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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Sunday Night Yoga


I’ve been to several yoga classes with Asia, and my favorite class is the Sunday evening (5pm) class, taught by Jana. She teaches Hatha yoga, and moves the class smoothly, like a meandering river, from one position to another. Lots of strength positions, but not held for too long, flowing easily into the next, always countering one stretch with its opposited, always speaking in a soothing, flowing, articulate voice that keeps you focused, breathing, moving, holding, thinking, getting the most from each pose.

There is incense in the air when we students arrive. Candles burn in the corners, good focal points while holding poses, especially the balance positions. About nine or so students show up each Sunday to Jana’s class. After a breathing exercise, we begin with an Ommm, which is harmonic and kind’a odd, but hey, “When in Rome” right?

I can’t fold myself backwards, not at the knees, anyways. It makes my tendons scream watching others do this. But I did do, and like, the anchor pose, where, while on your back, you throw your legs over your head, touch toes with the mat, lock your fingers behind/beneath you, and through a series of breathes get to where your knees are touching the mat beside your head. But don’t throw yourself OUT of this pose; a gentle extrication lets you feel each vertebra make contact with the mat as you unwind from this position.

At the end of each yoga class, there is a rest and relaxation pose (the corpse pose), in which you cover yourself with a blanket and basically chill for ten minutes, allowing the muscles to completely relax. I fell asleep last night for a minute. Asia fell asleep twice during class: once at the beginning relaxation, and then at the end, from which she awoke “not knowing where I was!” I laughed. Of course, she had gotten only 3 hrs sleep the night before, and we’d just walked all over Prague, picnicking on Petrin and along the river. More on that, later.

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