good sign. The yogi was walking around us, fixing our posture (which translated in feeling more pain), saying things like ‘gooooooood and ‘breeeeeeathe through the stiffness’. He was generally nice with us, the newcomers. He explained how we could use the blocks or belt to do some exercises better or explained how to add a little bit more difficulty to the experienced yoga goers. Overall, I enjoyed my class a lot. Yoga would be something I’ll gladly try again. As a matter of fact, I’ll try Ashtanga yoga tomorrow. Let’s see how this turns out.


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Changing the topic, last weekend was the Christian Orthodox Easter. Apart from talking to family and friends about it on whatsapp and on the phone, I didn’t do remotely anything about it. On Saturday evening I had sushi for dinner, a DVD for company and stayed in, which as you can imagine is not very traditionally Greek. All the people I know in Greece went to church around midnight and had magiritsa (μαγειρίτσα) for dinner afterwards. On Sunday during the day when the whole nation has lamb spit roasts I had healthy vegetable stir fry and I even managed to burn my hand. I poured boiling water over it, a moment I am not very proud of. I don’t even like  μαγειρίτσα (it stinks) and I do feel bored at the family gatherings, but with the pain of my burnt hand I did feel a bit homesick.  My hand’s a bit red still, but hopefully it will heal soon. I’m also going to Greece beginning next month, so I’m fine now. It was just a weak moment that passed.

7 comments:

  1. i love this post, it made me laugh! good for you for trying yoga- you'll get the hang of it if you keep trying. :)

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    1. Thanks. My last two sessions have been very enjoyable. I will keep on trying. :-)

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  2. Good for you for trying this! you will find that yoga is a female dominated activity, many a time I have been to yoga class and have gotten " dagger looks" from the women as if I was invading a women's territory. but don't let this intimidate you. Also, if you don't feel like you are connecting to the teacher and vice versa, find a new teacher in class for there are many different types of yoga.

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    1. I've tried ashtanga and 'dynamic' by now. They have different pace but I found them both enjoyable. I don't know what, but I'll find something new to try. :-)

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  3. Good for you keeping an open mind and trying the yoga. I'm glad to read you enjoyed it. Did you feel anything the day after? I've only done yoga a few times. The calmness of the sessions usually has the opposite effect on me.

    Hope your hand is feeling better now.

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    1. I had some muscles a bit sore, but that was it, mostly core muscles and back. I did feel really tired/calm after the end of each session though.
      My hand's better. Thanks for a asking. :-)

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  4. Great to see u used picture in your story ;) - it's actually my picture I took if a participant at a gay mens yoga retreat ;)
    Www.gaymensyoga.com.au
    Was nice to see u liked it - the participant wasn't to happy but hey ;) it's a great pic

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