August 31, 2009

I went to my first yoga class in Brazil this evening.  It was at a studio in Ipanema, and their website looked modern and promising.  I walked in early (I am still American, after all), kicked off my flip flops, grabbed a mat and found a spot on the floor in the dim room.  The teacher was sitting cross-legged on the floor playing a tune on a sitar.  A little om-ish for my taste, but it was a nice environment.  I was too self-conscious (what was everyone else doing? how were they stretching? how were they preparing to meditate?) to notice that the teacher looked like every other deeply tanned, tattooed surfer on the beach, with navy spandex shorts, brown eyes, three-day scruff, and an easy smile.  The other thing I didn’t really think about was that the class, and all of its instructions, were going to be in Portuguese.  It was oddly relaxing to listen to these murmurs in another language, half understanding the commands, mostly keeping my eyes closed as I moved through the vinyasa poses.  The room grew hotter and it felt great to stretch everything out.


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