I went to a different studio for class today — in the company of an old colleague I’ve not seen for some 15 years! She was using me as her excuse to get to class after losing the habit somewhere between work, marriage, and a couple of children. It amuses me that now I’m known to be a teacher people get all nervous about coming to class with me… 🙂 They feel under observation — not realising that I do too, in return! So when we made plans she’d hastily told me she was rusty. As we met she reflected on this, commenting that she felt rusty not so much in terms of muscles and flexibility but more in terms of being out of the habit of giving herself the time she needed just for herself and looking after herself. Sounded pretty insightful to me. Perhaps she doesn’t ‘need’ yoga anyway?!
Class was quite bewildering; it was taught in Greek. My fault for being able to handle a quick pre-class chat with the teacher about how long I’d done yoga, what style, and the obligatory injury check without too much linguistic incompetence. Yikes! Oddly I found that this provided another interesting layer of observation of my reactions and verbal commentary — not beating myself up for not understanding everything, but remembering to take joy in the amount I could somehow understand. Pretty good plan since the theme of the class was ‘being enough’. We went round the room introducing ourselves by name and affirming “είμαι αρκετή” (I am enough). There was also an intro talk on the second chakra which I couldn’t follow too much of. My great confusion was the word λεκάνη (lekani) which was repeated really often. I know this word to mean ‘toilet bowl’ (as in the signs in every Greek toilet telling you not to throw paper in the toilet) — I was slow on the uptake that it clearly also means ‘pelvic bowl’! My friend laughed so hard when I told her this after class!
After all this talking, working through the asana sequence surprisingly didn’t need so much language skill. I’m OK with words in Greek like ‘dog’, ‘cobra’, ‘child’ and so on (though I wished the teacher had cued in Sanskrit!). Directions were OK for me (high, low, left, right and so on) and some verbs (lengthen, relax; I guessed διπλώνω = ‘fold’) and some adjectives (lightly, softly, strongly).
I’m sure I missed a whole lot in between, but it was OK. I understood enough. I am enough. είμαι αρκετή
For the final meditation the teacher turned to me and asked if I knew full yogic breath/three part breathing. And when I said I did, she just told me to do that. The guided meditation she offered the rest of the class was something about visualising light from the pelvic bowl… I kind of made up in my head what she might have been saying. It all felt pretty nice. είμαι αρκετή, after all.
I thanked the teacher afterwards; she commented on how focused I’d been during class! I don’t think they get many foreigners at this studio, despite it being much more centrally located than where I went earlier in the week, and I seemed something of an interesting curiosity to everyone!