Claire has appointed herself my health coach. She watches after my diet and is my exercise buddy. Dr Lee has ordered a mild exercise regimen.
I wanted to continue my ballet classes with some adjustments to accommodate my pregnancy. But Claire decided on Yoga. I am willing to give it a try.
So here we are sitting on our mats waiting for our instructor, excuse me; our Yogi-I have to use the right terminology.
He is small in stature and ageless. He orders us to sit upright and cross our legs.
“Close your eyes and take a deep breath.”
Dutifully I close my eyes and take a deep breath and then let it out slowly. I wait for a few seconds and then open one eye. Everybody is in deep meditation. I close my eye.
“Take a deep breath and feel the cold air going in and the warm air coming out.”
I glance quickly at Claire, she is taking this breathing exercise very seriously so I close my eyes once again and do the same.
The silence is broken by a haunting melody. Surprised I turn my head towards the music and make eye contact with the Yogi. He frowns, I quickly shut my eyes. The music is a “berceuse” by Chopin. Now I feel sleepy and want to take a nap.
“Stand up everyone. Feet together. Take a deep breath and raise your arms.”
I stretch my arms above my head and breathe deeply.
“No ballet arms.”
My eyes are closed and I am taking a slow deep breath.
“No ballet arms.”
I suddenly realize that he is standing near me and addressing the remark to me.
I look at him puzzled.
“Do not bend your elbows, stretch them out. This is not a ballet class.”
Dutifully I stretch my elbows straight. It is not a comfortable position for me and puts a lot of stress on my back.
This is not fun.
We go through a series of exercises. I find them awkward and uncomfortable.
“And now for Warrior 3.” He demonstrates the pose by raising his right leg to the back and balancing on the left leg.
Hmmm! This looks like an ‘arabesque’. Familiar territory! I stretch my supporting leg and slowly raise my other leg with a perfectly pointed toe and stretch both arms to the back just as I have practiced it a thousand times for Swan Lake.
I balance for a few seconds and then notice two feet planted near my mat.
“ Your toes should not be pointed outward. This is not warrior 3.”
He then places his foot near my foot and pushes it inward. I instantly loose my balance and start flapping my arms. My extended leg collapses and my beautiful ‘arabesque’ turns into a mangled one legged hopping position.
This is definitely not fun.
We are by now thankfully at the end of the class.
My back is hurting and my legs feel weak. I am anything but relaxed and refreshed.
With a final ‘Namaste’ we file out of the room and I sigh with relief.