Posts Tagged ‘ yoga ’


I finally started yoga classes after almost a year and a half in India. It’s kind of silly it took me this long to find a class. It wasn’t for lack of effort, well at least a little effort. In February I asked to join Iyengar (not spelled correctly) who is supposed to be one of the best yogis ever. There was a waiting list until June. I gave up shortly after that. Every once in a while I would look at a class here or there, mostly in my neighborhood, and they were all really expensive, and, funnily enough, I think foreigners gave most of them. Who wants to live in India and take a yoga class from a foreigner? I don’t. So while wandering around two weeks ago, I wandered into an institute and registered for their month long yoga class. It’s cheap, so I guess you get what you pay for. It’s not anything at all like any yoga class I’ve taken in the US. It’s a beginner’s class. A lot of it focuses on breathing exercises, which sometimes make me lightheaded. Most of them don’t at all involve flexibility. Some are even a little boring. But, I really want to do this. In almost every class there’s something new, which is good. The only time I can say this was not only not good, but also really, horribly wrong was last Friday, when the class was told to go outside the building and vomit. I’m sure there’s some kind of weird yoga explanation to this, but yea, nothing would or will convince me to self induce vomiting except if I had something that really needed to come up. Besides that, everything seems to be going well. I like to call it older person relaxed yoga. Sometimes your heart rate goes up after doing a movement that involves movement, but there’s always the relax, relax, relax part afterwards. According to the teacher, relax means, ank ke bund, hat piche, legs apart (eyes closed, hands behind). She’s great at mixing Hindi and English. I have no idea what the different movements are called; they all have quite long names. There’s a chant before and after each class. And om is at the beginning and end too. Because of work it’s actually the only month I could have done the beginners class, next month as work starts earlier, hopefully, I can move to the intermediate class which is an hour earlier. It feels good to do something “Indian” after being here for so long.
There are a few regulars who I now recognize while walking in and out of the class. We smile. It’s nice. After, because I go straight to work, I have to change. There’s no real changing area except for the “ladies section where women go for strange massages, mud baths, other kind of chemical baths, and sauna. For a country that seems to be kind of conservative about bodies and women exposing themselves, this place is all out in the open. Women seem quite free in walking around in their bodies. It’s a nice change and reminds me somewhat of when I used to go to the gym in New York and everyone was “free.” Most days the woman who sits at the desk in the front is used to seeing me and I don’t even have to ask where I can go change. Most of the time I get funny looks, but somehow they don’t faze me anymore.

less about the kids…

I promise I’ll stop writing about the kids soon. Only one thing – yesterday at the park, Chapel was protective of me, more playful, closer. I can’t imagine what it’s like to befriend someone who’s older, looks different, doesn’t really speak your language, yet you get along well with. Anyway, that’s that. It’s special.
As a foreigner, as a person who knows people who are coming to this country, one takes on extra responsibility, or, that responsibility is given to that person whether they want it or not. Manoj got a phone call from a friend in a dire situation. His friend’s brother was traveling around India, 19 years old, and was going through a crisis. After 3 months in Nepal, and one month of traveling around India, he became off; off in the sense that he seems to be displaying symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic. We didn’t really want to be responsible, but the kid and his friend who he was traveling with flew to Pune and we took a watch on them for a few days. It was weird to say the least. His friend was freaking out, crying, not knowing what to do; they’d known each other for 13 years. They informed his family and his sister came here to take him back home. Each time we thought we were not going to speak to them again, they would call. We finally said goodbye to the girl on Sunday and the brother and sister on Monday afternoon. It was intense and scary and would not wish anything like that upon everyone. I do think that it’s kind of important as a foreigner to look out for other foreigners. I’m not sure where this unifying with other foreigners came from, I barely know any other foreigners, but I wouldn’t want to travel and not have anyone help take care of me. We got word they reached home safely. That’s all we know. I’m not sure what to do now except hope for the best for them.
Moving to the race of next weekend, last week my friend gave me a facebook group for a running club in Pune. I embarked on a run with a bunch of strangers, who, upon appearance looked like hard core runners, on Sunday. It was an amazing run. I ran with a bunch of men (there were two women, one of whom konked out in the very beginning, and one who I didn’t meet until the very end) for 10K without stopping. I’m just beyond impressed with myself. I didn’t mean to, I just got a second wind. Along the way I met some cool folks who have been running for a while, who’ve run marathons. I told them about next weekend. They seemed enthused that I would return the following Sunday. I would like to return and run on the weekends with them, but Sunday is great when you get to sleep in too, so we’ll see.
Tomorrow is Holi. It’s exciting to be able to write about these holidays again, to know what’s going to happen, to not feel so new to something so different. We’re planning on playing with the kids in Sagar and Ritesh’s society and then head back to attend a Holi birthday party we were invited to. I’m ready to play. I’m also excited for the day off.