Friday, November 03, 2006

New Skills -- Yoga and Knitting

Okay, so I'm totally exaggerating about having anything remotely resembling skills, but who wants to name their post New Things I Do Badly? On Tuesday after driving my family to the train station, I had my very first pregnant lady yoga class. I was pretty psyched about it and showed up early since I had missed my first appointment by accident. It was the Monday morning after the infamous "Belgium Break-In Sunday," and I was so busy trying to get the line fixe fixed so I could call the insurance company, blacksmith and garage that I completely forgot my yoga appointment. I called back and groveled, and although she let me know she wasn't happy about it, she went ahead and recheduled me.

I arrived rather early, so I had plenty of time to sit and listen to the mysterious noises emanating from yoga lady's office: a loud whooooosh whooooooosh (something akin to my mother-in-law's gigantic steam iron) and a baby crying. Initially I was alarmed, but after a few minutes I figured out the whoosh probably involved the mother (who was chatting happily) and not the baby (who was probably crying for some other reason than torture). After 10 minutes, the client walked out smelling like patchouli with her still-crying baby, but both seemed okay.

It turns out that my yoga lesson is actually considered to be my birth preparation course, which was a surprise to me but after listening to the course description, I'm fine with it. I've never heard super-wonderful things about the effectiveness of Lamaze, so I guess I'll go with yoga. I mentioned in an earlier post that I am so not-bendy, and well, that certainly turned out to be true. Yoga lady kept saying, "Go ahead and touch the floor!" and while I did my best I'm not sure I met expectations. My French is pretty decent, but at one point I just did not understand what she was telling me to do -- I really need to see it happen as well -- and got back on my feet in a mildly painful way (hunchbacked body-builder squat-lift style) , although I thought that was what she wanted. (She said, "Use your knees to get up," and I just didn't interpret that to mean "Get on your knees and stand up slowly.") She just looked at me and said something along the lines of, "Um, yeah, that was okay... but never do that again. You'll damage yourself."

Anyway, despite the slight but invariably hilarious misunderstanding from time to time, I really liked the class overall. I didn't feel like I did that much but I was sore the next day. It doesn't take much time to do the exercises she prescribed, either, so that's another bonus. She was pretty patient with me, and that's the minimum requirement that I have. The great thing is that it's covered 100% and she talked as if she intended to be my guide through the system, which I gladly welcome. She even said she's going to take me to the maternity ward and show me around. I tell you what, I'm going to practice those yoga poses and make her proud...or if not proud, at least less embarrassed to watch.

You know, I think I'll save my knitting story for another post. I'm slowly adding rows to the baby sweater and to my uninitiated eyes, at least, they look pretty good. The woman at Phildar seemed to have another opinion of my knitting, but that's okay. I'm psyched about this knitting thing.

6 comments:

christina said...

"Go ahead and touch the floor!"

Easy for her to say! As a not-so-bendy person myself I totally understand, also about the not quite getting the instructions in a foreign language. I've experienced that in exercise classes and also at the doctors - I'm thinking, "You want me to do WHAT??" I'm glad you enjoyed the class though.

angela said...

Yoga for free-now that's lucky.
I met a woman at dance class who was so supple she was like those pipe cleaners. She told me that she'd taken up yoga when pregnant and that it helped enormously with pregnancy, birth and keeping her figure after.
She must have been about 45 then and from the back she looked like a girl, all yoga apparently.
So good luck with it...
Angela

Deb said...

You are a brave, brave, woman! I would love to take a yoga class, but I would be afraid to do so here in France. My French isn't all that good and I know I would make a fool of myself.

Good for you though! ;o)

Angela in Europe said...

OH, I left you a long comment about yoga, but blogger wouldn't let me post it. Humpf! The gist of what I said was this..Yoga is fantastic and I took it for a few years before I moved to France and I was never very "bendy," but yoga increases one's bendiness. I couldn't do the splits after taking classes but I definitely was more agile!

Expat Traveler said...

LOL - very funny post. Yeah I guess some things are hard. I used to be very flexible, now it's just back aching and I'm not even prego...

Glad you enjoyed it. Nice that the gov pays for it too...

Katia said...

I just found your blog - it's hard to keep up with all the new expat blogs out there! :)
Good on you for trying out the yoga! It's not easy doing stuff like that in another language.
And good luck with your knitting :) It's addictive :)