Мой Девятый Класс Йоги ( My Ninth Yoga Class)

by cheri block

In the yoga studio last Tuesday evening, I moved to a new location—the front row.

My mindset went like this: I must displace the large Czech women who like to dominate that front row.

My strategy will be simple: arrive earlier than they  and unroll my green mat directly in front of the teacher. Upon arrival, they may be so engrossed in discussing Mosel glass and Pilsner Urquell  that they will not notice the coup of one about to happen.

My tactics will be sneaky: unfurl my mat and stake out my territory. Then,  close my eyes and begin limbering up, pretending to be lost in the State of Flexibility. Down, my spine bends to my thighs: up, my arms stretch in a salute to my toes. Sweeping to the east, my salute continues. I am not thinking about the Czech Republic, about the old Czechoslovakia, about tall handsome young men and large breasted (from the beer) Czech women.

The door to the Om Studio opens without warning.

They arrive in a dominant way. In a yoga studio, dominance can be asserted by talking too loudly or laughing or taking the names of the yoga sutras in vain or discussing whether a Lara Bar is more flavorful than a Clif Bar.  This they did. In Czech, of course.

I continued my meditation but in truth, I unsoftened my eyes to glimpse their march into my space.

They were not deterred by the castle my body had become, as they infiltrated  the territory they had staked out eight weeks ago.

In a power play, they flanked me, boxing me in between them.

And then they began their talk, in Czech of course.

“Кто она думает, что она? (Who does she think she is?) questioned the big one, looking at me like an East German backstroker in the next lane.

“Она – маленький человек, легко над которым доминируют,” (She is a small person, easily dominated), answered her friend.

I closed my eyes and focused on my breath, inhaling while making space for my lungs and then exhaling while shrinking my waist to my navel.

Then, listening to them solve the problems of the yoga studio in their language, it hit me.

“В следующий раз, сделайте, поскольку мы сделали в 1947: движение в ее место. Конечно ее циновка станет серой, (Next time, do as we did in 1947: move into her space. Surely her mat will turn gray)” the older one asserted.

Olga and Irina are not Czech! They are Russian.

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in My fiction, People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Мой Девятый Класс Йоги ( My Ninth Yoga Class)

  1. Kayti Sweetland Rasmussen says:

    Even funnier when I think of the three large German women who elbowed me off the steps of Monet’s house in Giverney! It was raining, and I am small, so I ducked under their arms and gave them the benefit of my hip! Never underestimate a small person.

  2. I thought Yoga was a relaxation and pacifying method and philosophy; how wrong I was.

    • Cheri says:

      Oh come on Paul. You mean to tell me that after reading my three posts on Yoga, you don’t think it has been relaxing?

      Let me cite some of the benefits I have already reaped.
      1. My blood pressure was 120/70 at my annual doctor’s appointment, the lowest ever.
      2. I can now lift my arm over my head.
      3. I am able to redirect myself into the present moment more often.
      4. My muscle tone is improving.

      That’s just a start.


  3. dafna says:

    funny, funny, funny!

    what’s so funny? my mother always said, “never attribute to malice what could easily be expalined by stupidity”.

    the juxtaposition of tiny, clever, thinking Cheri with the seemingly ignorant giants is very ironic 🙂

    Vayishlach and jacob are awaiting your wit.

  4. Man of Roma says:

    Humorous post, Cheri. I laughed at your ‘large (form the beer)’ underlining.

    In 1947 they really moved into your space, the Russians – a real master race, no doubt.

    I had to stop my Ashtanga yoga classes because of my left leg, that is still working well (I can walk, climb or run) but since those classes it got impeded a bit in its lateral movements. I wasn’t cautious enough, I don’t know – or Yoga is not for me.

    • Cheri says:

      This post was an attempt to overlay the Czech history with the Soviets; hence all the saluting and moving to the east, blah blah.

      Sorry you hurt your leg in yoga. I’d say try again with a different teacher.
      Hope you are well.

      • Man of Roma says:

        The overlaying was perfect. It was I, a bit dumb to grasp it. And thank you, I am very well, don’t worry. It’s only the type of yoga I chose (Ashtanga: because of the gym being only a few yards from my home) that is maybe a bit too taxing for my (light) sciatica.

        • Cheri says:

          I’m not sure what type of yoga I am practicing. I think it is Iyengar. We don’t lock our knees and hold the poses not too long.We use props. It is not a flow class. The teacher is superb. I took Andreas’ advice and looked for a teacher “with long practice.” She has been teaching for over 25 years. On Friday mornings I try to attend a class (also taught by this teacher) called Restorative Yoga, which is done from the floor only. I, too, have a weak right leg (or probably hip from all of my years of running).

          I am pleased to know that you are well.

  5. Kayti Sweetland Rasmussen says:

    Why did the German ladies vie for position? Because they wanted to be first in line of course.

  6. Cyberquill says:

    Never heard of beer boobs.

  7. Nice overlay of geopolitics and the dimensions of a yoga studio.

  8. Cheri says:

    Thank you, Andreas.
    I saw your recent post on my iPhone (which is too small for my eyes to really read comfortably) and would like to comment. It now appears that I will only be able to read your blog (and Tom’s) from downtown. Boo hoo!
    I’m so pleased that you are pleased with the reviews/press releases…The coming months are going to be a rush. You’ll need to stand on your head to make sure it doesn’t swell.

  9. wkkortas says:

    I wouldn’t mention Nagy or Lavrenti Beria in front of your new friends.

  10. Pingback: canada goose pas cher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s