Yoga classes are getting more difficult. At the beginning I complained at the “downward dog” pose, but now, after so many months, I do this pose for relaxation. Hard to believe.
This was one exercise which was really difficult to do in the beginning, especially as it was hard to keep from laughing out loud, seeing all the students with their bottoms up in the air waiting anxiously for Maya’s word that we may get down at last. Among the students we have a debate: Is it good to advance to more difficult exercises, or shall we do the easier ones all the time?
“Whenever you study something,” says Miriam, “you should enjoy some progress, otherwise you stagnate!”
“I don’t agree,” says Rachel, “it gets harder and harder, and I don’t intend to look for a job in a circus!”
“No chance of getting one,” says Mira maliciously, “you can’t even sit cross legged!”
I myself am quite neutral, I enjoy the yoga sessions, and I am surprised at what my not so young body is still able to do. Of course it isn’t easy.
Maya tells us for instance: “just shift your whole weight to the right foot and your left hand, remaining foot and hand high up in the air! And relax your facial muscles! I want to see smiling faces!”
Whom is she kidding? How can I smile when I am challenging my precarious balance and just hope and pray I won’t crash and embarrass myself?
Furthermore Maya tells us: “You know what the cardiologists say, if it tastes good, don’t eat it! Now Yoga says if you feel comfortable, change this, and fast!”
Then there is the Maya language which we don’t always understand. I already know what “bassana” means, and a few other yoga words, but generally I keep on guessing. Maya talks to us Sanskrit and whenever she sees our puzzled faces, she is kind enough to translate into Hebrew.
“Do you think we can find a Sanskrit dictionary somewhere,” asks Leah, “because I really would like to know what she is talking about?!”
“Just walk into Steimatzky’s and ask for a Sanskrit dictionary. It will be worth watching the sales lady’s reaction! By the way you should worry about your ‘“ohms’ you are always the first one who starts to chant, you are doing solos! We are a class and should do everything together!”
”If I start my ohm first, I am also the first to finish and I can run home! My daughter needs the car!”
Trouble is we don’t always do everything together. I myself am worried about keeping my balance, Shoshana can’t sit cross-legged, she just sits the way she sits at home on her sofa , and yes we have one single guy with us, Joseph, who always somehow manages to place himself in front of me, so that I can’t see what’s going on. At least I see what’s going on with him, and I am really impressed by his improvisations. I am sure he is inventing some completely never-done-before yoga.
“If yoga exercises hurt, it means that they heal” I read somewhere, so I continue to hurt and hopefully heal – I don’t know what! I did have a bit of a toothache and it’s better now, so it’s the yoga which probably did the healing!
We do our practice accompanied by suitable music. Maya brings us discs of yoga music which is monotonous, exotic and relaxing.
“This music drives me up a wall, it puts me to sleep!” complains Dvorah, “you either crawl up the wall or you go to sleep, you certainly cannot do both together!”
Yoga is real fun, if not for any other reason at least because one can watch people who are no longer young trying to get control over their bodies. Generally we are not so bad. Maya walks among us and checks our posture. If she finds one back that she doesn’t quite like, she gives it a light tap to straighten it up. To be quite frank, I think I’ve improved my posture as well as my breathing techniques. Trouble is that after every yoga session I fall asleep for two hours, and I could do something better with this lost time. However getting up after those two hours, my brain seems to be clearer, my body feels rested and I am prepared to face most challenges which come along during the rest of the day.
If you ask me, I recommend it wholeheartedly.