International yoga

Being a creature of habit, Thursday equals yoga night, so I decided that I would have to find myself a class in Madrid.

I decided to do a bit of Googling, and I eventually found this place.

It looked good for a number of reasons:

  1. Easy walk from my apartment
  2. Website in English
  3. Teachers seemed to have a fair bit of experience
  4. Didn’t look too much like “ego yoga” (think supermodel-type instructors, wall-to-wall mirrors, and ultra-hip designer exercise gear).

So, at 7pm, off I went.

When I arrived,  I introduced myself, and explained that my Spanish was dreadful. “Don’t worry!” exclaimed the teacher. “It will be fine!”

But it wasn’t. Maybe I overestimated my ability. Maybe the teacher was just talking really fast. Maybe I had neglected to realise that yoga instructions are usually pretty specific, and so you need to be a competent speaker of the language. Maybe it was a combination of things, but I literally had NO IDEA of what she was saying.

I deviously tried to copy the woman next to me, but as we were lying down most of the time, I couldn’t do this without being incredibly obvious. And the harder I tried to concentrate on my Spanish, the more stressed I became, which really defeated the whole purpose of the class.

Image result for spanish yoga cartoons

(Translation- the Lego man is saying that he thinks that this isn’t for them)

The teacher clearly realised I was struggling, so after she’d explained how to rotate the inner thighs and avoid spinal curvature in Spanish, she would say to me in English “Helen. Thighs. Out.” or “Helen. Back. Flat. Floor.”

This was surprisingly effective, and I managed to survive the class, albeit with my pride severely dented 😦 But the teacher invited me to come back next week, as she said she needs to practice her English, and so my being in the class forces her to do this. I guess this is positive, but I really hope that by the end of the 9 months here, I  am able to go to a Spanish yoga class and understand what’s happening!

2 thoughts on “International yoga

  1. I actually enjoy a yoga class more when they use the traditional terms to describe the different poses eg Virabhadrasana 2 – Warrior 2

    Does the instructor use these terms?


    • Yes, that’s a good point, Dawn. Unfortunately, the instructor only used the Sanskrit term for the Corpse Pose, and that wasn’t too difficult anyway. But it would have been SO much easier if she’d used the traditional names.


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