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10/24/2014

Yoga: between tradition and modernity

But my story with prenatal yoga did not stop there (see previous post)...

After two months of singing Om, putting my legs up on the wall, bouncing on my pregnancy ball, taking the Warrior position, and this three times a week, my dear teacher suddenly increased her fare by more than 50%. And she did not appreciate when I mentioned, when the car came back from the garage, how much it cost me and what I was I could expect from her.

From the beginning I made it clear that I would prefer if we kept the yoga lessons and the car thing separate. For her, two trial classes and a rebate on the 12 following sessions was enough of a compensation.

None of this was very important of course. But it may be enough to kill the vibe! And especially when you do yoga and relaxation it’s not cool...

So I resumed my prenatal yoga teacher search thinking I would do a 'benchmark' (see what other teachers out there have to offer and at what cost) and then decide what to do. An Indian woman of my ‘Mumbai mums’ Whatsap Group (there is no end to progress) suggested a name. Immediately I contacted her and signed for a trial class!

That’s how I met S., a woman in her forties, dressed with a salwar-kameez, quite fat, and without a yoga mat (and I am not talking about music). The contrast was striking: my current teacher is young and thin (which the partners of my new-mother friends who follow her classes do not really like: what can she possibly know of pregnancy?), model and bollywood actress during her free time. But let's not be judgmental, traditional can be good!

We therefore started by the usual questions: where am I from, what do I do, what does my husband do (?), for how long have we been married (??), where did he study (???). Huh?? Are these questions really necessary for a yoga class?

Then we started the exercises. I could have been in a sketch of Coluche (a French humorist):

“Up, down, up, down...

So now we'll move to the other eyelid.”

Rising up the left arm, rotation of the right foot. The whole time she is staring at me with a weird smile. I'd bet that she does not meet foreigners every day...

Three breaths through the nose and S. started blabbing again. Out of the blue, she went into a monologue about breast-feeding and without warning asked me: “Are your nipples out?” Luckily I was sitting...

“No. Because it is absolutely necessary that you breast-feed. And if your nipples are not out, you must pull them out every night and put a drop of oil if it hurts. Ask your gynec*.” And she did not stop there: “When you will be breast-feeding and tired, do not lie down on the side, you could smother your baby if you fall asleep.”

I could have end the class right there. To her dismay, I did not book for 12 classes, nor promise to continue... I had managed for 7 months to avoid awful stories on pregnancy and the rest, and it is not a yoga teacher who is going to change that! Especially if she doesn’t do what I paid her for: namely a yoga class!

It was therefore with great pleasure that I did my next class with my old young yoga teacher and her 'westernized' methods! Let's not 50 euros get in the way! I returned happily to my pregnancy ball and Kegel exercises (I like that, vaginal muscle contraction exercises, it reminds me an episod of Sex and the City I watched when I was around 15 (see this site)) that probably did not exist in S.’s century...

* PS: Seen with the gynec: pinching the nipples may actually cause contractions: the body understands the signal of breastfeeding, and since it's easier if the baby is out, it starts getting ready for the expulsion...

NB: We have a "traditional" (fat, salwar-kameez, no yoga mat, no music) teacher in office and she is excellent... And my first ashtanga teacher, very “modern” (slim, beautiful, active in music), did not teach me anything but positions (no explanations). So I'm not proving anything here, just sharing a story!!

10/22/2014

When a road hog turns into a...

Let us resume where we left it!

We were talking about me chasing a young Indian girl who had bumped into my car...

It took me a week or two to contact her, not really knowing how much to ask for the car damage. I was not even really sure she would answer. And my favorite Indian was even less convinced! But she did. The surprise was to be for a different reason:

  • Me: Hello
  • Her: Hi! How are you?
  • Me: Good good. And you?
  • Her: Good too :) I've been meaning to message you to for a while now.
  • Me: Haha! Me too...
  • Me: Tough to take care of this guy's stuff...
  • Her: :) I've been meaning to offer you a yoga class or a reiki session if you would like that.
  • Me: Are you a yoga teacher?
  • Her: Yes. what do you do?
  • Me: I work for a dog food company. Where do you teach?
  • Her: Cool. I teach at the Yoga House and private classes
  • Me: Ok...
  • Me: I used to go there
  • Me: I'm actually looking for yoga
  • Me: But prenatal...
  • Her: Hahaha well guess what, that is what I teach
  • Me: You are serious??
  • Her: Yes :)
  • Me: Well life has its own ways...

So. Life does have its own ways. To not hide anything, I had been lookindia,yoga,prenatal yoga,pregnancying very actively for a prenatal yoga teacher for more than a month, without great success, and destiny put me it on my way (so to say ;) ).

And it turned out it was not the only thing destiny had in store for me!

I went to take my trial class at the Yoga House and I met a French mother-to-be. At three and a half months of pregnancy, I thus set my first foot in the world of motherhood... Her advice has been / is valuable, my level of knowledge about pregnancy has significantly expanded (at the same time I come from very very very far) and thanks to her I now know many women to whom I can ask my dumb questions! Quite reassuring when you are thousands of kilometers about your family and friends and clueless about babies...

06/22/2014

Resuming work full speed...

On a beautiful monsoon Tuesday morning, I leave my brand new husband with great difficulties, get behind the wheel and take off to work.

india,driving,cops,accidentI have not driven for quite some time but it's raining and the chances of finding a rickshaw decrease in proportion to the intensity of the rains... So here I am, hesitating between the usual road, the shortest one but also the most stressful: you need to cut your way through bikes, carts, street vendors, people, garbage trucks; and when all that macerates in mud, it just makes you feel like taking the main road, longer and full of signals but also easier...

To cut it short, I opt for the messy road. I stop at an intersection, blocked by a car trying to make some kind of u-turn. A bike with two cops suddenly appears and they go straight to yell at the driver. Who starts pulling backward frantically, getting dangerously close to my car. Despite my honking, this asshole ends up bashing me! I look at the cops who wave for me to follow the car. And while I think he is going to park to fill up some paper, he just takes off...!

Then I see red. I follow the car, full speed, hand on the horn. We turn left, I do not slow down. We turn right, I accelerate. We turn left. I see an opportunity to take over, I make a move, and I park in front of the car, cutting the way of that asshole. I never knew I could pull out such a stunt!

So I get out of the car, my legs shaking (still under the shock of this crazy chase), and I start screaming “What the fuck is wrong with you?? When you have an accident you stop!”.

And my assailant comes out, apparently as shaken as me, and starts by admiring my driving skills, and then apologizes flatly...

The driver is in fact a very beautiful young girl, who says she panicked when the cops went to her and promises to pay for the damages...

 And here come the two clowns on their bike! Enchanted! They also start by congratulating me on my performance. Take her license. Offer that we exchange phone numbers. Come at my window to say buy and tell me one more time that I am a “great person” – I don’t know if they meant a great driver or a very generous person for not beating up the other driver…

In any case, I can proudly say that they had the time of their life (or at least their day): a pretty Indian girl in a fit yoga outfit and a Parisian bitch with her fancy dress and sunglasses playing Fast and Furious in the streets of Bandra! They were too excited to even think of asking for money... http://www.microsofttranslator.com/static/201709/img/tooltip_logo.gifhttp://www.microsofttranslator.com/static/201709/img/tooltip_close.gif