Posted by: Ali | January 16, 2010

Fake Yoga

I decided to get some exercise by joining a Yoga studio near the house.  I had actually visited the place back in October but didn’t have any money so I kept it in mind and finally decided to sign up this week.

This was what happened back in October:

I ring the doorbell.  This ancient woman opens the door and welcomes me.  I tell her I am interested in signing up for yoga and what are the prices and schedule?  She tells me, then starts talking about their methodology.  “Yoga is a wonderful spiritual activity,” she says.

“Oh really,” I say.

“Yes,” she says.  “It helps you cleanse the body and mind of evil spirits.”

“That’s very interesting,” I say.

“Oh yes, that’s why we all wear white here, to keep the bad spirits away.”

“Of course,” I say, “That makes perfect sense.”

“And by keeping away the bad spirits we stay young.  How old do you think I am?” Says the very old woman.

I recognize this as a trap.  You are never supposed to imply that a woman is old.  “Oh, I don’t know…” I say, “Maybe 40?”

To which she replies: “No silly, I’m asking about MY age, not yours.  How old do you think I am?”

Thanks.  “Forty-five?”  This really is a trap.

She laughs.  “Next year, I will be twice thirty-five!”  Great, now I am in an elementary school math problem.

I tell her she looks lovely for her age.  She smiles, and tells me that I should sign up for Yoga.  I thank her and say I’ll consider it.

Alright, so maybe that was a little paraphrased.  But you get the general idea.

I went to my first class on Wednesday and it was the weirdest experience ever.  I had never done yoga before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I didn’t realize it would involve sleeping.  That’s right, we had a break in the middle where the instructor told us to lie down and relax our bodies and imagine ourselves in harmony with the world.  And then she turned off the lights and left us there.

Friday I brought Kate with me, who has done yoga before and said that she wanted to start again here in Lima.  The whole session, Kate didn’t look at me, and she confessed afterwards that it was to not burst out laughing.  First of all, the instructor was an old lady (different one), and so she couldn’t do all the poses because she wasn’t flexible enough, so she would try to tell us, in Spanish of course.  So while we could tell that she wanted us to do something, say, with our feet, we weren’t sure what that thing was supposed to be.  Second of all, there were some really weird and questionable stretches we did, like finger flexes.  Some of the stretches we would hold for like a minute and some were only half a second.  And third, there was the weird sleeping section, which happened both halfway through and at the end.

Kate said it was like the woman once read a book about yoga and then decided to teach it, without bothering to do any further research or attending a class.

Anyways, that is my yoga adventure of the week!


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