When we were kids, our dad came home one day and announced that we were all going to join a yoga class. I am sure drama ensued but there was no excuse. Where we were supposed to go was not too far, but by my morning standards, it was way too early and far far far away. I was never a morning person. But that could not be an excuse because my dad wasn’t one either and yet he was up with us to go do yoga. The real culprit was my sister. She was the chubby one in the family and needless to say, everyone knew that we all were going to the yoga class because of her. She could have gone there herself and excused me because I was the ‘really thin girl who falls sick every month, just like that, and hence doesn’t need yoga’, but someone convinced my dad that yoga boosts whatever the hell it is in the body and will make me more hungry. Hmm. (What a weird realization it would have been in my dad’s head. One is doing yoga to reduce weight and other to increase). So, we went. My sister, dad and I, on our majestic green colored Vespa scooter (we loved it a lot). Everyday at around 7 in the morning to this far far away house (There was a movie theatre next door, but no, we were not supposed to go there).
This house was just anybody’s house. In the veranda, three of us and the yoga master (by master I mean, just another person who knows the poses already) got into really weird twists and turns positions. Hands here, legs there and keep a check on your breathing. Sit on your legs, fold your hands and kiss the mat. Check your breathing. Oh yes, I stopped breathing two minutes ago and almost turning blue, let me breathe. Oh wait, now my hands are coming out of the position. ‘Push hard’, master would say. ‘No way’ I would silently scream in my head and look at my sister having way more trouble than I am, laugh and feel proud of myself about how I just twisted my body. Then I would look at the master and think, ‘Wait, where are his legs?’ or ‘Oh. So, that’s how it’s supposed to be? I was doing it totally wrong’. Meanwhile my dad would be attempting the position very seriously and to near perfection. I can still remember his face, totally focused on breathing. Then I would stop laughing and start blaming my sister for what she got us into.
Weeks passed. We were all pros at yoga now. Or at least, as pro as we can get. Some days, master wouldn’t be there and then my dad would take over the guiding part. I very clearly remember his voice ‘Asana Stithi’. That is where we would come to sit on our legs or padmasana to start the yoga position. Soon, there were other kids, but we were the pioneers, of course.
Some time later, yoga master moved. ‘Hurray’, I said. ‘Finally, good riddance’. That was before I was told that the master is moving closer and to a bigger home to make more space for all of us. Sigh! No excuse in sight yet. Anyway, we drove to the new house. And oh my. Was it big! I mean, I have lived in houses or apartments all my life, but I have never been to a bungalow at that age. And this was one awesome bungalow, by all means. Brand new. Spacious and no homes arround, total privacy and huge, huge, huge. Alas, we were only allowed on the covered balcony to practice. And soon it was just another place to twist and turn our bodies and lose all the weight I gained by eating a little more yesterday (Like my mom used to say).
My sister and I stopped complaining. We started protesting. Sundays, we had no class and we were supposed to practice at home. One sunday, we declared we are not doing yoga. My dad declared we are not watching Rangoli. And then we were doing yoga (Rangoli was very important, right!). Some fights cannot be won.
Then, good things happened in life. We got transferred. Hahah. Finally, good riddance from the class. I don’t remember where we moved. Given that we moved every two years of my life (almost). There were no yoga classes to join, wherever we went. However, the damage had already been done. My dad was the master now and how could anyone run from that? Classes or not, yoga at home continued, but at much less frequency and finally, sometime during my engineering years, it stopped completely. I think I may have enjoyed yoga by then (since that is something not everyone can do and I can) but I was not complaining at all. My sister was super happy too. Then that phase was totally forgotten.
Some 10 years later, life has changed a lot. A LOT. Married and moved here. Murali off to school aka invisible. Hurting and boring raining weather and plenty of lack of exercise later, I joined a yoga class. This time by choice. The same twists and turns in random directions. and now, I was trying to ace all that. Exercise and something to do were definitely the reasons I joined the classes, but it surely is the connection to the yoga suffering we had that makes me laugh. All the positions were too familiar. The way we did and way its done now. Hilarious where the pronunciations of my American yoga teachers. It took me couple of days to realize that he was saying ‘Chaturangasana’. I am still amazed by the fact that they learned and mastered something from a different culture. Anyway, I took a monthly subscription then and dropped by couple times a week and was doing pretty good. Instructor here would let me demonstrate some of the poses for the newbies to learn. Hihi. That felt good.
Then, life changed again. AGAIN (Cmon, there has to be some limits on how much life can change). And the whole practice was forgotten. Two babies were born, fed, rocked etc etc etc. There was this too familiar complaint in my head to do something for myself, again and again. We moved to our new home last year but I had barely noticed that there was a gym located very conveniently on the way, one that also offered yoga classes. Seriously, how come something that big could be so invisible to me is a mystery. Anyway, Three weeks ago, something came over me and I just walked into the gym and signed up for the classes. It was going to be thrice a week class in the timings I can afford and I was determined to make it. So far (that is, in the last three weeks), I am hitting twice a week mark. That’s better, right. Than nothing.
Positions are familiar again, but, I know it takes practice to get into the rhythm. And it feels awesome. Everyone around me seems like a pro already, while I try so hard to hang into holding my hands in an eagle position, standing on one leg and another twisted on top it. I am getting there. The fact that I am going there is what makes me feel a million times better and brings back all of nice twisty twirly memories. Hope the journey continues for a longer time, this time.
P.S: Why is that when I see the other non-desi ladies in yoga positions, it looks so sexy, but when I look at myself in the same position, it totally looks awkward. 🙂