In my Tuesday Yoga class, three of us ‘advance’ students join the beginners as there are too few of us to start a new class. While the teacher teaches them in front, the three of us will practise by ourselves at the back. Once in a while, my teacher, Quinine, will spot me doing wrongly and call out my name, ‘Chong, bring your arms to the front before the next pose’, etc.
Many times too, the new students would come up to me enviously and tell me how good I am.
I’m not good, but since taking up yoga in Oct 2007, I have become more flexible, much much more. While I could hardly touch my toes with my legs stretch out in front before, I can now almost kiss my knees. In fact, sitting up straight with my legs stretched in front used to be difficult without slouching, now it’s no longer a problem.
Yesterday, we did three sets of Sun Salutation, a set of 24 postures working your whole body, followed by 13 sets of Warrior poses. I love how stretched and taut my muscles feel after yesterday’s workout.
Next week, we’ll be practising Yin Yoga, where we have to hold a pose for three minutes. It’s torturous, the three minutes when your body is contorted in an awkward pose and your breathing gets more laboured as the seconds tick by. Of all my body parts, my groin and knees are the most inflexible. Until today, it’s impossible for me to do a ‘knee on knee’ perfectly.
A new Indian Singapore resident told me yesterday how good I am, and I could see her disappointment when she learned that I’ve been doing it for three years now. The journey seems long, and along the way, many have dropped out, including my partner, E. E says she can now do it herself at home without joining the class (I feel so betrayed by her departure.) Chances are, unless you are very discipline, it’s really difficult to do it at home diligently.
I tell the new students who have joined, all anxious because they cannot remember the postures sequence, “Don’t worry, I was just like you. You can be just like me or better too.” Somehow they are not quite convinced.
I’m lucky I found a good teacher in Quinine, who has gone for a three months retreat in Thailand since February. Her replacement, an ex-student, is teaching us now but it’s not quite the same without Quinine with her stern and impatient admonition.
hmm…would have never thought I’d actually miss her.